BANGKOK, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday announced that the Senate had approved the national budget bill for fiscal year 2021 after Monday's six-hour debate in Parliament.
The draft set the budget for the next fiscal year at an estimated 3.285 trillion baht (104.6 billion U.S. dollars).
Prayut said many senators debated the budget allocations for several ministries and departments. However, one of the key concerns for most of the senators was the budget allocation earmarked to buy COVID-19 vaccines when they become available.
This year, many senators stressed the importance in stemming the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore have very few objections in agreeing to divert budget to solve the COVID-19 crisis, said Prayut.
Of the 224 senators present in the upper house, 218 voted in favor, no one voted against and six abstained, Prayut said.
The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to the senators for approving the bill, and pledged to use the budget efficiently and in a transparent manner for the sake of all people.
Prayut said he will submit the bill within 20 days for endorsement by His Majesty the King after which it will be announced in the Royal Gazette.