PM throws support behind lower interest rate

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BANGKOK, May 21 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today brushed aside a media report that the central bank was pressured to reduce the policy interest rate.

She referred to the latest announcement by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) that Thailand’s GDP percentage growth was at only 5.3 – a result which could affect the country’s annual growth.

Ms Yingluck said the NESDB simply reported the fact, while a decision on policy interest rate belongs solely to the Monetary Policy Committee.

There was no pressure on the central bank, whether by the NESDB or the Finance Ministry, she insisted.

“The government wants all agencies concerned to work together to develop the Thai economy,” she said.

The premier said she personally agreed with reducing the policy interest rate, describing it as a tool to stabilise the baht and maintain Thailand’s competitiveness in the region.