23 May 2024

A 3.3 trillion baht budget bill, for the 2021 fiscal year, passed its first reading in Thailand’s House of Representatives late Friday night, after three days of lackluster debate.

The votes were 273 for, 200 against and 3 abstentions.

The House of Representatives then set up a 72-member cross-party committee to scrutinize the bill.

The Kao Klai party nominated Mr. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Progressive Movement and former leader of the now defunct Future Forward Party, to sit on the committee.

Thanathorn was a member of the House’s budget scrutiny committee last year, but he quit the post, claiming he wanted spend more time working with the people.

The scrutiny committee has 30 days to complete its work, before sending the budget bill back to the House for its second and third readings. By law, the whole process in the House must be completed within 105 days (September 28th), after which the bill will move to the Senate for debate and endorsement.