2020 fiscal budget in disarray over procedural gaffe

Parliament finally passed its long-delayed budget for the 2020 fiscal year two weeks ago but its validity is now in question because of irregularity during the voting process.  

Chief government whip Virat Rattanaset told local media on Wednesday that 90 members of the lower house have filed a motion asking speaker Chuan Leekpai to ask the Constitutional Court to rule on the validity of the 2020 fiscal budgetary.

The budget, worth 3.2 trillion baht (US$105.89 billion), lifted concerns over government spending when it was passed but now the budget is once again in disarray.

Nipat Intarasombat, a former Democrat Party MP, who exposed the irregularity, claimed that Chalong Therdwirapong, a Bhumjaithai MP, used his electronic card to vote without being present in parliament.

He said this would make the budget constitutionally invalid.

With global demand slowing down, government fiscal spending is seen as one of the vital engines that will support Thailand’s economic recovery this year.

The budget was aimed at stimulating an already stagnant economy and was due to come into effect in February. Now, even that timeline is in question.

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