Kittiratt: Delays would hurt economy

Any delays in the government’s planned investment in infrastructure development megaprojects could derail economic expansion, Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said on Wednesday.

  • Published: 24/07/2013 at 04:24 PM
  • Newspaper section: news

Mr Kittiratt, the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, said the economy could continue to grow in the second half of the year on the back of a good investment climate, rising tourism income and increasing private investment.

The government has plans to oversee the overall economic outlook, including adjusting economic balance by turning from a reliance on exports to increasing domestic purchasing power, increasing government investment and raising the daily minimum wage for workers, he said.

The only case of concern at this time is a possible delay in the government’s investment plans to strengthen the country’s potential in the long-term, particularly the 350 billion baht water and flood management projects and the 2-trillion-baht infrastructure overhaul, he added.

If these plans miss the set target, the impact could lead to economic recession and erode the confidence of Thai and foreign investors. This is because the government had always affirmed it will act to prevent a recurrence of the great flood, he said.

Mr Kittiratt said as the head of the government’s economic team he asked leaders of the opposition parties and anti-government groups to think of the negative consequences on the economy of their opposition to the government’s planned investment in the development megaprojects.

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