Kittiratt considering sacking central bank boss


BANGKOK, April 19 – Thai Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong admitted today that he has contemplated firing the central bank governor on a daily basis, but has not done so as he is not legally bound to raise the axe.

Mr Kittiratt and Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul have been at odds over responses to resolve the rapid surge of Thai baht and measures on the policy interest rate.

The deputy premier said he would not stop pushing for a lower interest rate which he believes would help depreciate the Thai currency.

Olarn Chaipravat, Thailand Trade Representative president, called on the government and BoT to directly intervene in the currency exchange movement and reduce the policy interest rate in accord with the global market.

The Thai baht has appreciated by six per cent while Chinese yuan was only two per cent stronger and Japanese yen weakened by 20 per cent after the Japan’s central bank announced quantitative easing, he said.

The former deputy premier said only that Taiwan has a higher policy interest rate than Thailand, while those of developed countries like the US and Japan were low.

Payungsak Chartsuthipol, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman, said industrialists will meet Wednesday to discuss the impact of the strong baht, after having submitted a seven-point proposal on currency and monetary measures to the central bank.

Urgent, short-term assistance is necessary for small- and medium-sized enterprises, he said, adding that the status of Thai currency should be in accord with 14 trading partner countries.