DEPUTY Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has urged the Finance Ministry to complete its measures to assist low-income earners within a week or two so that domestic consumption could get a spark.
After yesterday’s meeting with Somkid, Somchai Sujjapongse, permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry, said the ministry had been assigned to finalise its measures to stimulate private consumption particularly among low-income earners, which could boost spending in the next three to four months.
“The form of injection will require discussion and the planned measures will be concluded in one to two weeks before forwarding them to Somkid for consideration and announcement,” Somchai said.
He reported to Somkid that the economy still had strong fundamentals, but with negative news, overall confidence was eroded.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the ministry to communicate with people on this issue and the government’s economic stimulus measures. These include the Bt100-billion relief measures for drought victims and the Bt20-billion project for small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises under the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.
The Fiscal Policy Office reported that there was no concern over the economy. Domestic consumption, with value-added-tax collections as the proxy, the external debt ratio, foreign reserves and unemployment rate all indicated strong economic stability. January’s exports contracted by 8.9 per cent, but this was still better than in several other countries. Only a few countries including Indonesia witnessed higher export value than Thailand.
Somkid also asked the ministry to set up funds to increase the competitiveness of 10 industries. If the funds are introduced soon, that will build up the confidence of investors, Somchai said.
The ministry will today discuss with the Council of the State the necessity for the funds to be established in the expectation that they will be launched within one to two months.
The Thailand Future Fund is expected to be set up this month and raise more than Bt100 billion by June.