Santi Prompat ready to be Thailand’s new Finance Minister
Thailand’s Deputy Finance Minister, Santi Prompat, is confident that he has the expertise and experience to be the next Minister of Finance, if Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wants him to take the post, vacated by the sudden resignation of Pridi Daochai.
When a reporter asked him whether he is ready to take on the finance portfolio, Santi said such a decision rests with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, leader of the Palang Pracharat party, adding “I am ready to work for the country, if it is the wish of the Prime Minister and General Prawit.”
He said he could hit the ground running, if appointed, because he has gained the experience needed while serving under two previous Finance Ministers, Uttama Savanayana and Pridi Daochai, and a Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic affairs, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak. He has also previously served as Transport Minister and Minister of Social Development and Human Security.
“I have the expertise and ability to withstand the pressure of the current economic situation,” said the Deputy Finance Minister, who was reported to have had a disagreement with Pridi over the appointment of the new Director-General of Excise Department.
He denied he was in conflict with Pridi over the latest reshuffle of senior officials at the Finance Ministry, as was reported by the media.
He said that he received a call from Pridi, at about 8pm Tuesday night, expressing regret over the media reports of a conflict between them.
He claimed that the Minister thanked him for his cooperation over the past month that they had worked together.
While admitting that it is a daunting task for any person to take on the finance portfolio in the present circumstances, Santi maintained that Pridi resigned for health reasons, not because of the pressure of the job.