Pichai to meet with BOT governor Thursday


Finance Minister Pichai to meet with BOT governor on ways to coordinate fiscal, monetary policies after rift with PM

Finance Minister Pichai Chunhavajira said on Wednesday that he will meet with Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput on Thursday to find a way to coordinate fiscal and monetary measures to drive the economy.

But Pichai declined to give details of the time and place of the meeting, saying it would be a personal discussion.

Pichai is expected to be a mediator between the government of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Sethaput after the two sides have been disagreeing on the policy interest rate for months.

Srettha, when he was concurrently finance minister, called on the Monetary Policy Committee of the central bank to lower the policy rate by at least 25 percentage points to help boost the economic recovery. But the MPC insisted again and again that the current 2.5% per annum was the appropriate rate to contain inflation for long-term economic stability.

Pichai said if the Finance Ministry and BOT managed to coordinate their fiscal and monetary policies, it would bode well for the nation.

After Pichai was appointed as finance minister late last month, deputy finance minister Krisada Chinavicharana resigned out of dissatisfaction that his responsibilities earlier assigned by Srettha in his role as finance minister were given to two other deputy finance ministers.

Pichai said he has not assigned Krisada’s responsibilities to the two remaining deputies yet.

He said he would focus for now on meetings to drive main policies and projects, such as those concerning the Eastern Economic Corridor, but he would definitely reassign Krisada’s responsibilities to his remaining two deputies later.