PM Prayut Chan-o-cha admitted yesterday that being Thailand’s prime minister is not easy amid the kingdom’s cost of living crisis.
Gen Prayut made the confession at a royally-initiated groundwater project aimed at addressing water shortages during the dry season in Kanchanaburi’s Huay Krachao district.
The Thai PM was questioned about the kingdom’s cost of living crisis during the visit. The 68 year old acknowledged the problem, added that the government was doing its best to improve the situation, and urged the public to be patient.
“I don’t want to make any excuses, but we have to consider where the problem comes from. Fuel is controlled by global prices. All the government can do now is seek funds to subsidise fuel costs at 40-45 baht per litre.
“Previously, we tried to maintain the cap [on the diesel price] at 35 baht a litre for as long as we could. The current situation is not normal as the [Russia-Ukraine] war continues. It affects production costs, leading to high food prices.”
Gen Prayut said understood the Thai people’s concerns and empathised with them, adding the government is caught between a rock and hard place surrounding manufacturers and consumers.
“If we put too much pressure on them, manufacturers will be forced to close their plants. We rely on each other. We only need to ensure fair prices. To be honest, I am not trying to please businesses. There is a regulatory committee to ensure fairness.
“If we pressure them too much workers will be affected. I am not blaming anyone, but we have to see ourselves as a family and find ways to look after each other.
“Things will improve, and this also depends on how we live our lives. Right now, we are falling on hard times. Please be patient. I also have to be patient myself. I don’t spend lavishly, and I eat as normal people do.
“As a prime minister, I cannot indulge in leisurely travel. I’m not complaining but I am telling you that being a prime minister is not easy.”
During the inspection, Gen Prayut congratulated the locals for addressing water shortages during the dry season in Kanchanaburi’s Huay Krachao district.
The PM also ordered officials to ensure that the water is fairly distributed to residents, and urged them to prepare for floods in the upcoming months.
Gen Prayut then paid his respects to the statue of King Naresuan the Great in tambon Don Chedi in the Phanom Thuan district.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post