BANGKOK, Nov 26 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said today that Thailand’s economy has continued to revive despite internal conflicts which have hampered a number of national development projects.
She said that the waters of a number of dams and reservoirs almost overflowed when she took office in August last year while at the same time there was a shortage of equipment for fighting floods, compelling the government to allocate a Bt120 billion budget on an emergency basis to address the flood emergency.
Ms Yingluck was referring to last year’s massive floods which wreaked havoc on the country only a few months after she assumed premiership.
The premier was responding to an earlier statement by Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the opposition Democrat Party, in a censure debate against her and three cabinet members in the House of Representatives which entered its second day today.
Mr Abhisit said the premier failed in three areas –to control the prices of consumer goods, by increasing the prices of agricultural produce and solving the chronic problem in Thailand’s deep South.
He said the government’s rice-pledging scheme has caused severe damage to the country—an issue the prime minister could not ignore in her capacity as chair of the National Rice Policy Committee of Thailand.
The Democrat leader said the government’s buy-dear-sell-cheap rice scheme has caused Thailand an annual loss of up to Bt 244 billion and the country’s public debt will accumulate to 60 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) if the scheme continues for seven years.
Explaining that the scheme was aimed at creating financial stability for farmers, the prime minister said Thailand’s rank as the world’s rice exporter has dropped to third place but the total revenue from rice export remains the highest in the world.