NEW Finance Minister Pridi Daochai said today (August 17) after delivering his policy to ministry officials that the government is not broke and additional economic recovery measures will definitely be implemented, INN News said.
The new minister pointed out that the entire world economy is in a decline as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic while also confirming that the country’s existing cash reserves are still sufficient even though the government currently has higher expenditure even as state income has dropped.
Pridi added he would urgently implement policies to take care of the people’s basic needs, assist small businesses and stimulate tourism even though right now foreign tourists are not allowed to come into the country.
Sovereign loans obtained would be used to the maximum advantage and channeled to the most beneficial issues, he added.
However in the next phase it is imperative to accelerate competitiveness and reduce disparity, he said, adding that he is ready to implement expansionist fiscal policy in conjunction with maintaining public debt level within a framework of not more than 60% gross national product (GDP).
Meanwhile Al Jazeera reported today that Thailand’s economy saw its biggest annual contraction in 22 years and a record quarterly fall in the April-June period, as the coronavirus pandemic and restriction measures hit tourism, exports and domestic activity, prompting an outlook downgrade.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism and exports, shrank 12.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the worst contraction since the Asian financial crisis in 1998, data from the state planning agency showed.
But that was better than the average forecast for a 13.3% slump in GDP in a Reuters poll, and compared with a downward-revised 2.0% fall in the January-to-March quarter.
Top: New Finance Minister Pridi addressing a ministry conference today. Photo: INN News