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Economists ask Thai Governement to stop populist policies

Thailand’s economic think tank has called on the government to halt its populist economic policy and focus instead on narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor.

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Thailand’s economic think tank has called on the government to halt its populist economic policy and focus instead on narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor.

Somchai Jitsuchon, research director of Thailand Development and Research Centre (TDRI), said Thailand urgently needs financial reform and a revision of the government’s populist policy including the rice subsidy programme.

The government has spent Bt150 billion each year for rice subsidies

but only Bt35 billion reached the poor or the farmers themselves, while the remaining Bt120 billion went to government officials, rice mill owners and wealthy farmers.

Former finance minister Thanong Bidaya said the populist policy has failed to bridge the people’s income gap while the government’s financial allowance to the elderly is a “blanket scheme” which should be reviewed.

Not all elderly people who are entitled to the allowance are poor, he said.

Mr Thanong opposed the government’s proposed bill on borrowing for infrastructure development, saying it would be impossible to select appropriate projects under imposition of the law.

Kosit Panpiemras,  Chairman of TDRI Council of Trustees and Board of Directors, predicted Thailand’s economic growth next year at less than 4-5 per cent and said domestic consumption has declined since early this year.

The government’s populist policy and loans spending to stimulate the economy are effective only in the short term but it is a risk to the country’s financial status in the long run, he said.

He said Thailand has lagged behind many countries based on a World Economic Forum report which ranked the country at 66th among 148 countries on education, and 78th on technological readiness. (MCOT online news)

via Economists urge abolition of populist economic policies | MCOT.net | MCOT.net.

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State of emergency to be extended for another month

General Natapol Nakpanich of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has proposed the state of emergency be extended until the end of September to allow continued compulsory quarantining of people arriving from abroad.

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PM wants armed forces support for government

General Natapol Nakpanich, the deputy army chief and deputy head of an ad hoc committee on the relaxation of COVID-19 control measures, said the extension of the state of emergency would rarely impact society because people could continue with their normal life and rallies or anti-government protests could be organized.

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Thailand to extend Emergency Decree for one more month

Government officials insist the emergency measures are for guarding against the resurgence of the coronavirus and unrelated to the ongoing protests.

Boris Sullivan

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha approved an extension of the state of emergency for another month

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha approved an extension of the state of emergency for another month, maintaining that such an extension has nothing to do with anti-government protests.

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Thai Chamber of Commerce warns of economic threats from protests

The UTCC expects the Thai economy to contract more than the initially projected 8-10 percent figure, should the protests be prolonged or become violent.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – With the COVID-19 pandemic having devastating effects on the economy, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has warned that recent protests by youth movements could increase the risks to the economy, with the annual economic performance this year now expected to shrink by 8-10 percent.

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