Corruption: The Most Serious Problem Facing Thailand

Over 60% of economists polled recently consider corruption to be the country’s most serious problem with serious economic implications, Bangkok Poll said on Thursday.

The pollster at Bangkok University said opinions were sought from 63 economists at 31 leading economic organisations in Thailand between June 11 and 18.

Bangkok Poll reported that 63.5% of the respondents thought corruption to be the most serious problem and that it could lead to an economic crisis if the government fails to rapidly act against it.

The pollster reported 69.9% wanted the government to keep an especially close watch on the problem of household debt, and 63.5% pointed to the need to monitor public debt.

Other economic problems the respondents wanted a close watch on included a possible bubble developing in the property sector, the continuing global economic problems, the baht’s strength, inflation, the high cost of living and the possibility Thailand’s credit rating could be lowered.

They said that in the remaining two years of its term the government should give priority to reviewing, changing  or revoking its populist policies.

For the rice scheme, the government should set a clear-cut needed budget for each harvest year, base the pledging system on market price, and set up zoning for rice growing areas covered by the scheme. In the  meantime it should promote rice quality standards.

The economists wanted the government to speed up funds disbursement for its investment plans and ensure effective spending, particularly in its infrastructure development megaprojects.

They wanted the government to act seriously to settle cases of alleged corruption in various projects to ensure transparency.

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