11 July 2024

The House of Representatives passed the 3.75 trillion baht budget bill for the 2025 fiscal year in its first reading late Friday night, with 311 votes for, 175 against and two abstentions.

The Lower House then formed a 72-member committee to scrutinise the bill.

The committee comprises 18 members representing the cabinet and 54 from government and opposition parties. They have 30 days to complete their work, with their first meeting to be held on Monday.

After the vote, Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai took to the floor of the House to thank all MPs for the smooth passage of the budget bill, as he promised that the government will make use of the “limited budget” productively, wisely and in the public interest to improve the economy and quality of life.

In a closing speech last night, former Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat summed up the essence of opposition MPs’ speeches of the past three days and recommended that the government institute fair tax reform, a clear-cut plan for revenue collection and debt management and a streamlining and public disclosure of budgetary procedures.

House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha ordered the closure of the House meeting at 10.20pm.

The new session of parliament will begin on July 3and last until October 30.