BANGKOK, July 5 — Attempts are being made through several policies to boost Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 2 per cent in 2014, said National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) leader and army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Gen Prayuth said during his weekly televised address late Friday that the Bank of Thailand (BoT) has made a projection earlier that Thailand would enjoy only 1.5 per cent growth this year due to domestic political turbulence earlier this year and a slowdown in economy.
He said NCPO would put efforts in stimulating this year’s economy such as accelerating investment on state projects which have been delayed or incomplete during the second half of 2014.
Several ministries have not invested although their projects have been approved and budget investment amounting about Bt50 billion remains.
On water management programmes aimed at preventing flooding in the country, Gen Prayuth said the budget could be increased by another 50 billion baht and could be spent over
the rest of this year and in 2015.
NCPO has given the green light on some state projects which would require investments ranging between Bt100 million to 10 billion, he said.
Some projects which encountered problems needed to be revised so that they could be implemented.
On efforts to boost exports, Gen Prayuth said the Thai baht need to be monitored closely to make sure that it is not “too strong.”
Tourism must also be promoted as it is a major money-maker for Thailand, while concerned state agencies have been assigned to solve tourism problems as soon as possible.
As business entrepreneurs are facing revolving capital issues, Gen Prayuth said government-run banks including the Government Savings Bank (GSB), the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), and the SME Bank will be asked to provide soft loans and help solve bad debts problem.
He said the current inspection of warehouses storing rice purchased by the ousted government from farmers under the rice-pledging programme so far found that between 80,000 – 90,000 sacks of rice, valued approximately Bt70 million, were missing.
More than 100 inspection teams have been asked to speed up checks at the rest of the warehouses nationwide, Gen Prayuth added.