The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is set to unveil its economic roadmap next week in a bid to bolster the country’s flagging economy.
According to Deputy NCPO Chief Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, who is in charge of economic affairs, the roadmap is slated to be announced on June 4 or 5. The roadmap will include 2014 budget disbursement and 2015 budget planning. The NCPO affirmed that next year’s fiscal budget could start on October 1 as scheduled.
Next year’s budget will focus on infrastructure investment, which includes dual-track railways and electric trains.
The NCPO has so far appointed 10 advisors to oversee key affairs of the state such as security, justice and finance. Former governor of the Bank of Thailand MR Pridiyathorn Devakula and former Finance Minister Dr Somkid Jatusripitak have been chosen to look after the kingdom’s ailing economy.
So far the economic roadmap has been well-received by the private sector and finance agencies, as growth is in need of stimulation.
The Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) expressed confidence that the roadmap will shed light on existing problems and boost the economy, adding that investors’ confidence in the country’s economy would significantly improve after tensions among conflicting sides have eased following the coup.
They also said the joint effort of the NCPO and the Bank for Agriculture and Agriculture Cooperative (BAAC) to resolve overdue payment worth 90 billion baht for rice farmers pledged under the previous government’s rice pledging scheme will help improve the economy, as the amount of money circulating in the market will increase to the tune of 300-400 billion baht.
The spending could help boost the economy to grow at 3% this year in contrast to earlier projections of 1.5% by private and public sectors.
The Thai Chamber of Commerce will hold talks with seven other private organizations to form an economy strategy and propose it to the NCPO. The NCPO will also be called to allow general elections to form a civilian government as soon as possible.
The Board of Trade (BOT) also expressed optimism that the economic roadmap, if fully implemented, could turn the sluggish economy around. They admitted that the roadmap might not benefit the export sector this year but insisted that the overall export growth this year would not be lower than 5 percent and would pick up early next year, with the prospect that export growth might register a 10 percent increase.