Structural reform prioritised for buffers
published : 12 Sep 2019 at 19:03
writer: Wichit Chantanusornsiri
The government plans to initiate reforms of the rural economy to provide greater buffers against external volatility, says Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
Structural reform of the domestic economy is essential, particularly strengthening the grassroots economy to offset external shocks, said Mr Somkid after meeting with Finance Ministry officials on Thursday about initiating the scheme.
The government has used fiscal policy to help ease the plight of low-income earners amid slower economic growth.
The government in May approved a slew of stimulus measures worth 21.83 billion baht. The measures cover spending of 13.2 billion baht on public welfare benefits for low-income earners, plus tax measures worth 8.62 billion baht.
The measures run for five months, from May to September.
The government also wants to help build up community tourism, local enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the farm sector to drive the rural economy, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.
The ministry is in the process of gathering information from the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Government Savings Bank, SME D Bank and the Treasury Department to initiate a plan and projects to develop the rural economy.
Apart from improving production efficiency in the farm sector, agricultural reform should cover creating new products, adding value to farm product and integrating the farm sector with the tourism sector through community tourism and local enterprises, said Mr Uttama.
Finance permanent secretary Prasong Poontaneat said the ministry will push forward a plan to develop village funds to become community banks, aiming for them to provide loans locally and resolve the problems associated with informal lending.
There are around 20,000 village funds that can be classified as top-grade funds, said Mr Prasong.