Tue, August 16, 2022

business

Govt to seek wage hike amid rising inflation, says finance minister


The government will seek wage increases for private-sector employees to help them cope with rising costs due to higher inflation, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Saturday.

Authorities would discuss the matter with employees towards the end of this year, he said.

Arkhom said Thailand’s inflation would remain high for the rest of this year, eventually forcing the Bank of Thailand to raise its policy interest rate, which has remained unchanged at 0.50 per cent.

“The Thai economy is suffering impacts not only from Covid-19 but also high inflation resulting from the Ukraine war. Inflation this year is unlikely to go down to levels seen many years ago,” said the finance minister.

However, Thailand’s inflation rate is still considered low when compared to other countries, he added.

Inflation in Thailand has ranged between 6 and 7 per cent in recent months.

The finance minister was speaking during an address to the FTI Expo 2022 on the government’s monetary and financial policies for this year.

The event is being held by the Federation of Thai Industries in Chiang Mai province until Sunday.

Arkhom also defended the government's monetary and financial policies to aid the economy over the past two years during the pandemic. He said government borrowing was necessary to help stimulate the economy as people’s incomes fell.

“Other countries, as well as Thailand, did the same thing,” he said, referring to government borrowing.

The finance minister also said that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund had encouraged countries to issue relief measures for their citizens despite incurring rising public debt.

Arkhom said that what counts was a country’s ability to repay its public debts, noting that some countries have debt exceeding 100 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP).

Published : July 02, 2022