Government critics concerned International Reserve could be misused

As Omicron begins to produce fears that it could worsen an already battered financial crisis, Thailand’s government claims that it has enough financial reserves to push through any new economic turbulence.

According to the Thai government, Thailand had the twelfth most international reserves in the world in the month of October, with 8.17 trillion baht. But financial experts on Thursday said that a high number of international reserves is not enough to stimulate economic growth.

Pichai Naripthaphan, the Deputy Leader of Pheu Thai Party, told Thai Enquirer that Thailand encountered huge debt from the economic fallout of Covid-19. He said that it’s largely due to the government’s failure to manage its own reserves properly.

“The household debt rose to 14.24 trillion baht,” Pichai said. “People now don’t know how to make enough income to pay their debts. The government is lying to itself that it’s successful for having high international reserves.”

Pichai is frustrated by the government’s claim that the kingdom’s international reserves are strong enough to stabilize its battered economy.

“International reserves are important for maintaining economic stability,” Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the government spokesman, told reporters at Government House on Monday.

Pichai feels that increased debt and a worsening investment climate are signs of economic danger.

“Thailand’s new investments are slowing down while the people’s debts keep increasing,” Pichai said. “This will block the country’s growth engine.”

Paopoom Rojanasakul, the Deputy Secretary-General of Pheu Thai Party, told Thai Enquirer that the international reserves should be spent to develop the country.

“The country can benefit from the reserves,” he said. “It can be used to develop physical facilities, or improve digital innovations.”

He added that if the reserves are used properly then they could significantly improve the development of the country and in turn boost the economy.

“Spending some reserves to develop the digital innovations will lead to higher productivity,” he said, noting that it’ll take more than just reserves to stimulate the economy. “These innovations will increase the output of the country and the economy.”

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