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TV Operators request a deadline extension for Digital TV auction payment

 BANGKOK, 17 Feb 2015 (NNT) Digital TV operators has submitted a petition to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) calling for postponement of the deadline for the auction payment of the digital TV licenses originally set in May. They also asked the commission to consider changing the payment method to a flat rate.

The group also implored the NBTC to extend the license duration from 15 years to 20 years and amend the use of digital TV converter box coupons so that they could be used to redeem discount for satellite boxes as well. Furthermore, the commission was also asked to arrange channels in a uniform manner in all platforms.

After accepting the petition, NBTC Secretary-General Thakorn Tantasit said he would escalate the request to the Appeal Court and the Finance Ministry for their consideration. He speculated their decisions should be made by next month.

The current deadline for the auction payment of the digital TV licenses is set in May when all of the operators of 24 digital TV channels are obligated to pay a total of 8 billion baht in the 2nd installment of the auction fee to the commission.

Regarding the request to change the payment method to a flat rate, Mr. Thakorn said the NBTC would discuss the matter in its meeting tomorrow.


Next round of rice auction is set at the end of this month

BANGKOK, 17 Feb 2015, (NNT) The Commerce Ministry says the next round of rice auction is scheduled for the end of this month, expecting to sell no less than 1 million tons of rice.

According to Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikallaya, the administration managed to sell 496,000 tons out of 999,000 tons of rice during the first round of auction held on January 29th.of this year.

He said one of the bidders, a nominee from the Siam Indica Co.,LTD., had been disqualified from the deal, relinquishing its deal of 400,000 tons of rice. The rice released from the deal will be auctioned off in next round as well.

Earlier the National Anti Corruption Commission discovered that Siam Indica had been involved with a shady government-to-government rice deal.


NESDB: No signs of deflation despite negative inflation rate

BANGKOK, 17 Feb 2015 (NNT) According to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), there is no sign of deflation despite the minus 0.41% inflation rate last month, as the economic growth continues to show positive prospects.

NESDB Secretary-General Arkom Termpittayapisit yesterday said that the Government would implement appropriate monetary measures, such as benchmark rate adjustment, to prevent deflation, should the situation calls for such an intervention.

He said at the moment there is no need for the measure, but stated that close monitoring is mandatory.

Mr. Arkom said, to determine whether the nation is facing deflation, 2 major factors have to be considered -- inflation rate and economic growth. The Secretary-General said the lack of spending and money in the system would cause deflation. He pointed out that the Kingdom’s economy was expanding steadily, thus deflation was unlikely at the moment.


Bung Kan meat shopping slow despite upcoming Chinese New Year

BUENG KAN, 16 February 2015 (NNT) Consumer spending in Bueng Kan province has been sluggish ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations, while the price of one boiled pig’s head, a popular traditional dish, has risen to 600 baht.

The market in Muang district has been rather quiet, despite the upcoming Chinese New Year period. Fewer people visited the market, as the prices of all meats have increased.

Meanwhile, the price of pig head has increased by 10 baht to 70 baht per kilogram. This translates to a head fetching between 600-800 baht. The price is expected to increase further during the Chinese New Year period.

The holiday coincides with the Buddhist Holy Day, when pork is forbidden. The prices of pork and ground pork remained at 150 baht per kilogram.


Royal Irrigation Dept warns riverside communities of embankment collapse

CHAINAT, 16 February 2015 (NNT) The Office of Regional Irrigation 12 has issued warnings for riverside residents in Chainat, Uthai Thani and Nakonsawan against the collapse of riverbanks as the water levels have decreased.

According to the Office of Regional Irrigation 12 Director, Tarongkorn Somton, the water stored in Bhumipol, Sirkit and Kwae Noi dams at present is only enough for household consumption, ecosystems and vegetable growing. Advice against growing off season rice is still in place to prevent water shortages in summer.

The water levels in the dams built on the Chao Praya River are about 14.04 meters higher than the sea level, and are expected to go lower than 14 meters in coming days.

Mr. Tarongkorn said his office will try to keep the levels at higher than 14.30 meters, as any level lower than that will likely cause the riverbanks to collapse.

Warnings will also be issued to riverside communities, businesses, and fish farms in the river in order for them to be prepared for the lowering of the water levels to prevent damage to their properties or businesses.


Scattered rain forecast in Bangkok and its vicinity

BANGKOK, 16 February 2015 (NNT) Scattered precipitation has been forecast today and tomorrow in the lower parts of the Northeastern, Central and Eastern regions of Thailand.

The Meteorological Department announced that the temperatures in the North will vary between 12-17 degrees Celsius in the morning. The mountain tops will experience temperatures as low as 6 degrees Celsius.

Chilly mornings have been predicted in most parts of the Northeast, with only 10% of the region receiving precipitation. The mountain ranges in this region were forecast at between 11-13 degrees Celsius, while low-lying areas were forecast at 18-23 degrees Celsius.

Similar weather conditions can be expected in the Central Plain and the east coast, with lows ranging from 19-24 degrees Celsius. The weather bureau expected Bangkok and its vicinity to receive scattered showers today and tomorrow.

Meanwhile, only 10% of the South from Surat Thani onwards will see the rain.


NLA expected to pass amended Military Courts Bill

BANGKOK, 16 February (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is expected to approve the amended Military Court Charter Act on February 20th while assuring the public the expansion of military jurisdiction will not affect civilian rights.

NLA member Vice Admiral Kridsada Charoenpanich who is the secretary of the NLA subcommittee in charge of reviewing draft laws, confirmed that it was essential to pass the law as the amendments would update criminal court procedures to coincide with present times. He also confirmed that the proposed law had been in the works since before the seizing of power by the National Council for Peace and Order.

Articles in the proposed bill have raised the concerns of the United Nation’s Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, particularly article 46 which enables military commanders to detain suspects for up to 84 days.

Representatives from the European Union have also called on the government to stop prosecuting civilians in military courts.

Vice Admiral Kridsada, however, brushed off these criticisms, saying the military is authorized under martial law to put civilians through military tribunals and that the intentions of article 46 have been misunderstood. He said the provision is only meant for the detention of military personnel, and that it does not apply to the detention of civilians.

Vice Admiral Kridsada also dismissed calls by representatives of the European Union, saying the military has the authority to do as stipulated in martial law.

The secretary said that further clarifications will be made on the implications and guidelines of article 46 and will be presented to the main NLA assembly for consideration. Furthermore he revealed that the chairman of the subcommittee in charge of reviewing the draft law Admiral Wallop Kerdpol may issue a press release to further clarify the intention of the proposed bill before it is further deliberated at the NLA.


21 people honored with White Pigeons of the Southern Border Award

SONGKHLA, 16 February 2015 (NNT) At the conference hall of Maha Vajiravudh School in Muang District, Songkhla Province, 21 people who have been selected for the “White Pigeons of the Southern Border” Award for 2014 received their certificates and plaques of honor from the royal representative of Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali.

The award has been established by the Association for Peace in the Southern Border Provinces, to commemorate the International Day of Peace observed annually by the United Nations on 21 September. The award is given to those who have acted to promote sustainable peace or motivate people to become interested in setting peace as a priority for sustainable development.

Among the latest winners of the award are Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Mr. Prasith Meksuwan, Prof. Dr.Amra Pongsapitch, Mr. Waeduramae Mimingji and the Southern Border Situation Surveillance Center. On this occasion, Songkhla governor Thamrong Charoenkul, Royal Representative, also presented plaques of honor to 15 other people who have supported the organizing of the event. The ceremony was also accompanied by an exhibition of contemporary art supported by the South Free Art group and artists in the southern border provinces.


Suphanburi holds a seminar highlighting awareness of the AEC

SUPHANBURI, 16 Feb 2015, (NNT) Suphanburi Province yesterday held a seminar for its administrative staff, raising an awareness of the arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) due at the end of this year.

During the seminar, the province administrative office highlighted the importance of making connectivity in terms of infrastructure, transportation, energy cooperation, and economy. It also emphasized the public level cooperation, prospects of various Memorandum of Understanding on free labor movement, and visa exemption for member countries.

The event also discussed the effects of those issues on people from ASEAN nations' as well as those from third-party countries.

Suphanburi Provincial Administration has planned to improve the quality of its personnel in order to become part of the nation’s competent forces in her efforts to stay competitive when the time comes.


Wisanu chairs the launch of one-stop service center in Central World

BANGKOK, 16 Feb 2015, (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Kruangam on Saturday presided over the launch of the government’s one-stop service center at Central World in Ratchaprasong District of Bangkok.

According to the Deputy Minister, contacting government agencies is part of the life of all Thai citizens, given there are over 800 legal documents that a citizen may under the current law have to deal with at some point in time; for example, when filing petitions, getting marriage certificates, and many others.

Failure to obtain some of those documents is punishable by law, and some procedures are so complicated that they have often led to bribery. In some case, complex procedures have driven away would-be investors to the neighboring countries, causing loss of opportunity to the nation, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

The center is to handle most of the legal document works. It will be open daily from 11 am to 7 pm, said the Deputy Prime Minister. In addition to opening the service centers at department stores owned by Central Group, the administration plans to open these centers at 7-Eleven stores nationwide as well.

As Saturday was the day of love, Valentine's, the Minister also witnessed the marriage registrations of 3 couples at the newly opened center.


Security levels raised in Deep South ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations

YALA, 16 February 2015 (NNT) Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Region 4 has reinforced security in 7 major locations in Thailand’s Deep South ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

A check point has been set up in Yala with 6 soldiers checking every passing vehicle and individual entering Muang district from Yupo road.

The tighter security is aimed at preventing possible attacks on innocent lives from February 16th- 25th when Chinese descendants in the restive South are celebrating the special occasion.

ISOC Region 4 has instructed officers involved to keep their eyes on any insurgent movements and conduct a home search when deemed necessary.

The militants have reportedly been instigating violence continuously in the restive South. Reports have also revealed that they are planning to carry out more attacks in the future.


Most Thai teens see parents as ‘special someone’ on Valentine’s Day

BANGKOK, 13 February 2015 (NNT) A survey has shown that most Thai teenagers perceive their parents as the most special person during Valentine’s Day, while a youth seminar agrees on moral conduct and features volunteer activities for the international day of love, said the Culture Minister.

The Minister of Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat disclosed the findings from a nationwide survey conducted on 600 samples of teenagers aged between 15-20 on the topic of Valentine’s Day by the Cultural Surveillance Bureau and the Children and Youth Council of Thailand.

He has said that 98 percent of the results placed their parents as the most important persons during Valentine’s Day. The most desired thing on Valentine’s Day according to the survey are roses at 48 percent, followed by love and care at 36 percent.

On the question of what they want to give to their loved ones on Valentine’s Day, the most common answer are roses at 48 percent, and chocolate at 23 percent. Most teenagers are planning to spend 100-300 baht during the day at 42 percent, followed by 600-800 baht at 27 percent, according to the Minister of Culture.

The Culture Minister has also said a seminar was held with representatives from schools in Bangkok and nearby regions. The seminar agreed that Valentine’s Day should not be used as an excuse for teenagers to engage in inappropriate activities. The seminar's perspective on the notion of love was "giving" and "sacrificing".

Religious, charitable, and voluntary activities such as hosting meals at orphanages and elderly care centers have been held as well as the production of the animation film ‘Designable Love’ that will promote desirable values and behaviours for the youth during Valentine’s Day, added the Culture Minister.


OCPB monitors formalin contamination in flowers for Valentine’s Day

BANGKOK, 13 February 2015 (NNT) Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCBP) has monitored the flowers on sale during Valentine's Day for formalin contamination and found no contamination in the inspected flowers so far, said a government official.

The OCBP has inspected the flowers on sale during Valentine’s Day at the Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Klong Talad). The inspection team was led by the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office M.L. Panadda Diskul and the OCBP Secretary-General Umpon Wongsiri.

The Prime Minister’s Office Minister revealed the findings had shown that there were no contamination found in the samples. This satisfactory result is expected to boost the confidence of consumers buying flowers at the fair.

He mentioned that the OCBP had already conducted inspections at the flower manufacturing sites prior to this inspection at the flower fair to ensure that the products were not contaminated.

Meanwhile, the OCBP Secretary-General has said that the OCPB's efforts were supported by the Department of Health, which has provided test kits that its fluids will change colour when it has come in contact with samples that have been contaminated.

All of the flowers that were tested have not been contaminated as the test fluids did not change colour during the inspection.

In addition to contamination checks, the OCBP is now working with the Department of Internal Trade to regulate the retail price during the festival.

Formalin is a highly abrasive substance that is harmful to the vascular system. It can cause nose irritation, coughs, sore throat, inflammation in the lungs, eyes irritation, pulmonary congestion, breathing difficulty, or even death. It can also cause rashes, burns, and prolonged exposure can be a cause for cancer.


Prayut calls on Abhisit to be more rational toward the 21st petroleum bidding issue

BANGKOK, 13 February 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha assigned the Energy Ministry to open a talk with former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva after the latter and some civil groups have signed a petition showing disagreement to the 21st petroleum bidding round.

The PM said that the talk would be a stage for the ministry and Mr.Abhisit to discuss the difference in viewpoints on the basis of facts and figures in order to raise mutual understanding and final solutions. Gen Prayut also asked media members to observe the talk.

He reiterated that the bidding is needed as next year some neighboring countries would export less natural gas to Thailand and keep more for their own domestic demand. Thus the imported gas would be more expensive than those from domestic supply. If Thailand must encounter a shortage of energy in the future due to the cancellation of the 21st bidding now, this would cause burdens to the ruling government at that time.

He insisted that the 21st petroleum bidding round would occur on Feb 18 as planned but some contracts and conditions might be changed.


Ayutthaya injects 30 million baht to help people survive drought crisis

AYUTTHAYA, 13 Feb 2015 (NNT) Ayutthaya province has injected a budget of more than 30 million baht into a campaign aimed at helping local people survive the drought crisis.

According to Ayutthaya provincial governor Apichart Todilokvej, the budget will mainly be used for the zoning of water management, job creation, and water-economizing agriculture.

Mr. Apichart said the biggest challenge for the province was the need to supply enough water to all affected people. Another challenge is the provision of water for farming.

The governor attributed the drought crisis to farmers’ refusal to heed the Royal Irrigation Department’s ban on off-season rice cultivation during the dry season. Off-season farming in Ayutthaya, which covered 500,000 rai, reportedly caused damage to 100,000 rai of farming areas.

The drought has hit many districts, particularly Ban Phraek district where the Lopburi River has begun drying up. Villagers have been told to brace themselves for a more severe crisis in March and April by preparing clean containers to collect water from the local waterworks units.


Public Health Ministry issues 3 laws to protect Thai herbs

BANGKOK, 13 February 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health has issued new laws regulating the production and distribution of Thai herbal medicines in a latest move to prevent further thefts of local wisdom.

The Ministry of Public Health has issued a list of 33 types of herbal medicines which practitioners are allowed to produce without having to ask for the Ministry’s permission. However, they are not allowed to patent their products derived from the specified herbs.

The Ministry has also announced 12 recipes leading to more than 4,300 items of traditional medicines of which the production must be permitted by the related agency on a case-by-case basis.

The laws in addition stipulate that those permitted to manufacture any of the herbal medicines specified by the Ministry of Public Health will be required to pay three percent of their income from the sales of their products back to the state coffers. Anyone caught breaking the laws will face a fine of 20,000 baht at maximum or a jail term of up to two years or both.

The laws are expected to prevent further attempts by foreign manufacturers in patenting indigenous herbal plants of Thailand, as occurred several times in the past.


Army closely monitoring UDD leaders

BANGKOK, Feb 13 - Thailand's Deputy Defence Minister/Army Chief Gen Udomdej Sitabutr has ordered First Army Region Commander Lt Gen Kampanart Ruddit to closely monitor activities of the United Front For Demoocracy against Dictatorship (UDD) after several of its leaders have frequently expressed political comments recently.

Gen Udomdej told journalists that most UDD leaders understood the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the government better after being “invited for discussions” with military officers.

But many of them still did not gain enough understanding, he said, adding that it is the responsibility of the NCPO to try to make them to adjuist their attitudes.

Gen Udomdej said he had assigned Lt Gen Kampanart in his capacity as commander of NCPO’s Peacekeeping Force to take charge of the key Red Shirt leaders.

In another development, Chaturon Chaisang, ex-education minister and a key member of the Pheu Thai Party, which was the core of the previous government toppled by the NCPO last May 22, arrived at the Military Court to attend a session ruling on the scope of the court's power before the court proceeds with the trial on his case.

The Military Court earlier charged that Mr Chaturon violated the NCPO orders by not reporting to the agency, inciting unrest in the country and violating the computer law.

A large crowd including Mr Chaturon’s younger sister turned up at the court and presented him with bouquets amid tight security. (MCOT online news)


Household income grows 3.4 pct in 2014 on improved employment

SEJONG, Feb. 13 MCOT South Korean household income grew 3.4 percent on-year in 2014 as more people found employment, but consumption lagged behind income growth, a government report showed Friday.

According to the report by Statistics Korea, the monthly income of households with two members or more stood at an average of 4.3 million won (US$3,875) last year, up from 4.16 million won in the year before.

Inflation-adjusted household income also moved up 2.1 percent over the same period.

The report attributed the increase to more people joining the workforce that resulted in better earnings by household members. It claimed the faster pace of growth compared with the previous year contributed to the rise in income.

The government said some 530,000 new jobs were created last year compared with 440,000 for 2013. The country is estimated to have grown 3.4 percent vis-a-vis 3 percent growth confirmed for 2013.

The report showed that households' earned income increased 3.9 percent on-year to a monthly average of 2.87 million won. Households' business-related income rose 0.5 percent to 862,200 won.

"The rise in earned income was the single largest factor for last year's income increase," an official at the statistics agency said.

She said household spending likewise increased 2.8 percent to 2.55 million won, with the pace of growth accelerating from 0.9 percent in 2013.

On the other hand, while spending outpaced income growth in 2013, the reverse happened last year, which may be related to developments like the sinking of the Sewol ferry in April that seriously sapped private consumption, the official said.

The findings showed people spending more on transportation and recreation and other services, while cutting back on telecommunication, housing and utilities.

Transportation outlays were buoyed by more people buying cars, while utilities were affected by lower energy prices.

On non-consumption expenditures, which reached 805,000 won, the total rose 3 percent on-year from a gain of 2.8 percent in 2013. Outlays in this field include taxes, pensions and insurance.

The report showed that households' monthly disposable income -- total income minus non-consumption spending -- stood at just under 3.50 million won, up 3.5 percent from a year earlier. In 2013, disposable income grew 1.9 percent.

The average monthly surplus for a household stood at 947,000 won, a solid gain of 5.2 percent on-year.

The report, on the other hand, showed the numbers for households' "average consumption propensity" -- the ratio of total consumption spending to disposable income -- dropped to 72.9 percent, a 0.4 percentage difference from the previous year. This marks the fourth year in a row that it contracted compared to the year before. Last year's numbers were the lowest reached since corresponding figures were tallied from 2003 onwards.

The low numbers are a sign that people are withholding spending, despite a rise in earnings, with the statistical office saying that the trend is related to the rapid aging of the South Korean society that is causing manly elderly citizens to cut back on consumption.

For the fourth quarter, average household income stood at 4.26 million won, up 2.4 percent from the year before, with expenditures edging up 0.9 percent to 2.5 million won. Non-consumption spending reached 761,000 won with disposable income standing at a little over 3.5 million won, for a gain of 2.9 percent on-year.

The monthly household surplus reached 997,000 won, a 8.3 percent spike from the year before.

On the latest report, the finance ministry said while a more extensive survey due out in May will shed greater light on household earnings, last year's figures showed a steady rise in income, particularly among the lower 20 percent of the population. May figures will incorporate single person households and those in farming and fishing communities.

"Income gains among the bottom 20 percent bolstered by state welfare spending and pensions rose 5.6 percent on-year, which is higher than the overall average," the ministry said in a press release.

It said this gain reduced the equivalent disposable income (EDI) to 4.45, the lowest since 2004.

EDI is the total income of a household, after tax and other deductions, available for spending that also takes into account the number of household members. This is used to measure wealth disparity between different income groups with lower numbers meaning less disparity. (Yonhap)


Bumi SMEs need more info on AEC market, says MTEM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 (MCOT) Local entrepreneurs especially operators of Bumiputera small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need more detailed information on the Asean Eonomic Community (AEC) market to benefit from it, says the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM).

"They are really looking forward for the opportunity to play a more meaningful role in the AEC, especially with Malaysia chosen as host for the AEC in 2015," MTEM chief executive officer Nizam Mahshar said.

But as some local entrepreneurs have no foreign trading experience, practical international exposure for them would be greatly welcomed, he said in a statement here today.

"Without guidance, they could risk failure and this could derail efforts to promote local products in the ASEAN region," he said, adding local corporate and government-linked companies could provide practical guidance for entrepeneurs wishing to venture into the AEC market.

The government should also create an agency, to be called the Federal Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Agency, to supervise, monitor and empower Bumiputera entrepreneurs, he said.

Nizam said such a role was once played by the now defunct Entrepreneur Development Ministry, and a similar entity should be created but with a more systematic implementation and goal effectiveness strategy.

"In the face of a more open market like the AEC, Bumiputera status is meaningless to a company as the yardstick comprises mainly competitiveness, capability and performance measures," he said.

MTEM is now developing a database on credible Bumiputera entrepreneurs and companies for reference by potential clients, he added. (BERNAMA)


Chinese media man believes more Chinese to visit Australia

SYDNEY, Feb. 13 (MCOT) Chinese visitors have a high regard for Australia's agricultural products and more will be attracted to the nation's natural and beautiful environment, a member of a visiting Chinese media group said on Friday.

"Chinese people think of Australia as having a lot of abundant resources and a beautiful environment," Zhang Kun, chief editor of the China Youth Daily, told Fairfax Media.

"It's a developed country with high technology and good food," said Zhang, who was part of an 18-member Chinese media group touring Australia this week.

The visit, supported by the University of Technology - Sydney Center for Independent Journalism, was designed to raise more awareness of Australia to Chinese people.

Zhang said Australia's milk products, particularly long-life and powdered milk, were best known to Chinese shoppers.

He believed Australia was becoming a star attraction for Chinese holiday travelers.

Zhang said China's recent free trade agreement plans with Australia did not yet mean much to average Chinese, but such relationships would strengthen understanding between communities, including media opportunities, in both countries. (Xinhua)


Doctors remain alert for deadly diseases

BANGKOK, Feb 13 MCOT Although the overall situation of the Ebola disease has improved in West Africa, the Public Health Ministry and other concerned agencies are still on alert with preventive measures still in place in Thailand, said Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong.

Mr Yongyuth told journalists that the National Directing Committee for Ensuring Promptness in the Prevention and Solution of Emerging Diseases on Thursday held a meeting and agreed that several countries including Thailand in several past months had closely monitored and imposed strict preventive measures from an outbreak of Ebola virus in their countries.

Not one Ebola victim was identfied in Thailand so far, he said.

According to Mr Yongyut, 9,177 Ebola victims died in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in West Africa while 22,894 persons had contracted the disease.

The situation has improved last week in those countries but Thailand's committee decided that preventive measures for Ebola as well as other deadly diseases including bird flu, a new strain of influenza and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus should continue due to the their severity, Mr Yongyut said.

Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Dr Rajata Rajatanavin said that concerned health officials still must monitor diseases which could be transmitted from animals to humans. (MCOT online news)


3-magnitude quake rocks Chiang Rai this morning

CHIANG RAI, 13 February 2015 (NNT) A 3.0 magnitude earthquake was detected in Chiang Rai province at 08.30 hrs. The epicenter was located in Mae Suai district 2 kilometers deep from the surface.

No damage or injuries have been reported so far. For more information please visit www.ndwx.go.th


Yaowarat to celebrate Year of the Goat on February 19 and 20

BANGKOK, 12 February 2015 (NNT) The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will be holding Chinese New Year festivities in the capital city's China town on February 19 and 20 in celebration of the year of the goat.

Amorn Kitchawengkul, deputy governor of Bangkok, announced that Bangkok City Hall's Samphanthawong district office will co-host the festivities with the Yaowarat Chinese New Year committee. During February 19 and 20, the entire Yaowarat Rd. in China Town will be lined with decorations made in the shape of the goat. Celebratory activities during the two days will take place between midday and midnight.

On the occasion of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's 60th birthday anniversary, Bangkok City Hall is building a landmark at China Town to display the less-seen pictures taken of Her Royal Highness during official visits to China. The exhibition will showcase the warm relations between Thailand and the People's Republic of China. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will inaugurate the festivities on February 19th, and the public are invited to receive the princess by arriving at the Odeon roundabout by 4 p.m.

Some of the attractions at the event include art and cultural displays from ten Chinese provinces, four zones that allow visitors to experience mock-ups of palace life in the old days of China, and a large variety of food stalls that will line the entire Yaowarat Rd.

The road will be closed to motor vehicles from midnight of February 17 until 6am on February 21.


GHB aims to gives out more housing loan

BANGKOK, 13 Feb 2015 (NNT) Deputy Finance Minister Wisut Srisupan has assigned the Government Housing Bank (GHB) to give out more housing loans, in order to maintain its 30% grip in the nation’s total real estate credits.

According the Finance ministry, Thailand’s total real estate credit is currently at 570 billion baht, with the GHB managing to take a chunk of 27-28% of the market share worth 140 billion baht. However, the figure represented a decrease compared to the 34% market share 4-5 years ago.

Mr. Wisut said the reason behind the decline was the rise in prices of houses. The average amount of loan extended to each GHB customer is currently at 750-thousand baht. The bank aims to increase the amount to 1.5 million baht per account.

The Deputy Minister suggests that the GHB increase the credit limit per account, in accordance with the increasing prices of houses and land.

He said focus should also be made on the middle income earners in the capital and its vicinity, who wish to own a house worth 3-5 million baht. He stressed the bank should not overlook this group of customers to avoid losing a good marketing opportunity.

The GHB stated it has prepared several campaigns to give out more loans to low-income earners, in its bids to help bridge a social class gap. The bank sets aside 25.5 billion baht for these loans.


K-Research: Household debts are holding back Chinese NY spending

BANGKOK, 13 Feb 2015 (NNT) According to the Kasikorn Research Center, the rising household debt is holding back this year’s public spending on the Chinese New Year.

The center estimated that current spending of Bangkok people on Chinese New Year offerings for their ancestors would be around 6 billion baht, an increase of 3.5% year-on-year.

Despite the rise in figure and the importance of the event to Chinese descendants, K-Research indicated that this year’s spending on offerings is being set back by the concerns on household debts and living expense.

K-Research pointed out that the commodity prices remain high even with the lowered fuel price. This year’s average spending on the festival’s items for worshipping is at 3,750 baht per household. The figure was 3,590 baht last year.


Seminar held to push for growth of the agro sector in Surat Thani

SURAT THANI, 13 Feb 2015 (NNT) The Agricultural Council in Surat Thani held a seminar for farmers aimed at moving the province’s agricultural sector forward.

Organizers said the seminar also set to inform the agricultural operators in the province on the national agricultural strategies and the current government policy for the sector. The event was also intended to give farmers a chance to voice their opinions, suggestions and obstacles to their work.

During the seminar, a survey on agricultural organizations was also conducted in an effort to register them and utilize their information for use in the next seminar.

The Agricultural Council Act 2009 has stipulated the establishment of National Agricultural Council and provincial level Agricultural Council. These agencies have been tasked with informing the government of problems faced by local farmers, proposing solutions, developing the agricultural sector and creating a network of agriculture from ground up.


PM to open floating market near Government House

BANGKOK, Feb 11 MCOT Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will preside over a ceremony to launch an 18-day floating market at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem, a canal near Government House in Bangkok on Thursday, according to government spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

He said the opening ceremony of the floating market will be held at the Orathai Bridge at 4.45pm.

Maj Gen Sansern said the floating market is part of the government’s “Discover Thainess” tourism campaign, aimed at preserving Thai cultural heritage and unique identity and stimulating the economy.

The floating market will also help develop areas around Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem into pleasant public places for relaxation, he said.

The floating market, which extends 350 meters from the Orathai Bridge to the Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge, will opened today through March 1.

Gen Sansern said the floating market consists of three zones; the floating market, itself, open from 3pm-8pm having 40 boat vendors; a land market with some 90 booth vendors offering diverse food and products, open from 11am-8pm; and sightseeing cruises to historic landmarks along the canal, setting sail twice daily at 4pm and 5pm. (MCOT online news)


SNU students form body to tackle sex offenses by professors

SEOUL, Feb 11 MCOT - The student council of state-run Seoul National University (SNU) launched Wednesday a body to cope with sex offenses on campus following a recent series of sexual harassment cases involving professors.

Prof. Kang Seok-jin from the Mathematical Sciences Department at SNU, the most prestigious institution of higher learning in the country, is now undergoing a court trial on charges of sexually abusing nine female students.

Two more SNU professors from the dentistry graduate school and the business administration division are also under investigation by the university's human rights center on similar suspicions.

"The student community's efforts are needed to overhaul the fundamental structure where such cases are created," SNU's acting student council and the council for graduate students said in a press conference.

"We will propose measures to overhaul the current system in order for (sexual abuse) victims to be able to come forward more safely to disclose their issues and to create a forum in which students can make their voices heard."

Many student victims usually shy away from reporting sexual abuses by professors because they are afraid of the power and influence professors often wield, the students said, urging SNU authorities and the judiciary to come up with due punishment on Kang.

The new student body will closely audit the court proceeding on Kang while pushing to create a consultative body between students and school authorities on the sexual abuse field, according to the student council.

It will also get involved in collecting sexual damage cases among students and launch campus campaigns against sexual violence by professors, it also noted.

The SNU university faculty came under fire late last year for accepting the resignation of the mathematics professor amid mounting sexual abuse allegations.

The resignation, if recognized, would have sustained Kang's entitlement to severance pay and pension right and automatically ended the school's internal investigation on him.

In the face of rising criticism, the school withdrew the decision and the prosecution formally charged Kang in late December for sexually molesting nine students from 2008 to July 2014. (Yonhap)


Najib: Further Asean integration means advent of new economic power

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Thursday said further integration in ASEAN will lead to the world witnessing the emergence of a new economic power in Southeast Asia.

"I say new, because although our economies have been trade and commercial hubs for centuries, we are today creating an economic union unlike anything since the days of empire," he said.

In realising that, the Prime Minister said ASEAN's priority must be to ensure that integration leads to equitable wealth creation and distribution as well as deepen financial integration and inclusion.

"We must ensure that all sectors of our economies are fully engaged in the ASEAN Community," he said in his keynote address at the ASEAN CAP10 CEO Summit here Thursday.

Najib said an economically integrated ASEAN benefits all of its member states with freer movement of goods, services, skilled labour and capital.

He said ASEAN is projected to have 125 million households with an income of over US$7,500 (RM26,826) in the next 10 years, and would be the seventh largest economy in the world, with a combined gross domestic product expected to reach US$4 trillion (RM14.3 trillion) by 2020, if it were a single country.

The establishment of ASEAN as a single market and production base would also unlock the potential to level the playing field with the world's biggest economies, he stressed.

"Harmonising and standardising trade and customs, processes and procedures will reduce transaction costs, making ASEAN even more attractive as an investment location and enhance export competitiveness.

"Liberalising the financial services sector while ensuring responsible investment and sustainability will further increase investor confidence, stability and growth," he said.

Najib said Malaysia, as Chair of the Association this year, would continue to work closely with other member states to ensure that ASEAN delivers on key initiatives.

Malaysia will be recommending at the 26th ASEAN Summit in April that an enhanced ASEAN secretariat be deployed to ensure member states work together to craft and implement its post-2015 agenda.

"Malaysia will play a key role in building a stronger, more prosperous, more open Southeast Asia," Najib said. (BERNAMA)


BOK to hold rate in Feb., but rate cut pressure to grow: poll

SEOUL, Feb 12 - South Korea's central bank is forecast to keep the policy rate unchanged in February but is likely to take action in coming months as rate cut pressure grows on a mix of downbeat economic data and a wave of global monetary easing, analysts said Thursday.

All 17 analysts surveyed by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency, projected the Bank of Korea (BOK) to keep the base rate on hold at its policy meeting on Tuesday. If the forecast is on track, it will extend the BOK's wait-and-see stance to a fourth consecutive month.

The country's policy rate has been standing at a record-matching low of 2 percent since October after the BOK cut the rate by a quarter percentage point each in August and October to support the government's stimulus efforts.

"Governor Lee Ju-yeol said that the BOK needs to monitor the impact of the two rate cuts delivered in 2014. Distortions from the Lunar New Year also support a wait-and-see approach," HSBC economist Ronald Man said.

In a press conference following the monetary policy committee's Jan. 15 decision to freeze the rate, the top central banker distanced himself from market anticipation over a rate cut, saying that the base rate is "sufficient enough" and that using monetary policy is "inappropriate" at this point.

Some analysts cited the country's ever-growing household debt, breaking 1,000 trillion won (US$905 billion) last year, as a factor that blocks additional rate cuts.

"One concern is that household debt is now growing too fast as a result of the rate cuts last year. Cutting rates further can only come if there is significant and sudden deterioration in the activity indicators. So far, there is no sign of this," said Leong Wai Ho, an economist at Barclays.

Analysts, however, projected the central bank to take action in the first half as tepid growth and rate cuts by global central banks heighten pressure for an additional rate cut.

Five out of 15 analysts who submitted their forecast for end-March expected the BOK to cut the base rate next month. The case for a rate cut increased going forward, with 11 out of 16 analysts forecasting a rate cut by end-June.

HSBC's Man said the move may come as early as next month.

"As data are expected to continue to show suppressed economic activity and private sentiment, we expect the central bank to respond and lower its policy rate by 25 basis points at its March 12 meeting," he said, also noting how a handful of central banks have recently joined monetary easing.

Some still argued that the global move will not push the central bank to take action unless it clearly impacts the local financial market.

"Some say that the monetary authority will join the recent wave of global monetary easing. But unless it bolsters a stronger won, (the BOK) is unlikely to bow to the global easing stance," said Kim Jong-soo, an economist at Taurus Securities.

Kim instead forecast the central bank to start hiking the rate in the fourth quarter following the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate normalization and easing volatility in the global financial market. (Yonhap)


5 Thais among injured in 100-car South Korean traffic pileup

BANGKOK, Feb 11 - The Thai Embassy in Seoul, South Korea is speeding up assistance to five Thai nationals who were injured in a massive collision of about 100 vehicles on a bridge near Incheon International Airport yesterday.

Embassy officials said that five Thais were among the victims of a pileup involving some 100 vehicles in Incheon.

The Thai victims were tourists, all in the same vehicle, the officials said, noting that all were sent to hospital for treatment.

Thai ambassador to South Korea Kulkumut Singhara Na Ayudhaya was closely following the accident and had ordered officials to contact the victims.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the collision took place at 9:34am amid foggy conditions. The incident left two people dead and more than 60 others injured.

Incheon police were quoted as saying that a taxi in the first lane bumped another taxi in front of it into the second lane. An airport limousine bus ran into the second taxi, causing a mass collision of cars behind it. (MCOT online news)


Meat inspection underway in Nakon Sawan ahead of Chinese New Year festival

NAKON SAWAN, 12 February 2015 (NNT) The Department of Livestock in Nakon Sawan has inspected butcher shops in Bon Kai market ahead of the Chinese New Year celebration to assure the quality of pork, chicken and eggs.

According to Livestock Department official Pitsanu Tulayawnit, it is important that meat vendors maintain their workplace hygiene as demand for meat products usually doubles prior to the festival.

Vendors will receive a sticker of approval after the inspection, which is meant to reassure consumers of the quality of meat and cleanliness of the store.


Chiang Mai fights seasonal haze problem

CHIANG MAI, 12 February 2015 (NNT) The northern province of Chiang Mai has called for a meeting with several related agencies to find ways to tackle the seasonal haze problem.

The meeting, held yesterday to discuss a plan to effectively prevent and reduce haze and forest fire problems, was chaired by Chana Paengpiboon, Chiang Mai deputy governor. Under the plan, which is to last 60 days, from February 15 to April 15, the province will closely monitor and control the cause of air pollution.

Participating agencies agreed in the meeting to strictly enforce ban the burning of waste, weeds and paddy stumps as well as forest during the 60-day period. Moreover, the province will soon launch a campaign to boost awareness of local residents and visitors on air pollution caused by smog.

Chiang Mai and other northern provinces have for years been facing problems of thick smog, caused by agricultural waste burning and forest fires, blanketing over the sky during the dry season. The problem has been worsening, affecting the tourism sector and locals' health.


Industries having their workers undergo skill tests ahead of AEC

BANGKOK, 12 February 2015 (NNT) The Department of Skill Development (DSD) and the Federation of the Thai Industries (FTI) have co-organized skill examinations across 11 industries in Thailand ahead of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

DSD Director General M.L. Puntrik Smiti said the proficiency tests are being held for workers in 44 occupations across 11 sectors, including the electronics and auto industries.

Employees are able to apply for exam levels 1 and 2 until March 30th. They will be held in 9 provinces including Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakarn, Samut Songkhram, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Suphanburi, Lopburi and Chonburi.

More than 30 companies have expressed their interests in having their employees take the proficiency tests. Workers that qualify for these skill levels would benefit from higher incomes.


Finance Ministry invoking joint venture law for govt projects.

BANGKOK, 12 February 2015 (NNT) Public Private Partnerships (PPP) have unanimously agreed to enforce a public joint-venture law on large investment projects worth at least 5 billion baht.

According to State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) Director Kulis Sombutsiri, the PPPs will submit a petition to the Ministry of Finance to enforce the 2013 Private Investment in State Undertaking Act (PPP Act) on investors in joint-venture government projects valued greater than 5 billion baht.

The extent of the law will vary according to the size of the individual investment from 1-5 billion baht, as well as the type of project.

The PPP Act will be enforced uniformly among investors in public infrastructure developments. However, more flexible regulations can be expected for commercial land development projects.

The enforcement of each project's regulations is subject to the discretion of the ministers overseeing the investments.


Songkhla students buying Valentine’s roses from Chiang Mai in droves

SONGKHLA, 12 February 2015 (NNT) The loving atmosphere of Valentine’s Day is noticeable right now in Songkhla province, especially around school areas where students are flocking to buy roses from Chiang Mai province.

Yes, the Valentine’s Day spirit is in the air in Songkhla province, especially at schools such as Woranari Chaloem Songkhla School, in the Muang District of Songkhla province. Street vendors are selling roses of various colors, especially red and white ones, along with Valentine’s Day themed dolls. The students are buying the flowers to give to their close friends, graduating seniors and their beloved teachers to show their respect and love. As Valentine’s Day falls on Saturday this year, many are giving each other flowers and presents before the weekend starts.

The prices of these red and white roses from Chiang Mai province that are sold on the streets of Songkhla range between 10-15 Baht for the cheapest and can go up to 80-100 Baht. Most students tend to go for the lower price range ones, as they still are dependent on their parents for money and cannot afford the pricier flowers.


Thai police seize Bt40 million in meth pills, heroin

BANGKOK, Feb 9 - Thai authorities have arrested drug trafficking suspects in the South with methamphetamine pills and heroin worth more than Bt40 million.

The five suspects are from the “Mayakee” syndicate that eerlier hid Bt 30 million in pipes in a Narathiwat rubber plantation in 2007.

Five men -- Natthapong Khaosawee, Prasong Taksinla, Rungrachanee Phetcharak, Sudeng Sama-ae, and Muhammadsa-largest Tale -- were arrested with 13 kilograms of heroin bars and over 66,000 meth pills altogether worth Bt 40 million at a checkpoint in a Songkhla village, Ban Khuan Meed, in Chana district.

The narcotics were hidden under coconuts in the cargo bed of their pickup truck.

The traffickers said that they had received the drugs from the North and the heroin was destined for Malaysia where its price would soar by as much as 10 times to over Bt400 million.

The speed pills would be retailed in three southern border provinces with part of the earnings earmarked to sponsor southern insurgents.

Among the arrested traffickers, Mr Sudeng is a follower of southern drug kingpin Mayakee Yako who was active in the three southern border provinces and is now jailed in Khao Bin prison in Ratchaburi province.

The authorities found Bt30 million in cash in PVC pipes buried in the compound of his home in Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok district in 2007. (MCOT online news)


Army chief on official visit to Singapore

BANGKOK, 10 February 2015 (NNT) Army commander-in-chief and deputy minister of defense, General Udomdej Sitabutr, commenced his official visit to Singapore on Monday to tighten relations between the armed forces of ASEAN countries and to reinforce security ties between Thailand and Singapore.

Gen. Udomdet met with Singapore's Second Minister for Defence, Chan Chun Sing, and Chief of the Singapore Army, Major General Perry Lim. The three reasserted the Thai and Singaporean militaries' commitment in security information exchange, emerging threats, intelligence and training.

Gen. Udomdet is scheduled to participate in the closing ceremony for Exercise Kocha Singa, the bilateral army exercise that is being hosted by Singapore this year. Thai and Singaporean troops have been carrying out the exercise since January 31. This year's exercise places emphasis on tactical flexibility and increasing soldiers' experience in joint operations with other ASEAN nations’ forces.


Finance minister launches seminar on Thailand's infrastructure projects

BANGKOK, 10 February 2015 (NNT) The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO), the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) and Macquarie Group jointly hosted a seminar on Monday to exchange in-depth information on Thailand's infrastructure investment projects.

At the seminar, Finance Minister Sommai Phasee revealed that the government's committee on Public-Private Partnership (PPP), chaired by Deputy Prime Minister M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, would meet on Wednesday to conclude the criteria for PPP projects.

According to Mr. Sommai, the criteria will allow projects of under one billion baht to be approved by the minister of each relevant ministry. Infrastructure and public service projects valued between one and five billion baht will require the full approval of the PPP committee. It may be decided that other PPP projects valued at less than five billion baht can be approved by each ministry. He said, however, that all projects worth in excess of five billion baht would have to be considered by the PPP committee.


Confiscated rosewood logs to be used to construct ‘precious wood’ museum

AYUTTHAYA, 10 Feb 2015, (NNT) A museum showcasing precious wood will is being built in Ayutthaya Province, using the rosewoods logs confiscated from illegal logging rings.

Yesterday, officials from the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Department of Customs, and the Department of Public Relations witnessed the construction process, ensuring all of the logs would only be used for the purpose.

According to the department, the construction of the museum closely follows the blueprint drawn up by the Department of Fine Arts, which determines the amount of rosewood logs to be used in the project.

Teak logs would be used as the main body of the museum, while the rosewood would likely be carved into decorated items, the department said.

Officials said the confiscated rosewood logs for the project are now in Wangnoi District in Ayutthaya.


Phayao to quickly process soft loan for rubber planters

PHAYAO, 10 Feb 2015, (NNT) Phayao Province will quickly process requests for soft loan of no more than 100,000 baht for each of the para rubber planters, while informing the local administration to clearly clarify the conditions of the loan to the farmers.

56 million baht worth of soft loan has been approved for qualified para rubber planters. The project is part of the government’s efforts to help latex producers who have been suffering from rubber price drop.

According to Phayao Administration Office, 963 planters have requested for the loan, but only 560 of them are eligible for the funds. The remaining requests have been denied because the amount requested are in excess of what the campaign is offering.

Most of the rubber growers would use the loan to invest on raising livestock and planting vegetables.


Nakhon Si Thammarat to offer another batch of low-priced rice packets to public in March

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 10 Feb 2015 (NNT) The southern Province of Nakhon Si Thammarat yesterday announced that it would put 2,000 tons of Pathum fragrant rice into 5-kilo packets and sell them to the public at only 100 baht a packet next month.

According to the provincial Governor, the project which is in line with the Government’s policy to help lower the cost of living, is the second of its kind after the province sold 1,000 tons of rice in a similar manner to the public in January. The campaign had received warm response, the governor said.

The new batch of rice has already been arranged into 400,000 5-kilo packets. They will be available in the market during 1-31 March and regarded as gifts to the public ahead of the Thai New Year festival of Songkran in April.

And to prevent unscrupulous traders from reselling the rice for profit making, members of the public will be allowed to buy no more than 10 bags or 50 kg each. Reservations can be made at nearby local administrative offices or at the central district office of Nakhon Si Thammarat.


Thai PM Prayut visits Japan

BANGKOK, Feb 9 – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha left Bangkok Sunday for a three-day official visit to Japan, his first visit to that country since the military seized power May 22.

Accompanied by his wife and several cabinet ministers including Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Affairs Minister Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn, Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, and Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul; the prime minister left for Tokyo at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

A Thai government spokesman said the purpose of Gen Prayut’s visit is to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries, naming, in particular, dual track rail development in Thailand, development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone in Myanmar and ways to further promote Thailand-Japan trade and investment.

Besides holding a bilateral discussion with Mr Abe, Gen Prayut is also scheduled to have an audience with Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito at Akasaka Palace today.

During the visit the two governments are expected to sign a memorandum of intent on developing the dual track rail project, a memorandum of cooperation on promoting business in each country and private business cooperation in third countries. (MCOT online news)


Yingluck’s request for overseas trip takes longer consideration

BANGKOK, Feb 9 - The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) must take longer to consider overseas travel requests by former prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra because she is now facing criminal charges on the rice-pledging scheme in which is tainted with massive corruption, said an NCPO spokesman.

The spokesman said as the trial on criminal charges filed against Ms Yingluck by the Office of the Attorney-General is approaching, the NCPO must carefully consider both her reasons for traveling and the law, so that it would not have an impact on the legal procedure.

On January 23, the National Legislative Assembly voted to impeach Ms Yingluck, Thailand’s first female prime minister, and immediately barred her from engaging in political activities for five years.

The Assembly action charged her with dereliction of duty for failing to stop corruption and massive losses in the rice-pledging scheme promoted by her government.

On the same day, the Office of the Attorney-General filed criminal charges against her regarding the scheme.

The spokesman’s remarks were made after reliable sources of the Royal Thai Army said earlier that Ms Yingluck in late January told the NCPO that she would like to travel to Hong Kong yesterday, February 8.

Her request was turned down and the NCPO asked her to postpone her trip. (MCOT online news)


O-Net exam went well with no report of cheating

BANGKOK, 9 February 2015 (NNT) The National Institute of Testing Service (NITS) revealed that no cheating has been reported in the university entrance exam held over the weekend.

According to NITS Director Sampam Panpruek, more than 446,000 Mattayom Suksa 6 students or equivalent took the ‘O-Net’ exam required to enter the tertiary education.

High school students were expected to complete 8 subject tests. The exam was held at 19 locations nationwide. Mr. Sampan said no cheating was found among the students sitting the exam.

The NITS has always been stringent about the tests, imposing penalty appropriate to the nature and seriousness of cheating both on students and proctors who allowed it.

The NITS is also accepting complaints and reports of examination dishonesty by both mail and email. The O-Net results will be revealed on March 21st.


Princess Chulabhorn to attend WHO regional conference in India

BANGKOK, 9 February 2015 (NNT) Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn will visit the Republic of India from 9-14 February 2015 for an annual Southeast Asian conference of the World Health Organization.

The Bureau of the Royal Household said in an announcement that Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn will depart for New Delhi, India, on Monday night, February 9, to attend an annual conference of the WHO Regional Office for Southeast Asia. Besides, the Princess will have consultations with WHO officials on cooperation projects between the Chulabhorn Research Institute (CRI) and WHO’s Southeast Asian Regional Office in the CRI's capacity as a WHO regional cooperation center.

Her Royal Highness will board a Thai Airways International flight to New Delhi on Monday, at 8.00 p.m. at Suvarnabhumi Airport and will return to Thailand, also on a THAI flight, on 14 February, at 4.40 p.m.


Princess Maha Chakri inaugurates “Building 2” of the Bank of Thailand

BANGKOK, 9 February 2015 (NNT) Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on Sunday (Feb 8) presided over the inaugural ceremony of a newly refurbished building of the Bank of Thailand at its headquarters in Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok.

The renovated ‘Building 2’ used to serve as the Bank of Thailand (BOT)’s head office during 1982-2009, after which renovation was made to modernize the building, making it ready to cushion the central bank’s increasing tasks in accordance with the national economic growth.

The BOT’s Building 2 is nine floors high with a combined utility space of 40,000 square meters. It comprises operational rooms to handle the nation’s economic stability, a huge conference room to facilitate meetings of economic leaders at both local and international levels, and a press conference room. The building also houses several other units such as the banknotes division.


BoT reserves 500 billion baht worth of of banknotes for Chinese New Year

BANGKOK, 9 Feb 2015, (NNT) The Bank of Thailand has reserved half a trillion baht worth of banknotes for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, expecting up to 45 billion baht of the notes to be withdrawn during the festival.

BoT’s Strategy and Planning Director, Sarun Thamrongrat, said that the reserved amount is 2% higher than that of last year, while predicting that consumers would likely withdraw 175 billion baht 2 weeks prior the celebration.

According to the Director, the national bank has also reserved different types of notes for various spending purposes. The bank has already reserved 500 billion baht worth of banknotes since February 3rd.


Mahasarakham Volunteer Defense Forces attend performance enhancing seminar

MAHASARAKHAM, 9 Feb 2015, (NNT) Mahasarakham Volunteer Defense Forces on Sunday attended a performance enhancing seminar, part of the province’s bid to prepare them for better support for the area’s administration, military and police.

A total of 104 members of the provincial Volunteer Defense Forces attended the event, which started on Sunday and will conclude on Tuesday, at Somdet Phraputthayodfah Army Camp in Roi Et Province.

The purpose of the three-day seminar is to create understanding about the volunteers’ role in order to prepare them for their role as important secondary forces for the Department of Provincial Administration, under the Ministry of Interior, in providing assistance to the locals.

According to officials, the Volunteers Defense Forces offer great support in dealing with social issues such as narcotics, illegal migrant workers, encroachment on public property, corruption, political conflicts, religions, and cultures.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Back to Main Page

TV Operators request a deadline extension for Digital TV auction payment

Next round of rice auction is set at the end of this month

NESDB: No signs of deflation despite negative inflation rate

Bung Kan meat shopping slow despite upcoming Chinese New Year

Royal Irrigation Dept warns riverside communities of embankment collapse

Scattered rain forecast in Bangkok and its vicinity

NLA expected to pass amended Military Courts Bill

21 people honored with White Pigeons of the Southern Border Award

Suphanburi holds a seminar highlighting awareness of the AEC

Wisanu chairs the launch of one-stop service center in Central World

Security levels raised in Deep South ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations

Most Thai teens see parents as ‘special someone’ on Valentine’s Day

OCPB monitors formalin contamination in flowers for Valentine’s Day

Prayut calls on Abhisit to be more rational toward the 21st petroleum bidding issue

Ayutthaya injects 30 million baht to help people survive drought crisis

Public Health Ministry issues 3 laws to protect Thai herbs

Army closely monitoring UDD leaders

Household income grows 3.4 pct in 2014 on improved employment

Bumi SMEs need more info on AEC market, says MTEM

Chinese media man believes more Chinese to visit Australia

Doctors remain alert for deadly diseases

3-magnitude quake rocks Chiang Rai this morning

Yaowarat to celebrate Year of the Goat on February 19 and 20

GHB aims to gives out more housing loan

K-Research: Household debts are holding back Chinese NY spending

Seminar held to push for growth of the agro sector in Surat Thani

PM to open floating market near Government House

SNU students form body to tackle sex offenses by professors

Najib: Further Asean integration means advent of new economic power

BOK to hold rate in Feb., but rate cut pressure to grow: poll

5 Thais among injured in 100-car South Korean traffic pileup

Meat inspection underway in Nakon Sawan ahead of Chinese New Year festival

Chiang Mai fights seasonal haze problem

Industries having their workers undergo skill tests ahead of AEC

Finance Ministry invoking joint venture law for govt projects.

Songkhla students buying Valentine’s roses from Chiang Mai in droves

Thai police seize Bt40 million in meth pills, heroin

Army chief on official visit to Singapore

Finance minister launches seminar on Thailand's infrastructure projects

Confiscated rosewood logs to be used to construct ‘precious wood’ museum

Phayao to quickly process soft loan for rubber planters

Nakhon Si Thammarat to offer another batch of low-priced rice packets to public in March

Thai PM Prayut visits Japan

Yingluck’s request for overseas trip takes longer consideration

O-Net exam went well with no report of cheating

Princess Chulabhorn to attend WHO regional conference in India

Princess Maha Chakri inaugurates “Building 2” of the Bank of Thailand

BoT reserves 500 billion baht worth of of banknotes for Chinese New Year

Mahasarakham Volunteer Defense Forces attend performance enhancing seminar

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