The Pattaya City Council approved a 1.7-billion-baht budget for 2016 that includes funds to complete 250 unfinished projects.
Council members said the city still has a lot of work to do to stimulate the local economy amid sluggish growth nationwide.
Councilman Praiwan Arromchuen complained that this past year has seen very slow work on projects, despite funding being available. Among them were work to improve facilities at Pattaya School No 7 and Pattaya Hospital.
He questioned why both organizations were requesting more funds when the work already budgeted still hasn’t been completed.
He noted other funded projects, such as renovations at Pattaya City Hall, remain incomplete.
Councilman Sanit Boonmachai complained about corrupt local officials preying on Pattaya residents, collecting “under the table taxes” and said that, while the problem is small, it must be tackled during hard economic times.
Faruk Wongborisuthi (top center), chairman of Pattaya City Council; Jidapa Suwattaporn (top left), deputy chairperson of Pattaya City Council, Wisan Phettrakul (top right), deputy chairperson of Pattaya City Council; and Chanatpong Sriwiset, deputy secretary of Pattaya City Hall lead the budget meeting at city hall.
Councilman Banlue Kullavanijaya said that education must be improved as Pattaya lags Thailand’s neighbors in the ASEAN Economic Community. Students in general are still not able to speak proper English or Chinese and some of the annual first-term budget should be provided to hire more teachers, he said.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome said the fiscal 2016 budget – which takes effect Oct. 1 – was derived from taxes and will help in completing the unfinished projects. The budget will be divided with 947 million baht focused on developing the city and completing the unfinished projects, and 753 million devoted to tourism events and other projects to stimulate the Pattaya’s economy.
Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn suggested funds should be used to create a public-relations center in city hall that can act as the hub for tourism events, cultural activities, and projects in Pattaya.
It would cost about 2 million baht to build an extra facility where public relation workers can share experiences with local media correspondents.
The proposal was accepted by the council with construction promised to begin soon.
Final budgets were scheduled for approval votes on Sept. 3.