Kittiratt defends big spending
The government's planned investments in infrastructure development megaprojects worth 2 trillion baht will help stabilise Thailand's economy, according to Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.
- Published: 16/03/2013 at 10:55 AM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Kittiratt: Credit rating upgrade a sign of growing confidence. (Photo by Pattarachai Preechapanich)
Mr Kittiratt, who is also deputy premier in charge of economic policy, said the recent upgrade of the country's credit rating to BBB+ by Fitch Ratings reflected growing confidence in Thailand's economic and political stability.
The government's long-term investment plans have also increased confidence among Thai and foreign investors, he said on the "Yingluck Government Meets the People" programme on NBT on Saturday.
No government in the past had moved to invest in high-speed trains and rail systems on such a large scale before he said.
The two-trillion-baht investment bill has already passed screening procedures and been approved by the National Economic and Social Development Board, he added.
Mr Kittiratt rebutted claims that heavy borrowing to fund the megaprojects would sharply increase public debt, saying the borrowing would be phased so that debt remained below 50% of gross domestic product.
Public debt is currently around 45% of GDP and policymakers for years have set a ceiling of 60%. Debt levels in some of the troubled countries in Europe are well above 100% of GDP.
A debt ratio of 50% of GDP is not high and the government would be able to repay the money within a few decades, said Mr Kittiratt.
The programme was held at "Thailand 2020: Thailand’s New Step to the World Expo" at the Chaeng Watthana Government Complex.
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