PM denies the government is broke

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BANGKOK, 7 February 2017 (NNT) – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted that Thailand’s financial situation remains strong, given the government’s current reserves of 74 billion baht.

The Prime Minister had been responding to criticism against the government’s financial status. He assured that every government project is being carried out according to regulation and for public benefit. Gen Prayut further stated that the government needs to spend the money to attract foreign investment and to carry out the reform process.

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Meanwhile, Finance Minister Apisak Tantiwong also responded to the criticism, assuring that there is enough money in the government coffers. He noted that if the government’s reserves are too high, the government will have to pay a higher interest rate.

The minister is pushing to amend legislation governing the management of financial reserves to allow the government to seek a short-term emergency loan only in an event of an emergency situation. The current law allows the government to take out an emergency loan with or without urgent justifications.

The minister also insisted that the increase in excise tax on aviation fuel was not due to a decline in government coffers, but to promote fair pricing. Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak denounced those spreading rumors of the government’s financial troubles as not understanding how the government manages the reserves.

-National News Bureau

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