Is A Missed Target Still A Target, Politically Speaking?: Thai Talk
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Posted 2012-09-20 07:13:47
Is a missed target still a target, politically speaking?
BANGKOK: -- Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom admits this year's export growth won't hit the original goal of 15 per cent. But he insists his ministry won't revise the figure. The reason: "We could become the target of political attacks," he said.
But does that really make sense? If it's clear the government's export projection of 15 per cent expansion can't be met - and the minister has admitted as much - keeping aim at that number will only serve as ammunition for the government's foes. Won't that invite more political wounds?
The minister finds no sympathisers within the ranks of government agencies either. The latest estimate from the Finance Ministry's Office of Fiscal Economics is even more devastating. It predicts a mere 4.5-per-cent growth rate. That's because Thailand's exports in the first six months of this year were down 1.5 per cent.
This means that if the original goal is to be met, the four remaining months of this year must boost each month's volume to US$20 billion - a practically impossible mission.
It is generally believed that even if the country's exports dip below 5 per cent, Thailand's macro-economic growth could still manage to reach 5.7 per cent, as targeted earlier. That's because the private sector's investment and consumption will be able to maintain the momentum. Next year's growth numbers may suffer somewhat, but GDP growth of 5 per cent is still within sight.
The decline in this year's export volume is therefore "explainable" if government leaders handle the matter with a sense of urgency, transparency and political acumen.
Instead of trying to explain why the original target couldn't be reached, the commerce minister has tried to fudge it. When he met Thai commercial counsellors posted abroad last week, the minister couldn't have missed the sense of anxiety among the ministry's representatives assigned to our overseas embassies to help promote Thai products overseas. Their message was unmistakable: in every market, sales targets must be lowered to realistic levels.
The problem is that no one is quite sure what the supposed "realistic levels" should be. The reps, of course, are hoping that their bosses back home will give them some clear guidelines - which so far have not been forthcoming.
If anything, the commercial attaches are being treated to a more confusing picture. Minister Boonsong told them that the "working figures" within the ministry were somewhere around 7.23 per cent of export growth. And that's the average number calculated from estimates provided by commercial counsellors around the world.
He then further confused his subordinates by saying that 7.23 per cent was merely a projected number. And to him, it doesn't mean the number is achievable.
So, what is his personal realistic estimate? "Not lower than 5 per cent and definitely more than 7 per cent." He added, in a confessional tone, that he has a "heavy heart" about hoping to reach the 15-per-cent growth figure.
Why is he still hanging on to the 15-per-cent figure? For one thing he might still be haunted by the "white lie" controversy ignited by Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Kittiratt na Ranong. But Kittiratt has already managed to wriggle out of that tight corner by telling the House on the same day (last Thursday) that he wasn't "lying" when he said he had told "white lies" earlier this year when he promised 15 per cent export growth for 2012.
Whether the opposition MPs accept that explanation or not, the finance minister is already on the way to putting the story behind him - or at least he thinks he has.
He also said he wasn't very good at choosing the right political words but insisted that, as the head of the government's economic team, he had never considered lying. "Lying is to distort something that has already happened," he said, suggesting that his 15-per-cent forecast applied to the future. And when you offer a number for the future, and it is proved wrong, it's not a "lie". Or that's how his argument goes.
In other words, while Kittiratt is trying desperately to climb out of the 15-per-cent trap he created himself, the commerce minister seems to have got lost in a maze not totally of his own making.
-- The Nation 2012-09-20
Posted 2012-09-20 07:44:33
I'm in utter despair at the calibre of Pheua Thai ministers.
Khun Boonsong, please reveal how much you recently sold rice to foreign governments for.
Please tell us how much you intend to lose in the rice mortgage scheme this year to add to the estimated 90 billion baht lost last year.
Posted 2012-09-20 07:58:51
"Not lower than 5 per cent and definitely more than 7 per cent."
Surely this means, "Not lower than 7 percent"
Posted 2012-09-20 08:35:40
Love this - PTP - the hub of liars... What a total bunch of incompetent imbeciles.
"Why is he still hanging on to the 15-per-cent figure? For one thing he might still be haunted by the "white lie" controversy ignited by Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Kittiratt na Ranong. But Kittiratt has already managed to wriggle out of that tight corner by telling the House on the same day (last Thursday) that he wasn't "lying" when he said he had told "white lies" earlier this year when he promised 15 per cent export growth for 2012."
Posted 2012-09-20 09:53:16
I would love to read a financial analyst report about this situation.
Posted 2012-09-20 09:56:18
I believe the underlying problem is "Thai Talk". Rice (and anything else for that matter) is a digression from the underlying problem.
Posted 2012-09-20 10:11:14
As I said once before in another post, complete with short video, "Thais can't handle the truth".
It must be an Asian thing, although I would venture to say that this sort of smoke and mirrors nonsense we are seeing by this government (PTP) would not be tolerated in more advanced countries like China and Singapore.
Posted 2012-09-20 14:16:38
Is there an unlimited number of inactive posts for Yinglucks stars to go to? Maybe the MP of animal husbandry and water foul management, can come over to the commerce ministry and get this thing sorted out.
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