PM lauds BOT governor for his ‘constructive opinions’ on economy

TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2024

Srettha says central bank chief has good intentions, after PM’s adviser slams the governor for ‘inaction’ in cooperating to boost growth

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin was full of praise for Bank of Thailand (BOT) governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, saying he offered “constructive opinions” during the Council of Economic Ministers’ meeting on Monday.

Srettha said on Tuesday that the central bank governor had accepted the invitation to attend the meeting and offered constructive opinions on economic measures. He did not elaborate.

The premier’s praise for Sethaput comes one day after PM’s adviser Pichai Naripathaphan slammed the central bank for its “inaction” in cooperating with the government to boost economic growth.

When asked if his government’s ties with BOT would improve after this, Srettha said: “I believe everybody has good intentions for the country, but we need to discuss methods for helping the people and reviving the economy.”

The central bank has been rejecting the Srettha government’s repeated calls to lower the policy interest rate from 2.5% by at least 25 percentage points.

The BOT also took a stand against the government’s digital wallet scheme, in which the government plans to hand out 10,000 baht each to some 50 million eligible people.

When asked if the BOT governor had softened his stance towards the digital wallet scheme, Srettha sidestepped the question, saying: “I believe all who attended the meeting, including the BOT governor and secretary-general of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, had come with the same goal – improving the Thai economy. The digital wallet scheme was among several projects we discussed and all listened and shared their opinions.”

The PM also expressed confidence that Thailand would have no problems achieving 2.5% GDP growth as projected this year, adding that his government would accelerate the disbursement of the budget to stimulate the economy.