* Coup leader to discuss economic proposals this week
* TMB Bank says economy should pick up under new government
* Moody's affirms Thailand's Baa1 credit rating
* Junta flooded Bangkok with troops to smother weekend
(Adds comment from TMB Bank, Moody's)
By Orathai Sriring
BANGKOK, June 2 The military junta running
Thailand has drawn up a list of emergency measures such as price
caps on fuel and loan guarantees for small firms to kick-start
an economy threatened by recession after months of political
The plans, outlined by Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong late
on Sunday after a meeting with officials at economic ministries,
take in longer-term measures such as the development of special
economic zones on the borders with Myanmar, Laos and Malaysia.
The military toppled the remnants of former Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra's administration on May 22 after months of
protests that had forced government ministries to close, hurt
business confidence and caused the economy to shrink.
The coup was the latest convulsion in a decade-long conflict
that pits the Bangkok-based royalist establishment, dominated by
the military, old-money families and the bureaucracy, against
supporters of Yingluck's elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who
is adored by the poor in the north and northeast.
Yingluck herself was ordered to step down two weeks before
the coup when a court found her guilty of abuse of power.
Considered the power behind Yingluck's government, former
telecommunications tycoon Thaksin was ousted as prime minister
in a coup in 2006 and has lived in self-imposed exile since
fleeing a 2008 conviction for abuse of power.
Air Chief Marshal Prajin, who is overseeing economic matters
for the junta, said 30 urgent proposals on the economy would be
discussed with coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday
Among them, Prajin mentioned a form of price insurance for
rice farmers. This would replace a costly buying scheme run
under Yingluck that collapsed when her caretaker government was
unable to find funding, leaving hundreds of thousands of farmers
unpaid for months.
The military rulers said they would also tackle the problem
of loan sharks, made worse by the hardship suffered by farmers
because of the rice fiasco, and are looking at low-cost home
loans to be offered through the Government Housing Bank.
Prajin said he had told the Finance Ministry to look at a
complete overhaul of the tax structure and report to him next
The Nation newspaper said state enterprises, including Thai
Airways International Pcl and the State Railway of
Thailand, would put investment plans to Prajin on Monday and
these would also be discussed with Prayuth this week.
TMB Bank said the economy should pick up under the
new government and it expected its loan book to grow 10 percent
this year rather than 6 to 8 percent. It used to be known as
Thai Military Bank and the armed forces retain a small stake,
with Prayuth sitting on its board.
Moody's Investors Service affirmed Thailand's Baa1 credit
rating on Monday with a stable outlook, based on the country's
manageable debt profile, its fiscal controls, the strength of
economic bodies such as the Bank of Thailand and a likely
current account surplus this year.
In a commentary on May 26, it had expressed concern about
the repeated political disruption in Thailand, saying it had
held back economic development over the longer term.
Prayuth, in a televised address on Friday, said the military
would need time to reconcile Thailand's antagonistic political
forces and push through reforms, indicating there would be no
general election for about 15 months.
The United States, European Union countries and others have
called for the military to restore democracy quickly, release
political detainees and end censorship.
As well as working to revive the economy, the military
council has moved to suppress criticism of the coup and nip
protests in the bud.
Yingluck, as well as prominent supporters of the
Shinawatras, have been briefly detained and warned against any
On Sunday, the army council sent 5,700 troops and police
into central Bangkok to stop anti-coup protests, which were
mostly limited to small gatherings held around shopping malls.
The military has banned political gatherings of five or more
people and protests that have taken place in Bangkok since the
May 22 putsch have been small and brief.
On Saturday, as on the two previous days, the authorities
closed normally busy roads around Victory Monument, which was
becoming a focal point for opposition to the coup. The area was
flooded with police and troops but no protesters turned up.
(Writing by Alan Raybould; Editing by Robert Birsel and Alex