As of the end of last month, or 11 months into fiscal 2008, the government was running a cash-flow deficit of Bt167.36 billion, 27.5-per-cent lower than the deficit in the same period of fiscal 2007. That can be broken down into a Bt127.93-billion budget deficit and a Bt39.43-billion off-budget deficit.
Government revenue totalled Bt1.36 trillion, up 7.1 per cent from the same period last fiscal year. Expenditures for the 11 months totalled Bt1.48 trillion out of Bt1.66 trillion budgeted for the full fiscal year.
Somchai said the government would run a lower fiscal deficit than the previous projection of Bt165 billion.
Meanwhile, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives president Thiraphong Tangthirasunan said the bank would next week propose to the Cabinet a soft-loan package for farmers suffering from recent flash floods. He said the bank planned to lend about Bt2 billion at low interest and with a grace period for repayment. However, the government needs to subsidise the interest rate by 3 percentage points, so that the bank can reduce its present 7.5-per-cent lending rate.