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Government wants balanced budget next year

Exporters celebrate easing of dollar restrictions

Government wants balanced budget next year

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has expressed confidence that the government will be able to achieve a balanced budget by next year, well ahead of the governmentís original schedule.

Government Spokesman Sita Divari quoted Thaksin as telling ministers gathering for a recent cabinet meeting that government tax revenue had significantly exceeded the target figure, and that by the end of the 2003 fiscal year tax revenue would be 120 billion baht above the original target. It was previously thought that the budget would not be balanced until the latter part of 2005.

It was estimated that other government revenue was likely to be an additional 50 billion baht above target figure, leaving a total excess of 170 billion baht. The PM feels that if revenue collection remains on track, the government would be able to achieve a balanced budget or even a budget surplus next year. (TNA)


Exporters celebrate easing of dollar restrictions

Thai exporters welcomed the Bank of Thailandís (BOT) latest move to ease certain currency control regulations, saying that the export sector would greatly benefit from the decision to extend the period for holding foreign currency deposits from three months to six months.

Santi Vilassakdanont, Vice President of the Federation of Thai Industries said, ďThe BOTís decision will have a positive impact on exporters, as it will give them a greater range of currency options. Allowing exporters to hold US currency will help cut exchange rate costs when purchasing machinery and raw materials from abroad, while the new regulations will also benefit Thailandís international reserves.Ē

While Santi conceded that a number of entrepreneurs might use the new regulations as an excuse to engage in currency speculation, he denied that this would be a major problem. At the same time, he downplayed speculation that the new regulations might lead to greater fluctuations of the Thai baht, noting that the Thai currency had remained fairly stable for the past year, and that the world economy still showed few signs of recovery. (TNA)