MONDAY, April 15, 2024

Veteran economist Payong the right choice for finance minister: FTI

Veteran economist Payong the right choice for finance minister: FTI

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) supports the idea of having the chairman of the Thai Bankers' Association Payong Srivanich take the helm of the economy in the new cabinet, FTI chairman Kriangkrai Tiannukul told reporters on Wednesday.

Kriangkrai was answering media questions about a report that Payong, who is also Krungthai Bank president and chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB), has been approached by political parties to join the new cabinet as a minister.

“Mr Payong has extensive experience and understanding of macro- and microeconomics, as well as digital technology,” said Kriangkrai, who worked with Payong on the executive panels of JSCCIB.

“The private sector wants an honest person like him with an unblemished record to help solve the country’s economic problems in a ministerial capacity,” he added.

Kriangkrai said that the new government’s economic team needs a suitable candidate who is accepted by all parties from the public and private sectors, and is able to strengthen confidence in Thai economy among investors, business operators and the general public.

“Most importantly, every member of the economic team, from the deputy PM for economy and all economy-related ministers, must be able to work together seamlessly as one unified organism,” he said.

Kriangkrai added that as it has been more than 100 days since the general election, political parties must appoint an economic team immediately after the new government and cabinet are formed so that they can start working on economic measures as soon as possible.

One of the major economic stimulus campaigns promised by Pheu Thai Party, the leader in the proposed government coalition, is to offer 10,000 baht of digital money to all Thais aged over 16 to spend at local businesses to boost domestic consumption.

“The private sector hopes that the government will be formed within this month,” said Kriangkrai. “A few weeks delay should be fine. However, if the delay drags on for several months the economy will take a hit.”

The FTI chairman pointed out that a delay in budget disbursement of the government’s mega projects will affect the projects’ procurement and employment, as well as other economic sectors.