Thailand's National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved a budget worth 2.57 trillion THB (81 billion USD) for the 2015 fiscal year during its meeting on August 18.

The budget bill was passed with 183 votes and three abstentions at the NLA’s first meeting after the country’s Thai Royal Government issued a command appointing NLA president and two deputies.

Under the bill, more than 502 billion THB (or 19.5 percent of the budget) will be spent on developing the education sector, while the Interior Ministry will get 13.3 percent, a 27.6-percent decrease year-on-year.

The Defense Ministry will receive 193 billion THB, an increase of 5.3 percent from the previous fiscal year.

The NLA also set up a 50-member board to scrutinise the bill before it is discussed for the second time at the assembly’s September 17 meeting.

Also on August 18, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) announced a report showing that the country’s economy grew 0.9 percent in the second quarter this year, dodging recession after months of political deadlock.

NESDB said the second largest economy in Southeast Asia regained its growth after it shrunk 1.9 percent in the first quarter.

However, the board also trimmed its growth forecast for 2014 to 1.5-2.0 percent, down from the previous estimate of 1.5-2.5 percent.-VNA