Thai PM Srettha proposes $101.5 billion budget to parliament

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Wednesday tabled a 3.48 trillion baht ($101.52 billion) budget, kicking off a three-day debate among lawmakers.

“The budget is crucial in moving the economy forward,” Srettha told parliament.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is expected to grow 2.7% to 3.7% this year, he said, adding that inflation is expected to be between 1.7% to 2.7%.

Parliament will vote on the budget this week and it is expected to be ready by early May.

Thailand’s economy grew much lower than expected 1.5% in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace this year, on weak exports and government spending.

($1 = 34.2800 baht)

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)