Sunday, March 16, 2008

PM backs Finance Ministry plan to spur economy with village fund

BANGKOK, March 17 (TNA) – Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on Sunday expressed his support for the Finance Ministry's plan to inject Bt15 billion to stimulate the country's economy through the small-, medium-, and large-village fund (SML).

Speaking during his weekly 'Samak Talk' program broadcast live on Channel 11, the prime minister said Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Suebwonglee met and discussed with him on Saturday proposed spending of Bt15 billion using the SML scheme to ensure that people at the grass-roots level have access to such budgets in a wide-ranging manner.

The premier insisted the establishment of the SML fund is not economic populism.

"We neither mean to hand out money nor support borrowing. Instead, we intend to bring money to finance village development projects. People in the village are encouraged to jointly decide what they want to do," he said.

Mr. Samak conceded he had ordered the suspension of the OTOP Fair event originally set for March 29 since he disagreed with officials' decision to spend Bt85 million to hire the event organiser. (TNA)-E005