Pattaya Daily News

21 March 2009 :: 14:03:28 pm 28101

Seeking Loans Is Best Way Now, Says Pm

BANGKOK, March 20 ? Seeking loans is the most appropriate way to offset a shortfall in the government?s revenue under the current economic situation, according to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
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Speaking of the government?s plan to increase the ceiling for state borrowing, he said Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanich would consider the matter at his own discretion. He conceded that Thailand?s export slump and the sluggishness of global trade will reduce the government?s revenue. Should it remain still, without falling further, the economy will go into deeper recession and more people will lose jobs.

Mr. Abhisit said the government has several options which can lead to increased revenue, such as collecting more taxes, selling national assets, or borrowing.

Under the current circumstances, the government has taken the view that loans are the best way forward to offset the current shortfall in revenue, but how much it should borrow depended on the Finance Ministry?s assessment of the amounts needed, the terms and conditions to be offered.

Regarding a warning by the Bank of Thailand (BoT) that short-term loans should not be used in the implementation of long-term projects, Mr. Abhisit said he understood what the central bank is suggesting.

He said that a portion of the loans would be available to finance some projects in the second half of this year.

However, should the economic situation fail to improve in the next few years, he said, the government would need to seek new loans to finance implementation of the country?s basic infrastructure projects.

Asked to comment on a call by the private sector for the government to tell the truth about how many years the economy would be in trouble, the premier said it is difficult for the government to predict because the US economy remains uncertain. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : World News

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