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Revenue will miss target

The governments revenue collection for this fiscal year ending next Tuesday could fall 200 billion baht short of target as recent political turmoil and slower-than-expected global economic recovery take their toll.

But the expected shortfall will not hurt public spending in the next fiscal year due to high Treasury reserves, said Finance Minister Sommai Phasee.

The reserves amounted to 346 billion baht for the first 10 months of this fiscal year.

In the first 11 months of fiscal 2014, revenue collection was 168 billion baht or 8.2% off target.A combined 1.88 trillion baht was collected.

The Revenue Departments revenue collection missed the target by 129 billion baht, the Excise Department was short by 72.3 billion and the Customs Department was shy by 21.8 billion.

But state enterprises contribution and revenue collected from other state agencies beat the target and helped offset the lower-than-targeted tax revenue.

The government has set revenue collection for this fiscal year at 2.275 trillion baht and expenditure at 2.525 trillion, leaving a budget deficit of 250 billion.

Mr Sommai, however, believes the governments revenue stream could achieve its target of 2.325 trillion baht in fiscal 2015.

I would like to see people have confidence in the governments financial position, he said.

Mr Sommai instructed the three tax-collecting agencies, which normally contribute 90% of government revenue, to improve efficiency in collecting taxes.

The Finance Ministry is requesting all state agencies to accelerate their budget disbursement during the final month of this fiscal year, he said.

The ministry is also preparing for disbursement of the fiscal-2015 budget with the aim of pushing public spending to drive economic growth as exports, tourism and domestic consumption remain lacklustre.

The Fiscal Policy Office recently raised its budget disbursement target for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 to 35% from the usual 25% to spur growth.

Mr Sommai said the country would not slip into an economic crisis, as the governments financial position remained strong and the baht stable.

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