'Too early to judge govt': DPM

'Too early to judge govt': DPM

Phumtham: '100 is the magic number'
Phumtham: '100 is the magic number'

Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai hit back at criticism that the government's first 60 days in office had seen little improvement in the economy or helped reduce the cost of living.

Mr Phumtham said the government's work won't take shape until after at least 100 days have passed as many ministries like the Commerce Ministry, which he heads, are working on many projects that are still to be revealed to the public, such as fixing the high prices of certain everyday items and expanding markets for local products to more foreign countries.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has also used every opportunity on the world stage to attract foreign investors, he said, adding that on Tuesday, the premier will have a meeting with Thai commercial attaches and the Board of Investment to promote Thailand among foreign investors, he said.

"So, I'd like everyone and also those who criticise us to be patient. We will provide a full update on our work and plans when we have completed 100 days in office," he said.

Asked if the prime minister preferred to work alone rather than delegate duties, Mr Phumtham said the prime minister has already assigned a full set of responsibilities to his six deputies. Every minister also has a lot of work to deal with.

As the economy has suffered a cumulative crisis globally and financially, many things are in process to restore the economy, he said.

"Therefore, it is a good thing for the premier to explain everything thoroughly. Actually, we want to have around 50-100 cabinet members instead of 36 due to high work loads at present, but we are ready to work hard and to face any obstacle," said Mr Phumtham. "The premier also often travels to provinces to directly find out about the problems people face."

When asked about comments made by opposition parties, Mr Phumtham shrugged of the criticism as predictable.

"I always tell the opposition parties that if policies are good for the people, they will be implemented. Not every move is for political benefit. I do not mind feedback or criticism as long as they are creative because they are like a mirror for us," he said.

"It is not the critics but the people who will tell us whether the government has passed the test," he added.

On Thursday evening, Prime Minister Srettha hosted a television special titled "From Policy to Action in 60 Days". During the show, the premier highlighted urgent measures implemented during this period, such as reducing expenses for people including reducing electric bills, and petrol prices and fixing household debt.

The premier said the government is also promoting the agricultural sector with a plan to expand markets to Africa and the Middle East and the tourism industry too with its new round of visa exemptions.

"The government is also investing heavily in logistics and infrastructure, including transport links such as high-speed rail and upgrades to the facilities of major airports," he said.

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