Monday, October 21, 2013
Opinion & Analysis
by Burin Kantabutra
Burin Kantabutra’s Criticism of Some of the Government’s Recent Policy Direction
The government’s goal should be to have projects that: first, are sound in theory and then work as planned when implemented. Thus, it should look at what reliable academics say before it leaps into a major project, whether it be the rice scheme or 2 trillion baht infrastructure scheme.
Take, for example, the rice mortgaging scheme, which The Economist labeled “the (Yingluck) government’s worst and most costly policy”.
Surely any university’s economics or business administration faculty could have foretold that by buying at 40% above market, and buying all rice offered, Yingluck would leave the poorest farmers, who consumed all the rice they grew, out in the cold; would benefit mainly the farmers with large landholdings, who didn’t need help; and would turn the government into the country’s largest and almost sole buyer, thus single-handedly almost wiping out our rice export industry and giving our world-leading market position to hungry competitors.
If it’s not too late, Yingluck should immediately revamp the rice scheme, e.g., basing payments on area planted (as she’s correctly doing with rubber) and require transparently accountable feasibility studies for major infrastructure projects.
Is the Government Only Focusing on What’s Easily Seen and Not What’s Really Substantive Change and Policy Reform?.
This time, it’s cleaning up the police force’s ‘dirty image’ by taking things literally, and firing a station chief in Sadao for dirty housekeeping of the station…
But it’s much more important to clean up the force’s image by, say, arresting station heads who allow big gambling dens in their precinct, or disciplining police chiefs who fly off to thank fugitives from the law for their post.
Yingluck should use job related key performance indices, e.g.,promoting precinct chiefs responsible for lowering deaths from traffic accidents by nearly the greatest per capita percentage in the past year, so that we no longer have the highest rate of such deaths in the world, (according to the World Health Organization).
Or, why not promote station heads who increase traffic flows in measurable ways in their precincts by the highest percentage in the past year?
Focus on what really counts, not what’s merely countable, madam PM.
The Thai people deserve more than window dressing!
See Tuesday Oct.22 Related Story from Bangkok Post