Somkid: Government has done more for the poor than its predecessors did in 5 years

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha administration has done more for the grassroot people than the previous governments did in five years, said Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Thursday.

Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, progress, grassroot, mega infrastructure projects
Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, progress, grassroot, mega infrastructure projects

“There is no need for me to appease the prime minister. And if you open your eyes – if you are not blind – you should know what the government has done. Everybody knew the farmers were in bad shape last year as the government dumped the rice pledging scheme because of rampant corruption. So we thought what should be done to help the grassroot people. And when we talk about grassroot people, farmers must come first,” said Dr Somkid.

He cited a programme through which the government had channeled several hundred billion baht through the village fund, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Government Savings Bank to help the farmers.

He said the prime minister did not want farmers to become poorer and get less from their crops and, hence, the project to promote farmers to engage in SMEs.

Implementation of mega infrastructure projects is easier said than done, said Dr Somkid due to messy politics in the past which discouraged bureaucrats from taking initiatives. Some officials were investigated and others were taken to court and he himself faced two court cases, he added.

Implementation of each train project is not easy and the main obstacle is the public loss of confidence in government bureaucracy. The confidence rating is so low that everytime a project is to be launched someone will ask are there kickbacks, said the deputy prime minister.

Dr Somkid noted that several good things which have happened in this country have been overshadowed by apprehension over the referendum.

“Thailand is the best performer among exporting countries as far as exports are concerned. The stock market has registered the highest sale volume and Jetro has given Thailand the highest confidence rating in history. But all these have been overshadowed by apprehension whether the draft charter will survive the referendum or not,” said the deputy prime minister.