PM says reshuffle not on the cards
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has no plan to reshuffle the cabinet or make changes to economic ministers, government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said on Wednesday.
Ms Narumon said the prime minister simply wants the economic team to strengthen its efforts especially in improving the rural economy in compliance with the 20-year national strategy, national reform plan and government policy manifesto.
"The prime minister doesn't have any thoughts about reshuffling the cabinet or the economic team. [He] wants the ministers to help implement measures to alleviate hardship for every group and there is a constant roll-out of stimulus packages," she said.
Ms Narumon was referring to Gen Prayut's remarks made during a press conference on Tuesday when he instructed economic ministers to improve their work.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is calling on the government to come up with economic stimulus measures and speed up talks on the Thai-EU free trade agreement and a return of preferential trade privileges to help boost the economy.
The proposals, made by FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree, follow the sector confidence report for October which saw confidence drop from 92.1 in September to 91.2 -- the lowest in 17 months.
He said the latest finding reflects businesses' concerns for an economic slowdown in the region, SMEs' struggles for financial assistance, and a loss of price competitiveness due to the strong baht.
The confidence survey was conducted among 1,211 business operators who cited the global economic situation and the strong baht among top concerns. However, the government's stimulus packages and year-end purchase orders were cited as key factors to spur consumption this month. Mr Supant said the government should accelerate public investments and educate businesses on how to mitigate risks associated with the central bank's measures aimed at easing credit outflow restrictions.