The budget bill for the 2022 fiscal year is tentatively scheduled for its first reading in the House of Representatives from May 31–June 2, chief government whip Wirach Ratanasate said.
Speaking after a meeting between representatives from the cabinet, government parties, opposition and Senate, Mr Wirach said executive decrees issued by the cabinet will be the first items of legislation scrutinised, tentatively on May 27–28.
He said the budget bill is up next for the May 31–June 2 session, noting that strict Covid-19 screening rules will be applied for lawmakers attending parliament sessions.
However, the schedule can be adjusted depending on the pandemic situation. Some government MPs have reportedly suggested deferring the budget bill debate to June 9 as daily new infections remain high.
According to Mr Wirach, some 235 MPs have been vaccinated and more are expected to get their shots before parliament convenes on May 22. More than 200 parliamentary officials have also received a vaccine.
Early this week, parliament president Chuan Leekpai said MPs who had yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or refused to get the jab would be required to show Covid-19 test results to prove they were free of the virus.
Chief opposition whip and Pheu Thai deputy leader Sutin Klungsang said several key pieces of legislation are pending and Covid-19 control measures are deemed adequate to ensure health safety.
“Even though we’re concerned about the virus, we will make sure our work isn’t disrupted, except when a situation arises. Besides the budget bill needs to follow the budgetary management timeframe, while the referendum bill and charter amendment drafts are also pending,” he said.