Premier to name finance minister next month

Premier to name finance minister next month

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has made it known he will name a new finance minister next month, adding that it also depends on whether candidates approached are willing to take the post.

Gen Prayut said that he has given himself until next month to consider candidates and appoint the new finance minister.

When asked if the candidates speculated by the media recently had been approached for the post, the prime minister said: "Have all the candidates mentioned in the media been chosen by me? I have said nothing. Where did you get the names from?"

Gen Prayut said that the candidates he has approached are capable people and that a new minister will be named once he makes a decision. All this follows the sudden resignation of Predee Daochai as finance minister earlier this month.

According to media reports, the candidates who are being approached to become the new finance minister are former permanent secretary for the Ministry of Finance Somchai Sujjapongse, and former president of the Government Savings Bank, Chartchai Phayuhanawee.

Mr Predee, a former president of Kasikornbank, cited health problems when he made the shock announcement on Sept 1 that he was resigning as finance minister after less than a month in the post. His resignation took effect on Sept 2.

But according to media reports, Mr Predee disagreed with his deputy, Santi Promphat of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), over the reshuffle of high-ranking officials in the Ministy of Finance, in particular who should head the Excise Department.

Bhumindr Harinsuit, vice president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that the prime minister should appoint a new finance minister swiftly in order to oversee the implementation of measures to stimulate an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Commenting on the candidates tipped by the media to be the next finance minister, Mr Bhumindr said he does not mind who takes the post, so long as they have what it takes to do the job.

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