The government thanks Chuan Leekpai, a former prime minister and chief advisor of the Democrat Party, for his advice and his concerns over the lower household income, but insists it has done much more than the past governments in solving the country's problems, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Monday (Dec 11).

Lt Gen Sansern said this in responding to an open letter submitted to government by Mr Chuan through Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

In his letter, Mr Chuan said the overall household income of the people in the North and the South has dropped, particularly in Ranong, Trang and Yala provinces. He said the government should look into this matter to find out why.

Lt Gen Sansern said from their visits to various provinces, the prime minister and other government members have found that the provinces named by Mr Chuan have not been sufficiently developed, both in the terms of infrastructure and occupations. Regarding occupations, about 90% of people in these provinces still cling to the old methods of agriculture for their rubber and oil palm plantations. Moreover, many people still do not have access to sources of finances.

The spokesman said that before the year 2014, the country had heavily suffered from variouse problems because of political conflicts. The past government at the time had been unable to carry out important work to uplift the people's livelihood.

After this government has come, it has been working hard. The overall state of economy has improved. This can be confirmed by figures provided by various economic offices.

However, the present government understands well that it is not easy to improve the household income of the people because doing so needs many supporting factors.

The government has already worked on many issues mentioned by Mr Chuan. We have used the identities of various communities to promote tourism. We have urged farmers to grow supplementary plants in addition to the old crops.

The government has introduced the use of new innovations to add up the value of agricultural produce. Farmers have been encouraged to set up community enterprises as well as the Pracharat company, a cooperation of the government, the private sector and the general public. However, success would not be achieved if without cooperation by all concerned, said the spokesman.

Lt Gen Sansern said the government has gathered information on the livelihood of the people throughout the country through various committees. It has tried to adjust work methods and budget allocations, aimed at improving the economy in the fundamental level and the quality of life.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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