Education, defence top budget

The government’s Bt2.9-trillion budget for 2018 has massive spending of Bt575 billion for upgrading workers’ skills and education, plus related activities, while the Defence Ministry’s budget rises Bt8.8 billion to Bt222 billion. Under the 2018 Budget Bill, passed in its first reading by the National Legislative Assembly on June 8, money allocated for tackling unrest in the country’s deep South also continued to rise to a total of about Bt13 billion. Meanwhile, the Navy is expected to get extra money to pay for its first Chinese-made submarine, worth Bt13.5 billion over a period of seven years. The controversial submarine acquisition programme is estimated to be worth a total of Bt36 billion for three vessels to be delivered over a decade.

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