BANGKOK- Thailand plans a budget deficit of 700 billion baht ($23.2 billion) for the 2022 fiscal year, up 12.4% from the current fiscal year, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, as the tourism-dependent country deals with a new coronavirus outbreak.
Spending is projected at 3.1 trillion baht in the fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1, down 5.7% from the current year, Anucha Burapachaisri said in a statement.
Of the spending, 620 billion baht will be for investment, a 4.5% drop from the current year.
The budget plan is based on projected economic growth of 3.5% in 2022, Anucha said, adding the plan would be discussed a cabinet meeting on Jan. 5.
Thailand's fresh coronavirus outbreak in a province near the capital Bangkok, its worst yet, has infected more than 1,000 people since it was confirmed at the weekend.
The country has so far kept infections to less than 6,000, due in part to strict entry requirements and a ban on most international flights, which has decimated its tourism industry, a key source of jobs and driver of economic growth. ($1 = 30.2000 baht)
(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +662 6489729; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))