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Thailand's junta boosts spending on defence, education in draft Budget

Published on Aug 18, 2014 4:15 PM
 
Thailand's army chief and head of the National Council for Peace and Order, General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, reads statements to members of theNational Legislative Assembly (NLA) at Parliament in Bangkok on Monday, Aug 18, 2014. General Chan-ocha, submitted a draft fiscal 2015 Budget on Monday, with defence and education receiving hefty increases. -- PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, stressing that the military had a "limited time" in power before a return to civilian rule, submitted a draft fiscal 2015 Budget on Monday, with defence and education receiving hefty increases.

The military seized power in May after months of street demonstrations that led to the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The Ministry of Education was allocated 498.16 billion baht (S$19.4 billion), a 3.2 per cent increase from last year's budget and 19.5 per cent of the total budget allocations. General Prayuth has called for education reforms as part of his plans to reshape the country and restore political stability.

Defence spending, which typically increases in Thailand after a coup, grew 5 per cent from last year's allocation to 193.07 billion baht. "If we don't increase the budget and purchase new weapons, then nobody will fear us," Gen Prayuth told reporters.

 
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