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DSI's attempt to amend Interest Rate Act not to affect financial sector

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is confident that the move by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to amend the Interest Rate Act 1932 will not have any impact on the financial sector.

BoT Senior Director of Prudential Policy, Somboon Jitpenthom, has said the BoT has not seen the amendment details yet; however, it is confident that the new Interest Rate Act will not affect personal loans and credit card holders.

According to him, there is a law that has already limited an interest rate ceiling at the maximum rate of 28% and that of nano-finance at no higher than 35%. Mr. Somboon said the attempt to amend the Act is likely to keep non-formal interest rates under control.


Community leaders & volunteers join forest protection training in Bueng Kan

BUENG KAN, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Over 100 community leaders and volunteers have participated in forest protection training held by Bueng Kan Natural Resources and Environment Office.

The objective of the program is to enhance the abilities of local forest conservation groups. Participants were educated on several aspects of forest conservation, including forestry laws, wildfire prevention and community forest management.

Over the past decades, the northeastern province of Bueng Kan has experienced heavy forest encroachment as a result of the growing rubber industry. The remaining forests, which represent no more than 14 percent of the province’s entire area, can only be found in Phu Langa National Park.

The organizers expected participants to apply the knowledge acquired through the training to the protection of natural resources and environment in their neighborhoods.


Amendment to interim charter passes 1st reading in NLA

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has approved in principle the amendment proposals to the 2014 interim constitution submitted by the Cabinet.

The Cabinet proposed a total of 9 sections, which included the stipulation of a public referendum on the new constitution, extending the Constitution Drafting Committee’s time frame of revising the new constitution as well as the disbandment of the National Reform Council after it voted on the new constitution.

The assembly requires at least 110 out of its 220 members to vote to reject the amendment proposals. If the assembly passes the amendments, the Prime Minister will submit them to His Majesty the King for Royal Endorsement.

The NLA voted to pass the first phase of the deliberation process, accepting the amendments in principle by 204 to nothing, with 3 abstentions.

The NLA will then proceed to the next phase, which is the deliberation of the proposals in detail.


Schools told to keep an eye on students to prevent gang fights

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC) has instructed educational institutions across Thailand to keep an eye on their students to prevent student gang fights.

OHEC Secretary General Chaiyapruek Serirak has revealed the Office of Vocational Education Commission and the Office Private Education Commission have devised a strategy to deal with the issue.

They have come up with new measures, under which students would be divided into groups according to their behaviors and history of violence.

Teachers would be assigned to monitor their students' behaviors and encourage them to cooperate with police while the latter are searching for weapons. School principals would also be asked to come to the scene of the brawl to meet students caught involving in a fight.

According to the Secretary General, fights between rival students have significantly declined compared to the same period's last year, now that the new school term has begun

Schools have also been told to monitor their students as most fights occur around this time of year, when they are commemorating their schools' foundation days.

Teachers have been urged to keep themselves updated on their students’ activities.The public is also encouraged to report to the schools if they come across students engaging in a fight


Deputy PM blames former govt for economic woes

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister for economic affairs M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula has told the business sector and the general public to brace themselves for the ongoing sluggish economy, which may take a year to recover.

M.R. Pridiyathorn blamed the ongoing economic slowdown on the previous administration, which enacted controversial programs including the first-car project and the rice pledging scheme.

M.R. Pridiyathorn said the economy in the second half of the year would continue its downward trend and that the economy may take about a year to pick up.

The Deputy PM predicted that the domestic economy would start to recuperate in September. The 2014-2015 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would reach 3-4 percent, due mainly to government spending and rebounding tourism.

However, the Deputy PM revealed that the country’s economy could not rely on the export sector, since operators have been struggling with stiff competition. He believed that product research & development should push GDP up to 5 percent.


Government to hold Bike for Mom 2015 activity

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The government is set to hold the Bike for Mom 2015 activity as a celebration in honour of Her Majesty the Queen, and has invited the general public to attend this event.

The Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the meeting on organizing the Bike for Mom 2015 activity, as a celebration in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit at the government house.

The Bike for Mom 2015 activity will be held in celebration on the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty’s 83rd birthday 12 August 2015. This activity has been initiated from the royal wish of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, as a way to express his gratefulness to Her Majesty the Queen. The event will allow the public to express their loyalty to the monarchy as well as their love for their mother and for the mother of the land.

The activity would also enhance the Thai public's unity in coming together to express their well wishes to the Queen, along with the event's exercise activity which will be beneficial to the public's health and encourage sportsmanship.

The Bike for Mom 2015 activity will be held on 16 August 2015 at 3pm nationwide on designated biking routes. In Bangkok, the 43 kilometers biking route will start from the Dusit Palace Plaza to the 11th Infantry Regiment, and back to the Dusit Palace. Routes in other provinces will start from their city halls.

The public participating at this event are asked to wear blue shirts. More information on this event can be found at www.bikeformom.com, the official website of the event. The event's registrations will begin 1-24 July 2015.


Infrastructure construction at Mae Sot Special Economic Zone is progressing steadily

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Construction of transport infrastructure at the Special Economic Zone in the border town of Mae Sot, Tak Province, has progressed by 50% and should be completed by 2018 as planned.

The progress was reported to the Infrastructure and Customs House Sub-committee for the Special Economic Zone chaired by Transport Minister Prajin Juntong yesterday.

Permanent Secretary for Transport Soythip Traisuthi said the first and second sections of the Trat-Mae Sot highway have been completed. The third section is under construction while the last section is pending budget allocation of 1,100 million baht.

The construction of a bridge across Moei River worth 3,900 million baht which is a joint project between Thailand and Myanmar, has been allocated with the necessary budget. The project is expected to be completed in 2018. Meanwhile, the budget for the construction of Mae Sot Airport and passenger terminals has also been approved.

The meeting also confirmed its plan to build truck resting zone and service centers nationwide in anticipation of the growing logistics sector under the AEC. The Sub-committee plans to impose two such zones by 2016. One in Noan Sung District, Nakhon Ratchasima and the other might be somewhere in Nong Sarai District in the same province.

Mrs.Soythip said the progress report will be submitted to the meeting of the Policy Committee on Special Economic Zone Development next week.


Artificial rainmaking mission expedited to raise water levels in dams

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is encouraging the public to conserve water, as it tries to keep consumption under control.

Permanent Secretary of Agriculture and Cooperatives Chavalit Chookajorn said the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation has been instructed to perform cloud seeding operations to increase water levels in dams across the country.

The rainmaking operations are intended to maintain a steady supply for agricultural use during the summer and for the next rice growing season.

The department will launch operations from its 11 regional units, which cover most parts of the country. More than 2,000 flights have been made in 58 provinces since March this year to create artificial rain.


Bangkok to experience wet weather conditions over the next two days

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Meteorological Department indicated that Bangkok and southern provinces will experience precipitation over the next two days.

Meteorologists said the southwesterly wind is gaining strength in the Andaman Sea and the southeasterly wind has covered the North and Northeast. The two fronts will bring heavy rain, particularly to the western areas of the South.

People are warned to be prepared when leaving home. Bangkok residents can also expect wet weather conditions over the next few days.

Fishermen planning to disembark in the Andaman Sea should proceed with caution, as waves are forecast to reach heights of 2-3 meters.


Yasothon sees huge turnout for World Blood Donor Day

YASOTHON, 18 June 2015 (NNT) A large number of donors in Yasothon province participated in the blood drive held to commemorate World Blood Donor Day.

Yasothon Governor Prawat Thitakaew presided over the opening ceremony of the event, which saw participation from many donors.

The governor explained that June 14 commemorates the birth of Dr. Karl Landsteiner, creator of the ABO blood group system. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the World Health Organization (WHO) has marked June 14 of as the annual "World Blood Donor Day".

This year, China was assigned to host a remembrance of Dr. Karl Landsteiner. Meanwhile, Thailand has organized the commemorative blood drive for 12 years. This year, the slogan was "Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters." Thailand has encouraged blood donations every three months, claiming blood donations are good for one's health.

This year's blood drive saw almost 500 donors participating.


New driver license is valid in ASEAN member countries

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of Land Transport (DLT) said a new driving license is being produced that can be used in the ten ASEAN nations.

Drivers with the new license will be able to drive their cars in ASEAN member states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

An image of a Thai flag is displayed on the front of the card with a seven-color watermark of the DLT emblem in the background. Next to the flag is a symbol that represents the province in which the card was issued. The card also comes complete with a holographic sticker. The department disclosed that there is a unique characteristic of the licenses that prevents forgery.

The driver’s information will be displayed on the card in both Thai and English with a photo of the driver, the issue and expiry date, and the province of origin.

There will be a magnetic strip at the back that contains information on certain driving restrictions, a picture of a car that has been registered with the department, the driver's home address, and the authorization signature of a DLT official.


CDC still thinks non-MP can be considered as PM

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) says it still backs the provision allowing for a non-MP Prime Minister, if he or she receives two-thirds of the vote in Parliament.

CDC Chairman Borwonsak Uwanno says the CDC will begin the process of reviewing suggestions from the National Reform Council and the Cabinet in revising the new constitution starting June 24.

He said the majority of the CDC are still of the opinion that a non-MP can be nominated to the office of Prime Minister. However, he or she must obtain two-thirds of the vote from Parliament.

Regarding the powers of the Prime Minister, the CDC will review Sections 181 and 182 and will most likely omit provisions that would lead to controversy.

The two sections give the Prime Minister the power to call for a confidence vote from Parliament to reaffirm his or her legitimacy, as well the power to issue executive orders on matters of national interest.


Chiang Rai to promote Phaya Phi Phak Forest Park as major historical attraction

CHIANG RAI, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Various government agencies in Chiang Rai province have convened a meeting to discuss plans to promote the little-known Phaya Phi Phak Forest Park as an important historical attraction.

Army Region 3 and related agencies have planned to develop the national park into a must-see tourist attraction in Chiang Rai, highlighting its forest landscape and historical importance.

In the past, Phaya Phi Phak Forest Park was a battlefield between communist rebels and Thai soldiers during the decade-long Cold War. Their Majesties the King and Queen visited the strife-torn area to boost morale for the soldiers and villagers. During his visit, HM the King also bestowed his footprints, which are now kept in Mengrai Fort.

The project is intended to celebrate the 88th birthday anniversary of HM the King.


Government campaigns for environment-friendly policies

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The government has urged the public to practice environmentally-friendly behaviour through a series of green campaigns.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has placed great significance on environmental conservation and encourages people to make use of cloth bags and baskets instead of plastic bags. Department stores and grocery stores are to stop dispensing plastic bags on the 15th of every month.

The government has also launched a green card program as a nationwide pilot project. The privilege card allows people to receive benefits from purchasing products that are eco-friendly in department stores. The move aims to reduce the garbage production, as well as carbon dioxide emissions.

The Prime Minister has asked related agencies to continue organizing activities that instill environmental awareness in younger generations. One such youth-oriented activity is the "Magic Eyes" program by the Thai Environmental and Community Development Association, which aims at creating garbage free communities and school.


Satun drafts 5-year tourism development plan

SATUN, 18 June 2015, (NNT) Satun Governor Detrat Simsiri has met with the provincial Tourism and Sports office on drafting a five-year tourism development plan from 2016 - 2020 for the Andaman region.

The Permanent Secretary of Tourism and Sports has assigned five tourism development zones, which also include Satun’s Andaman waters. They require a development plan for the province and the tourism zone itself.

Two new committees were established during the meeting. These committees would be responsible for facilitating tourism promotion and policies in accordance with the five-year tourism development plan for Andaman Sea.

The meeting yesterday focused on the importance of various aspects of tourism, strategies, and vision & mission in tourism development, which must pave the way for for the ASEAN Economic Community.


Thap Salao Dam hits critical lows, Uthai Thani farmers face grim future

UTHAI THANI, 18 June 2015, (NNT) Officials at the Thap Salao Dam in Uthai Thani Province reported the reservoir only has 48.65 million cubic meters of water, of which 31.65 million cubic meter is usable.

The usable water must be allocated to Petch Namphueng Village of migrants for consumption and agricultural purposes.

Limited water resources would directly affect the farmers in districts of Lan Sak, Nong Chang, Thap Than, Nong Khayang, and Mueang, where pre-season farming is common.

Agricultural officials have warned farmers in these five districts that planting rice at this time risks water shortages. The dam had been unable to distribute water to the districts for over six months. Uthai Thani is now facing the most severe drought in a decade.

One of the farmers in Thap Than district has been forced to leave his land unplowed for over two years, due to lack of water. The farmer said the canal, which directly connect to Thap Salao Dam, has been dry most of the time. He faces the prospect of losing his farmland to pay off his debts, if he is unable to plant crops again this year.


Narathiwat welcomes home SEA Games Pencak Silat gold medalist

NARATHIWAT, 18 June 2015, (NNT) The southern province of Narathiwat yesterday welcomed home the 28th SEA Games Pencak Silat gold medalist, Adilan Chemaeng, with government officials and locals gathering to give a warm homecoming atmosphere.

Narathiwat Governor, Nuttapong Sirichana, said the province's residents were overjoyed that their favorite son had put the province on the map, a shining example for the younger generation to follow. He said Mr. Adilan's victory also coincided with the Province's centennial celebration.

The governor also awarded the gold medalist with a check for 50,000 baht.

According to the gold medalist,Adilan Chemaeng, he considered the gold medal as a present for Thailand and himself, crediting his victory to his vigorous training and determination. He also encouraged youths wishing to follow his path to take sport very seriously, adding that whatever kind of sport they took up would strengthen their body and their mind as well as keeping them away from drugs.


Army ready to facilitate Islamic practices during Ramadan

YALA, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Army Region 4 Commander Lt. Gen. Prakan Chonlayuth has reassured the southern Muslim people of the Army’s readiness to facilitate their activities during the holy month of Ramadan.

He told newsmen that, after a recent meeting with local Muslim leaders and government officials on the matter, the Army has adjusted its security patrolling protocols especially after late night praying session. Officials would also relax checkpoint inspection, to facilitate Muslims returning home from mosques. The commander said the security plans have been adjusted to better conform to the Islamic religious codes.

Lt. Gen. Prakan also mentioned about the program to draw villagers’ participation in ensuring security on public roads, saying the government has raised understanding with locals resulting in several hundreds of them supporting the joint patrol scheme. The regional army chief was of the opinion that the joint patrols should further cement the sense of security among the residents during Ramadan.


Restrooms at train stations to be renovated within 150 days

BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Restrooms at 77 train stations throughout the country are slated to be improved, as only 57% of toilets at train stations meet current standards.

Minister of Public Health Rajata Rajatanavin, Minister of Transport Prajin Juntong and Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul on Wednesday jointly launched a project for the improvement of restrooms at train stations. The aim of the project is for the restrooms to meet the HAS standard that was developed by the Ministry of Public Health in 2005. The project will also promote correct and hygienic use of toilets.

70% of public restrooms currently meet the HAS standard, but only 57% of restrooms at train stations are up to standard. The project will be piloted at 77 train stations that are determined to be of significance to tourism. Some of the stations are Hua Lamphong station, Lampang station, Chumphon station, Trang station and Buriram station. The restrooms at the target stations are to be renovated within 150 days.


Khao Kheow Zoo invites visitors to watch migratory Pelicans

CHONBURI, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Khao Kheow Open Zoo is inviting the general public to enjoy the pelicans, which have migrated to the zoo during the rainy season.

A large group of Spot-billed Pelicans were seen flocking to the reservoir of Khao Kheow Open Zoo’s Botanical Garden to catch small fish alongside the resident painted storks, forming a spectacular sight. The coexistence between the two groups of bird occurs yearly from June - August and can be found only at Khao Kheow Open Zoo.

Spot-billed Pelican or grey pelican is a type of large water bird. It can grow to a length of 140 centimeters. A Spot-billed Pelican has a large, expandable throat pouch which can scoop up fish from the surface of the water. The birds can be found in India, Eastern China, and Southeast Asian countries. Spot-billed Pelican is listed as an endangered species under Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, BE 2535.

The bird-watching activity is available two times a day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Those interested can call 038-318444 or visit the zoo's website at www.kkopenzoo.com for more information.


20 provinces likely to face severe rain and storm this week

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Interior has warned provinces in the central, eastern, and southern region to brace for potential flood, storm, and landslide disasters due to the expected strong winds and heavy rain during 17-21 June 2015.

The Minister of Interior Gen Anupong Paojinda has revealed that the strong southwest monsoon wind will pass over Thailand and the Andaman Sea, causing heavy rain in the central, eastern, and the western part of the southern part of Thailand. This monsoon rain is also expected to increase the potential of flood, storm, and landslide disasters in the areas.

Rough seas are also expected in the Andaman and the upper part of the Gulf of Thailand with waves expected to be at 2-3 meters high during the monsoon period.

Governors of the affected provinces, namely Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Pathum Thani, Phetchaburi, Ratchaburi, Sa Kaeo, Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Rayong, Trat, Prachinburi, Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi, Phuket, and Trang, are to take precaution measures and to prepare for the potential disasters. Disaster prevention and mitigation plans should be prepared on the provincial level to cope with all disaster situations that may occur.

On this matter, the Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Chatchai Promlert has warned the public living in the potential risk areas to closely monitor the weather forecast and obey authorities' disaster warnings.

The public in the risk areas should be vigilant for any uncommon environmental signs, while small vessels should refrain from sailing out to sea, and all captains and crews should be extra cautious while navigating at sea during this time.

The DDPM Director-General has also mentioned that the affected public can request for help by calling the 24-hour 1784 security hotline.


National Police chief backs legal casinos

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The National Police chief has voiced his personal support for legalizing casinos, as suggested by a group of National Reform Council (NRC) members.

Shrugging off a possible outcry from activists, National Police Chief Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang said that gambling is a favorite pastime for many people, including Thais. He revealed that he would hold a press conference to make his position official one month before his retirement.

According to Pol Gen Somyot, the launch of legal casinos will enable other industries such as hotels and restaurants, tourism and service to enjoy higher revenue, thanks to the country’s geographical advantage compared to other destinations with legalized gambling. The National Police chief affirmed he would make his own website to seek the public’s opinions and suggestions on this issue.

As for the crime-prevention measures, Pol Gen Somyot suggested that all visitors be photographed and recorded in a database prior to entering a gambling establishment. To enhance income distribution, all casinos will be off limits to nearby residents. The National Police chief said part of income from legal casinos would be spent on development projects in various areas, such as education reform and social restructuring.


Citizen’s group objects to legislation approved without public participation

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) A citizen’s network for Thai energy reform has expressed opposition to both the Petroleum Act and the Income Tax Act approved by the Prime Minister.

The group submitted their objection in writing to the Prime Minister's Office, arguing that both pieces of legislation were approved by the Cabinet without first publicizing their details to the public or seeking the public’s input.

The group therefore asked the Prime Minister to withdraw the two acts from the Council of State’s consideration in order to restart the deliberation process with public participation.


Entrance fee to national parks to be halved until end of year

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is expected to slash entrance fees to national parks in half from July 1- December 31.

The department it was part of government policy to promote domestic tourism. The entrance fee to national parks across the country will be halved, except for on weekends and national holidays, until the end of this year.

The department said the goal is to encourage local tourists to visit destinations in the Kingdom, particularly business owners, pensioners and students who can travel during weekdays.

The department added that 147 national parks in Thailand are ecosystems with unique wildlife and are considered national treasures. Local and international visitors need to abide by park rules for their own safety and to protect their natural surroundings. For more information, those interested can visit www.dnp.go.th.


Alcohol-related mental disorders on the rise in Thailand

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) According to the Department of Mental Health’s latest survey, the number of alcohol-related mental disorders is on the rise in Thailand.

The department conducted the national mental health survey every five years to study the link between psychiatric disorders and substance abuse. This year’s survey was conducted on nearly 5,000 subjects aged over 18 across Thailand during July and September of 2013.

The survey found that the prevalence of Thais with mental problems is at 1.9 percent or 1 million people. In this group, 1.8 percent or 900,000 people suffer from depression while 1.6 million people suffer from anxiety. Around 500,000 adults have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The alarming discovery in the survey is the fact that the prevalence of alcohol drinkers with mental issues is 19.6 percent or 10.1 million people. Compared to other countries around the world, Thailand tops the list, followed by Ukraine, the US, South Africa and Japan.

Alcohol can contribute to the development of mental health problems, as well as exacerbating pre-existing mental health difficulties. It can also reduce inhibitions for an individual to act on suicidal thoughts, which they may not have done if not under the influence of alcohol.


Advocate group calls for Universal Design to be included in new constitution

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) An advocate group for the interests of the disabled has petitioned the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) to push for the new constitution’s guarantee of universal design.

CDC Chairman Prof Borwonsak Uwanna yesterday received the petition from the network of volunteers for the disabled and the elderly as well as university design ambassadors. The group called for the inclusion of the word “universal design” in section 295 of the new constitution in order to ensure the rights of the disabled, arguing that the inclusion would coincide with the new constitution’s agenda of reducing social inequality by providing physically-challenged persons with equal access to facilities and resources.

Prof Borwonsak welcomed the petition, saying that words such as “universal design” and “citizen empowerment” serve as a paradigm shift towards a humanist constitution that emphasizes the importance of individual rights and equality.

Universal design refers to the international standards of designing information, products, facilities and services in a way that is accessible for all participants, including the elderly and the disabled.


PM urges related agencies to work out water management plans amidst drought crisis

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha has instructed all agencies in charge agriculture and natural resources to develop measures to help farmers during the drought crisis.

According to PM Office Spokesperson Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, Gen Prayut suggested that related agencies prepare measures to help farmers, such as employment assistance, water-saving agriculture and increased use ground water.

However, Col Sansern said the premier cautioned those in charge of artesian water to map out the utilization plan carefully. Ground water must not exceed 50 percent of resources; otherwise topsoil would be badly affected. The agencies responsible for the artesian water resources are to submit their management plans in the next meeting of committee members of economic ministers.

Meanwhile, the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute revealed that rice farming in 22 provinces must be delayed for another month due to the severe dry season. The institute added that water in major dams, including Bhumibol Dam, Sirikit Dam and Pasak Chollasit Dam had dropped to critical levels. In the central region, the remaining water for consumption and farming may last only 30 days.


Disaster mitigation agencies to be on high alert for monsoon on Jun 17-21

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Prime Minister has instructed disaster mitigation agencies to be on high alert in preparation for the southwestern monsoon expected to make landfall between June 17-21.

According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sensern Kaewkamnerd, Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has instructed the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and local agencies to come up with measures for personnel on site to carry out relief efforts immediately in the event of flooding, hurricane and landslides. Areas at risk of such disasters include the central, eastern and southwestern regions of Thailand.

The Meteorological department has forecast a southwestern monsoon to make landfall in Thailand between June 17-21, causing heavy rainfall in several areas.

Relaying the Prime Minster’s message, the deputy spokesperson said the premiere is truly concerned with residents in risk-prone areas, and has given orders to local agencies and the military to aid those affected as swiftly as possible.

The local disaster prevention and mitigation agencies put on high alert are in the provinces of Pathum Thani, Suphan Buri, Prachinburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chanthaburi, Nonthaburi, Phuket, Nakhon Pathom, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Sa Kaeo, Samut Prakan, Chonburi, Rayong, Trat, Phetchaburi, Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang and Bangkok.


FPO:Low tax collection drags down state revenue

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) has reported that the government missed its revenue target for the first eight months of the fiscal year due to disappointing tax collection.

According to FPO Director Kritsada Jinavijarana, the amount of state revenue collected between October 2014 and May 2015 was recorded at 1.37 trillion baht, lower than the target by 56.5 billion baht or 4 percent. The figure, however, represented an increase from the same period of last year by 1.1 percent.

The Director attributed the missed revenue target to several tax-related factors, elaborating that the amount of corporate income tax collected was affected by the economic slowdown while value-added tax and income tax on petroleum were unsatisfactory due to the downtrend of crude oil prices. Moreover, car excise tax collection remained sluggish as the demand for vehicles had not recovered. Import tariff was also down as a result of the tariff reduction measure aimed at boosting the manufacturing sector.

During the eight-month period, the Revenue Department could collect 1.02 trillion baht and the Customs Department 76.9 billion baht, missing their targets by 10.1 percent and 5.9 percent respectively. The Excise Department, on the other hand, managed to bring in 295 billion baht, 4 percent higher than targeted.

Mr Kritsada affirmed that the total revenue, though disappointing, was still within the Finance Ministry’s expectation. He said the ministry is now striving to find measures to manage state revenue collection more effectively in a bid to meet the annual target while ensuring that no extra burden is put on the general public and the business sector at the same time.


Government to support agricultural cooperatives

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Puengboon Na Ayutthaya has insisted that the government continues to back agricultural cooperatives.

The Cooperative Promotion Department has launched a new program that is aimed at strengthening the cooperative system in the country.

A new learning center has also been established to educate and inform cooperative members about how to successfully manage the 210 cooperatives in the country.

Mr. Pitipong added that under the policy, the government will focus on promoting fair treatment among members, solving agricultural debt, enhancing their competitiveness and establishing a farmer’s market in every province that is connected to a cooperative market.

The minister stated that agricultural cooperatives have remained stable, citing non-performing loans at present are holding below 4 percent.


Private sector supports govt in tackling IUU fishing and human trafficking

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Private companies in the fishing industry have expressed their support for government efforts to eradicate illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and human trafficking.

Deputy Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Poj Aramwattananont as well as six representatives from fishing associations and Charoen Pokphand Foods have announced their determination to support government policy to tackle IUU fishing and human trafficking under law.

Under the agreement, they will not purchase seafood and will terminate buying contracts with suppliers found to have violated human rights or the Fisheries Act 2015.

Dr. Poj assured that the issues surrounding IUU fishing and human trafficking have not affected the export of seafood from Thailand. However, these issues have shed a negative light on the nation.

However, he added that there remained some private companies that did not support the government’s efforts. The Deputy Chairman said that he believed the European Union and the United States will develop a more positive outlook towards Thailand and its ranking on the Human Trafficking Watch List will improve.


Flood prevention plan reinforced in Bang Kapi business district

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Office of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is quickly trying to reinforce the flood prevention system the Bang Kapi business district.

Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra has recently inspected the drainage system at Khlong Lam Phang Phuai. The system is responsible for alleviating flooding on roads in Wang Thong Lang, Lat Phrao, Bueng Kum, and Bang Kapi districts.

Meanwhile, BMA Deputy Permanent Secretary Attaporn Suwattanadeja has traveled to Dusit district and its surrounding areas to observe the flood prevention operation, as the area is considered high risk for flooding.

BMA officials have been instructed to respond to any flooding situation within 24 hours. Deputy Army Spokesperson Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said the army will be ready to dispatch troops alongside BMA officers to assist people affected by inundation in the capital and its vicinity.


Prachinburi holds disaster prevention drill

PRACHINBURI, 17 June 2015, (NNT) Prachinburi province yesterday held a disaster drill, preparing officials and local residents for any possible emergency in the future.

The event was presided over by the provincial Public Health Office chief and the Vice Governor. The exercise simulated building collapse, fire, and chemical spills. It was held at the SSDC (Tigertex) Co. Ltd. building in Sahaphat Industrial Estate of Kabinburi District, with the participation of the company's management and staff.

The drill yesterday aimed at preparing related officials for worst case scenarios, familiarizing them with related equipment, and responding appropriately to each disaster case. The practice also helped prepare factory workers for evacuation in cases of emergency.

Participating officials are expected to develop a deeper understanding about search and rescue operations in the event of a fire or chemical spill.


Low rice prices may force millers to shutdown operations

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015, (NNT) Thai Rice Mill Association President Manus Kitprasert has expressed concern that the prolonged low rice price in Thailand could force many rice mill operators to exit the market.

Mr. Manus also predicted that the 3rd round of government rice auctions, which would be held soon, is unlikely to attract the attention of entrepreneurs. He attributed the low demand for rice as the main reason behind the low price, despite a 30-50 percent reduced harvest caused by drought.

Of more than 100 rice mill operators affected by the low rice price issue, several have been forced to shut down operations.

Currently, the price of 15 percent water content rice is in the range of 7,500 - 7,700 baht per ton, down from the previous 8,000 - 8,500 baht per ton. Farmers' average selling price is around 6,700 - 7,000 baht per ton.


Min of Agriculture and Cooperatives only allows rice to be grown on 3.4 million rai for now

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has advised farmers that the irrigated water supply to over 3.4 million rai of rice paddies won't be affected by the decision to reduce the amount of water released from four major dams.

The Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Puengboon Na Ayutthaya said many farmers who have not yet begun to grow rice have been asked to postpone their rice planting until the end of July.

The Royal Irrigation Department had decided to lower the amount of water released into the irrigation system by half two days earlier. There is a total of 7.4 million rai of farmland in 22 provinces which receive an irrigated water supply from the Chao Praya River.

Around four million rai will have to wait until there is enough rain at the end of next month to grow rice. The Minister said the remaining farmers need to be aware of the current situation and follow the advice being given.

The Department of Royal Artificial Rain-making and Agricultural Aviation has been advised to monitor the weather conditions. It will then be ready to launch a rain making operation to increase the water levels in the dams whenever needed.


NRC endorses draft bill on town and country planning and use of space

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The National Reform Council (NRC) has endorsed the draft bill on town and country planning and use of space, with the intention of benefiting economic development in the long-run.

The NRC convened on Tuesday and endorsed the draft law on urban planning, and a draft bill detailing adjustments to ministries and departments for the purpose of ensuring that town and country planning and utilization of space proceeds in the same direction. The latter bill calls for the establishment of a town and country planning policy committee, to be chaired by the prime minister. The committee will also issue urban planning policies aimed at sustainable and optimal development of available land, with the ultimate purpose of benefiting the economy in the long-term.

Most members of the NRC approved of the draft bills. Some members also recommended a revision to stipulations that call for members of the town and country planning policy committee to become officials of the Prime Minister's Office. They also asked for the agendas of border area development and border area special economic zones to be included in the bills.


Credit card spending continues to expand despite sluggish economy

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Credit card spending continues to expand despite the slugging economic recovery, according to Krungthai Card Public Company Limited (KTC).

According to Natchanan Kengluecha, KTC's executive vice president for distribution business, since the beginning of the year, monthly spending through KTC cards has increased from an average of close to 6,000 baht per month per customer to some 8,000 baht per month per customer. The 11% expansion was higher than the 8% average increase within the credit cards industry. This was despite the fact that less leniency is now involved in the approval process for new credit cards, due to the high level of household debt and heightened overall debt shouldered by customers.

Ms. Natchanan indicated that non-performing loans at KTC stood at 2.4%, 1.6% of which could be attributed to credit cards and the rest was attributable to personal loans. The figures were lower than industry average.

For the latter half of 2015, KTC will emphasize the expansion of its customer bases in major cities up-country as well as in areas of economic significance along the border. The target is to acquire another 400,000 customers.


Novel sales methods employed by lottery ticket sellers amid crackdown on overpricing

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Amid the government's crackdown on overpriced lottery tickets, several novel sales promoting methods were employed by lottery ticket sellers on the day of the lottery draw on Tuesday.

In Chiang Mai, each lottery ticket stall had a clear sign indicating an 80 baht price for each ticket. Some sellers were giving out to buyers one egg per each ticket purchased, while other sellers promised to buy back tickets after the draw for two baht each.

In Sukhothai's downtown area, many people were buying tickets ahead of the afternoon draw. A huge throng of people gathered around the stall of a seller who was selling at just 75 baht a ticket, under the condition that buyers pick their tickets randomly from a bowl.

In Uthai Thani and Yala, most sellers were found to be in compliance of the 80 baht per ticket policy. However, many reportedly were unable to sell tickets with undesirable numbers. Some resorted to offering discount on such tickets, to avoid incurring leftover tickets before the draw.


Cabinet nods to draft Nay Pyi Taw Declaration

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has given the green light to the draft Nay Pyi Taw Declaration of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).

Following the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Weerachon Sukontapatipak revealed that approval has been granted to the draft Nay Pyi Taw Declaration and the draft ACMECS Action Plan for 2016-2018. The two documents are scheduled to be signed by member states at the 6th ACMECS Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar this June 22 and 23.

The signing will result in the enhancement of members’ cooperation in eight areas, namely trade and investment, agriculture, industry and energy, transport connectivity, tourism, human resources development, public health and environment.

ACMECS is a regional political, economic and cultural organization comprised of five member states located along the Ayeyawady, Chao Phraya and Mekong Rivers, which are Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.


NLA to visit Loey & Udon Thani on Jun 20-21

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) will visit Loei and Udon Thani provinces on June 20-21 to study their plans to expand its airport as a regional customs and tourism hub.

The event was planned by the Secretariat of the Senate, which also intends on developing a customs and bypass route in Loei, as well as addressing traffic problems in Udon Thani.

The Secretariat has invited the residents of both provinces to a public hearing, in order for the NLA to take stakeholder opinions into consideration.


Dept of Disease Control issues travel guidelines in response to MERS

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of Disease Control has invited agencies in the tourism sector to discuss the prevention of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and has issued travel guidelines for citizens traveling abroad.

The Secretary-General of the Disease Control Department Sophon Mekthon noted the large number of Thai Muslims making the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Mr Sophon urged those traveling abroad to adhere to the department’s guidelines of disease prevention.

The guidelines urge travelers to refrain from drinking camel milk or coming into contact with wild animals and humans with respiratory illnesses, and to adhere to local health regulations and seek medical attention immediately after returning from high-risk areas.

Mr Sophon said his department will take preventive measures by vaccinating those who will undertake the pilgrimage.

Meanwhile, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) has revealed that a number of Thai travelers have canceled their planned trips to South Korea. However, South Korean tourists will continue to travel to Thailand as usual. The ATTA has therefore called on related tour companies to strictly screen their incoming customers.


Korat to build 30m baht bike lane

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 16 June 2015 (NNT) Nakhon Ratchasima Province is planning to construct bicycle lanes to promote eco-tourism, said governor in a conference.

The Governor of Nakhon Ratchasima Thongchai Lueadul today presided over the conference detailing the construction project of bicycle lanes unveiling the project’s background and design ideas, allowing related agencies to send in feedback, comments and suggestions on the project.

The 30 million baht 10.1 kilometre bicycle lane project will connect tourism attractions in Nakhon Ratchasima Province such as the Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo and the Korat Fossil Museum, as well as connecting to the tourism attractions in Wang Nam Khiao District.

The bicycle lane project is proposed to be located along the right side of Highway No. 304 Don Khwang - Pho Klang on the section between the 286 833 milestone and the 296 940 milestone. It will promote exercise and tourism on bicycles, provide safety for cyclist and prevent bicycle accidents, reduce pollution, reduce oil consumption, and promote eco-tourism.


Governor checks water drainage capability in eastern Bangkok

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Governor of Bangkok is checking the drainage capacity of the water pumps and central canal in Bang Kapi district in Bangkok today, while requesting each districts to perform garbage cleanup every Sundays.

The Governor of Bangkok, Sukhumbhand Paribatra and executives of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) today checked the Khlong Lam Phang Phuai Canal water pump station in Soi Ladprao 101, Bang Kapi District, Bangkok.

The Governor said that the area in Soi Ladprao 101 is considered flood-prone as it is a low area, while the only water drainage canal serving the area is equipped to sustain inundations during heavy rainfalls. Therefore, the BMA has addressed this issue by constructing a water pump station to facilitate the drainage of excess water.

The Khlong Lam Phang Phuai Canal water pump station is capable of draining eight cubic meters of water per second, and is one of fifteen water drainage development projects in Bangkok. The Khlong Lam Phang Phuai Canal water pump station serves the 100 square meter area that covers the Wangthonglang District, Ladprao District, Bueng Kum District, and Bang Kapi District.

The governor also said that he has appointed all district chiefs to oversee the collection of discarded garbage every Sunday, with a special assistance request extended to the residents of communities residing next to canals and rivers.

The 2.5 kilometer long Khlong Lam Phang Phuai Canal is connected to the Bueng Lam Phang Phuai Lake that is a retention basin, capable of holding 200,000 to 403,970 cubic meters of water, before it is released into the Chao Phraya River through canals and drainage tunnels.


Seismological Bureau visits Chiang Rai to provide local networks with earthquake information

CHIANG RAI, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Seismological Bureau of the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) has paid a visit to Chiang Rai province to educate locals and build disaster response networks, especially for earthquakes.

TMD Deputy Director Putchapong Nodthaisong presided over the opening ceremony of a training session for earthquake preparedness.

The event was attended by operators of the Northern Meteorological Center, meteorological stations in earthquake-prone areas, and the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, as well as members of the press.

The training session aimed to build a network of cooperation on earthquake response and preparation. The public was urged to develop skills pertaining to damage estimation and to follow news reports closely during a crisis.

Mr. Putchapong said that despite Thailand being a low-risk country, it is not completely safe from earthquake disasters. Quakes are considered unpredictable compared to other kinds of natural disasters.


NRC to review its plan of action in its final two months

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The National Reform Council (NRC) has been discussing its plan of action, after an amendment was introduced to disband the council once it votes on the new constitution.

The Cabinet recently submitted an amendment proposal to the 2014 interim constitution stating the NRC must disband regardless of its verdict on the new constitution. This leaves the NRC with two months to do its work.

Due to this change, NRC Chairman Thienchay Kirananda said NRC must clearly define its goals and workflow leading up to its deadline.

He said the NRC still needs to deliberate approximately 30 reform laws, but would realistically conclude only 15-20 bills. The remaining proposals would need to be deliberated by the government, the National Legislative Assembly and the new committee for the mobilization of national reform agendas.


CDC Spokesman:denies influence of possible NRC veto on charter drafting

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has said that rumors of the National Reform Council (NRC) striking down the draft constitution have not affected the committee's work.

CDC spokesman Gen Lertrat Ratanavanich said it is commonplace for differing viewpoints to be expressed in a collaboration between several people. Each individual is entitled to his or her own opinion.

Gen Lertrat said it remains uncertain whether the NRC will pass the revised draft charter, adding that neither outcome would surprise him.

Regarding speculation that the reform body will strike down the draft charter, the CDC spokesman confirmed it would not bias the work of the committee.

The CDC will soon convene a meeting to discuss a possible revision of the 2014 interim constitution, in order to extend the committee’s term in office for another 30 days. The CDC believes it would allow its members to complete their mandate to draft a new constitution.

The spokesperson assured the public that the CDC will be able to complete the drafting of organic laws before the promulgation of the new constitution.

He declined to comment on the controversial issue pertaining to the extension of the prime minister’s term for another two years. However, Gen Lertrat expressed his personal belief that everyone has good intentions for this country and that no one wants to stay in power for too long, especially when peace and unity have been restored.


MOU to promote quality farm produce on THAI Airways flights

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Transport has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives on promoting local farm produce in the meals offered on flights by THAI Airways.

Both Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Puengboon Na Ayutthaya and Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong presided over the MOU signing ceremony.

The agreement was signed by the permanent secretaries of both ministries. The MOU is aimed at promoting the quality of fresh food produced and processed by Thai farmers, and featured in the meals served to passengers on THAI Airways flights.

The airline will also serve as a marketing channel for farm products, the quality of which has been verified by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. It is expected to generate interest among foreign tourists and eventually encourage them to travel locally to visit fruit and vegetable orchards.

The move is said to be in line with the government’s agricultural tourism policy that is aimed at raising the living standard of the country's farmers.


Samut Songkhram municipality initiates garbage management campaigns

SAMUT SONGKHRAM, 16 June 2015, (NNT) Samut Songkhram province unveiled garbage disposal plans for its Muang Municipality, hoping to eliminate litter with cooperation from the public.

The municipality’s waste disposal campaigns include a program to trade garbage for eggs, to exchange dangerous waste for discount credit, and to hand out water treatment solutions.

These campaigns fall under the government's garbage disposal policy. They address issues of increasing trash and inappropriate garbage disposal.

Muang Samut Songkhram has been promoting proper waste disposal practices since 2008. The administration is currently handling 31 tons of garbage daily. It pays a private company more than 10 million baht to deal with the trash. Only 38.46 percent of its garbage can be recycled.


Udon Thani inspects its secondary employment program for farmers during dry season

UDON THANI, 16 June 2015, (NNT) Udon Thani Vice Governor Narong Pola-aid has inspected the province’s programs to help local farmers in Wangsammor District find supplementary income during this year's drought season.

According to district officials, there are eight governmental projects that employ farmers from six sub-districts affected by drought.

These projects include the construction of water reservoirs, flood barriers, wells, freshwater aquaculture, irrigation centers, a farmer's market, a rice mill, and a learning center.

The eight projects have disbursed 3.2 million baht or 53 percent of their six-million-baht budget, a portion of which is spent to hire the local drought-affected farmers.


MFA to continue to assist Thai students detained in Pakistan

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has said the Thai government is doing its best to assist 5 Thai students detained in Pakistan for allegedly trying to bring a firearm onto the plane.

According to the MFA Permanent Secretary, Norachit Singhaseni, the Thai embassy in the Pakistani capital city of Islamabad has already been in touch with the Thai students and the Pakistani authorities.

Mr. Norachit said the MFA will continue to follow the legal procedure in Pakistan and provide whatever assistance they can for the Thai students. He added that carrying a weapon onto the airplane is illegal, with or without ill intent, in Pakistan.

If they are to be tried in the court of law, the MFA will retain a lawyer for them, too. The MFA can only assure that they are well-treated as stated by the law, while they remain under the Pakistani authority.


Tak Primary Educational Service Area Office 2 vow to help first graders to read and write

TAK, 16 June 2015, (NNT) Tak Primary Educational Service Area Office 2 yesterday held a teacher seminar, discussing the result of the Brain Based Learning (BBL) techniques among the 1,000 teachers and school board members attending the event.

BBL refers to teaching methods, lesson designs, and school programs that are based on the latest scientific research on how the brain learns. Recent discoveries in cognitive science have revealed that the human brain physically changes when it learns, and that after practicing certain skills, it becomes increasingly easier to continue learning.

Earlier the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) has set a goal to help all first graders in the area learn to read and write within a year through the use of Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTV), Digital Learning and Instructional Technology (DLIT), and the BBL techniques.

The attendees are expected to be able to implement the technique on their first grade students, helping them to read and write, in accordance with the OBEC’s policy.


CDC’s spokesman calls for reform of electoral system

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The spokesman of the Constitution Drafting Committee has suggested that the National Reform Council should introduce the reform of the country’s electoral system.

Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich, spokesman of the CDC and member of the NRC, on Monday joined in a debate over the report from the reform council’s political reform committee.

Gen. Lertrat said that the reform of the electoral system must start with the composition of the Election Commission, which should comprise 13 members who represent different groups.

He added that there should be more efforts to encourage more public participation, which is essential for the future success of Thai politics, given the people are always the heart of the political reform.

Gen. Lertrat’s opinions were in line with that of his fellow NRC member, Sungsidh Piriyarangsan, who added that any organization tasked with the investigation of political agencies and office holders must be really independent and free from intervention.


PTT to allow handicapped lottery ticket sellers to sell in petrol stations

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Government Lottery Office (GLO) has signed an agreement with PTT Plc. for the latter to allow lottery ticket vendors to sell tickets in PTT petrol stations without having to pay rent.

According to the agreement, eligible sellers will be selected by the governor of each province, with priority being given to the handicapped and small sellers. The scheme will be implemented for one year, after which an evaluation will be carried out.

Major General Aphirat Khongsomphong, chairman of the GLO's board, expressed confidence that current measures to ensure the sale of lottery tickets at 80 baht will be successful. He said 60-70% of lottery tickets sellers have been selling them at 80 baht per ticket. In addition to fining sellers that violate the 80 baht price policy, authorities are also tracing the overpriced lottery tickets to lottery wholesalers who are mainly responsible for the overpricing.


Provincial governors asked to encourage people to save water

BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The government is seeking public cooperation in conserving water during the current period, as rainfall is still scarce and the amount of water held in reservoirs continues to dwindle.

Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the deputy government spokesman, revealed on Monday that all provincial governors have been asked to encourage the public to conserve water, for their own benefit. He indicated that water conservation was currently needed in order to prevent disruptions to daily activities and to preserve the available water reserve in reservoirs.

Farmers have been asked to delay the planting of water-intensive crops until normal levels of rainfall return. According to Maj. Gen. Sansern, most farmers have cooperated and switched to crops that demanded less water. However, farmers who failed to follow the recommendation of officials have begun to see damage to their crops as a result of the lack of water.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Prachinburi holds disaster prevention drill

Low rice prices may force millers to shutdown operations

Min of Agriculture and Cooperatives only allows rice to be grown on 3.4 million rai for now

NRC endorses draft bill on town and country planning and use of space

Credit card spending continues to expand despite sluggish economy

Novel sales methods employed by lottery ticket sellers amid crackdown on overpricing

Cabinet nods to draft Nay Pyi Taw Declaration

NLA to visit Loey & Udon Thani on Jun 20-21

Dept of Disease Control issues travel guidelines in response to MERS

Korat to build 30m baht bike lane

Governor checks water drainage capability in eastern Bangkok

Seismological Bureau visits Chiang Rai to provide local networks with earthquake information

NRC to review its plan of action in its final two months

CDC Spokesman:denies influence of possible NRC veto on charter drafting

MOU to promote quality farm produce on THAI Airways flights

Samut Songkhram municipality initiates garbage management campaigns

Udon Thani inspects its secondary employment program for farmers during dry season

MFA to continue to assist Thai students detained in Pakistan

Tak Primary Educational Service Area Office 2 vow to help first graders to read and write

CDC’s spokesman calls for reform of electoral system

PTT to allow handicapped lottery ticket sellers to sell in petrol stations

Provincial governors asked to encourage people to save water

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