BoT chief: Monetary Policy Committee unperturbed by pressure to reduce interest rate

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BANGKOK, May 28 – Central bank governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul gave reassurances today that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will not be pressured in its decision on the policy interest rate tomorrow.

Speaking to reporters after attending the weekly cabinet meeting, he said the MPC’s judgement is based on suitability and its decision on interest rate solely depends on the MPC, not the Bank of Thailand (BoT).

Mr Prasarn is also an MPC member.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra summoned the BoT and the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to today’s meeting to straighten out differences between the two state agencies on Thailand’s Q1 gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

The BoT charged the NESDB with distorting the economic figures in its official report on a disappointing Q1 economic expansion at 5.3 per cent, compelling an adjustment of GDP growth from 4.5-5.5 per cent to 4.2-5.2 per cent.

It was Mr Prasarn’s first appearance in a cabinet meeting since taking the helm at the BoT.

Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said on Monday that the MPC should reduce the policy interest rate by 0.50 per cent for the sake of the Thai economy and exporters.