ID :
Tue, 08/12/2008 - 14:37
Auther :

Key government agencies review economic trends

BANGKOK, Aug 12 (TNA) - Senior officials of four key Thai government
agencies are expected to meet soon to discuss Thailand's economic
performance during the first six months this year and likely trends during the second half, according to Surapong Suebwonglee, deputy prime minister and finance minister.

Mr. Surapong said he had asked Suparat Kawatkul, Permanent Secretary for Finance, to arrange a meeting between officials of the ministry, the Bank of Thailand (BoT), the Budget Bureau and the National Economic and Social Development Board.

The main issues to be discussed, Mr. Surapong said, are the overall
economic situation during the first six months of 2008, economic
directions during the second half and ways to bolster the national

Mr. Surapong said he would also confer with BoT Governor Tarisa Watanagase during the meeting regarding how the ministry of finance and the central bank could coordinate monetary and financial policies.

Both Mr. Surapong and Virabongsa Ramangkul, appointed to head the prime minister's economic advisory team earlier this month, have voiced their objection to the recent action of the BoT Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) rate hike to curb Thailand's rising inflation, which has resulted from soaring oil prices.

Their differing opinions have sparked rumours that Mrs. Tarisa would be dismissed from her post.

Mr. Surapong said again that he had never ordered others nor intervened himself in the BoT's monetary policy decision-making and reaffirmed that the central bank had full independence in making decisions on the matter.

At the same time he said he hoped that the new BoT board members to be
chosen soon could assist in improving the country's economy.

The BoT board will choose four of the seven members of the MPC and the
four are highly likely to prefer economic growth, in line with the
government's policy, to price stability.

The MPC is scheduled to meet next on August 27. (TNA)