1111 hotline launched to receive complaints from foreigners
BANGKOK, 12 March 2015 (NNT) The government has
launched a new 24-hour call center to receive complaints from foreigners
in Thailand, which can be reached by dialing the 1111 hotline.
The center will be staffed by representatives from all 20 ministries so
the complaints can be addressed quickly, said Prime Minister's Office
deputy permanent secretary Chamroen Yutithamsakul. The center currently
has English, Chinese and Japanese-speaking staff to tend to callers. The
Prime Minister's Office is also planning to expand the roster of
agencies' representatives to include those from Thai embassies in ASEAN
Mr. Chamroen disclosed that the a preliminary budget has also been
allocated for purchasing lunch for individuals who visit the complaints
center in person, as well as for subsidizing the expense for the return
trip of needy visitors.
Mr. Chamroen said that for emergency matters, foreigners should continue
to use the existing 1155 24-hour hotline operated by the Tourist Police.
MPC reduces benchmark rate by 0.25%
BANGKOK, 12 March 2015 (NNT) The Bank of Thailand's
(BOT) Monetary Policy Committee has reduced the benchmark interest rate
by 0.25% to 1.75% per annum in response to the weaker-than-expected
recovery of the Thai economy.
BOT Assistant Governor for Monetary Policy Group Mathee Supapongse said
on Wednesday the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 4 to 3 to cut the
policy interest rate by 0.25%, effective immediately. The cut was made
in response to lagging consumption, investment and private sector
confidence observed in quarter four of 2014 and in January of 2015.
According to Mr. Mathee, the four committee members who voted for the
cut wanted to lower the benchmark rate to support the economic recovery
and private sector confidence, while the three members who voted against
considered the 2% per annum rate relaxed enough to promote economic
Wednesday's policy rate cut makes Thailand's benchmark rate the lowest
in the ASEAN bloc.
NLA: 5-way meeting of reform-related agencies proceeds smoothly
BANGKOK, 12 March 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has not made any special demands of the National Legislative
Assembly during the week's meeting of the five main agencies responsible
for the reform of the country, said NLA president Pornpetch
Mr. Pornpetch said the 5-way meeting went smoothly and no specific
mentions were made by the prime minister regarding the work of the NLA,
as General Prayut only asked the agency to continue working hard.
According to the NLA president, the agency will, in accordance with the
existing work plan, now switch the focus to working on ancillary laws.
Mr. Pornpetch noted, however, that the draft of the new constitution is
still not final, and relevant agencies may still request its amendment.
The NLA president also indicated that he has no knowledge of the prime
minister having any plans to make appointments or transfers of
individuals within the five reform-related agencies.
Thailand and China to sign meeting's outcome on standard gauge railway construction
NONG KHAI, 11 March 2015 (NNT) Transport Minister
Prajin Juntong has unveiled the outcome of the third meeting between
Thailand and China on the joint development of a 1.435-meter
standard-gauge rail network (Nong Khai-Nakhon Ratchasima- Kaeng Khoi-Map
Ta Phut) held in Nong Khai, Thailand.
He said he led the Chinese working group to Nong Khai during March 10-11
to observe the locations for the railway construction in order to show
them the high potential of the province to be an interchange for
passengers to connect with trains to Kunming of China and Vientiane of
Laos. On March 15, he said Thailand will hold talks with Laos on a
proposal to develop rail routes linking Bangkok, Vientiane and Kunming.
The connection is expected to benefit greatly tourism and investment.
According to the Transport Minister, China and Thailand also reached an
agreement on the distribution of the work involved, which will be a
clear guide for each country to fulfill its obligations. Details of the
work distribution will be discussed again at the fourth meeting of the
jont working group to be held in Kunming, China during May 6-8, during
which the format of loans is expected to be reached.
On March 27, the Transport Minister will report the outcome of all
meetings and the progress of the project from January and March to the
cabinet. In addition, it will make a budget proposal for employing
consultancy companies to oversee EIA survey, project management and
Border districts of Tak have high potential, says PRD Dept Director-General
TAK, 11 March 2015 (NNT) The Deputy Director-General
of the Public Relations Department (PRD) has made his remark on the five
border districts of Tak during his field observation, saying the area
has great potential but will need continuous support.
The PRD Deputy Director-General Prawin Pattanapong conducted a field
observation of the border districts of Tak province, as well as
Thai-Myanmar cultural attractions in the area on the subjects of trade,
investment, and tourism.
He has said that the objectives of this field observation is to gather
information for consideration of the Thai-Myanmar Special Economic
Zone’s public relations planning campaign.
From the observation, the PRD Deputy Director-General has said that the
tourism attractions in the five west-border districts of Tak, as well as
the Myawaddy province of Myanmar will require support and renovation in
aspects of site restoration and conservation with respect to the local
He has also said that Thai youth should increase their knowledge in
foreign languages, such as English and Burmese to be able to use the
languages to communicate in the area.
He concluded that the improvement in all aspects will sustainably
improve the people's quality of life in the special economic zone.
CDC to present NLA with 26 draft bills required by the new constitution.
BANGKOK, 11 March 2015 (NNT) The Constitution
Drafting Committee (CDC) will present the drafts of 26 bills to the
National Legislative Assembly as required by the new charter.
General Lertrat Ratanavanich, spokesperson for the CDC, said after
Tuesday's meeting of the CDC that the revised draft of the new permanent
constitution is expected to be completed by the end of this month. The
draft will then be forwarded to the National Reform Council for the
latter to offer its reflection. The Election Commission, the Office of
the Ombudsman and the National Human Rights Council will be invited to
make their observations on the charter draft as well.
Meanwhile, the CDC will be presenting at least 26 draft bills to the
National Legislative Assembly, 12 of which will be organic laws and 14
of which will be drafts of other acts. Among the draft bills are the
draft of the National Virtue Assembly Act and the draft of the act on
members of parliament election and Senate recruitment.
EGA to create central archive for state agencies' apps.
BANGKOK, 11 March 2015 (NNT) Government agencies that have
created apps for mobile device users have been told to utilize
the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology as the
public's access point for apps by state agencies.
Capt. Yongyuth Mayalarp, the government spokesperson, revealed
after Tuesday's Cabinet meeting that the Electronic Government
Agency (EGA) had informed the Cabinet of the option to provide
the public with access to state services through a central
archive of mobile device applications by various state agencies.
In response, the Cabinet had tasked state agencies that have
their own mobile device apps to report to the ICT Ministry in
order for the EGA to make its central collection of apps. The
spokesman said this would allow the public to easily access the
services provided by the apps.
Also on Tuesday, the Cabinet endorsed, in principle, the draft
of the bill on international cooperation in criminal affairs.
Capt. Yongyuth said the draft had undergone amendment aimed at
ensuring compliance with the United Nations Convention against
Corruption 2003 as well as ASEAN's treaty on mutual assistance
in criminal matters.
Gen. Prayut to attend World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan
BANGKOK, 11 March 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha will be in Japan on Friday and Saturday to attend the 3rd
World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
General Prayut indicated on Tuesday that he would attend the event to
relay Thailand's experiences in dealing with the 2004 tsunami and flood
disasters, in addition to re-asserting Thailand's commitment to
supporting disaster risk reduction. Emphasis will be made on preemptive
collaboration between the state and civic sectors on disaster
The World Conference in Sendai, Japan is expected to be attended by
around 8,000 participants, with thousands more participating in events
linked to the conference.
2015 annual export growth set at 4% due to global economy
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) The cabinet has
confirmed that the decelerated export rate in January was due to the
global economic slowdown, while setting the 2015 annual export expansion
target to 4 percent, says the government spokesperson.
The Spokesperson of the Prime Minister's Office Captain Yongyut Maiyalap
has revealed the outcome of the cabinet’s meeting, saying that the
Ministry of Commerce has set the 2015 export growth target at 4 percent
with the export ratio to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV
countries) at 10.7 percent, 3.3 percent to the ASEAN market, and 10.3
percent to the Indian market.
He said that the overall export in January experienced deceleration due
to the low prices for agricultural products in the global market. He
also said that the Ministry of Commerce is now planning a new stimulus
package that will penetrate new markets, as well as focusing on the
elderly market and hotel industry consumers.
The spokesperson said that the Thai exporting sector has experienced
global market players, such as the CP All group and the Sahapat group.
These players will provide the initial penetration to the global market,
which the Thai exporters will rely on.
The Ministry of Commerce will be negotiating on the Free Trade Area
(FTA) agreement with India, Pakistan, and Turkey to find new export
channels for the country, according to the government’s spokesperson.
King visits royal projects at Chitralada Farm
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej on late Monday afternoon (March 9) proceeded from
Siriraj Hospital to observe royal projects at Chitralad Farm in the
compound of Chitralada Villa. At the Farm, His Majesty stopped at the
Demonstration Rice Mill and toured around an exhibition on the use of
solar energy in rice milling, put up inside the mill.
The Demonstration Rice Mill mill was established in 1971 following the
royal initiative to encourage farmers to group themselves into
cooperatives so that they would be strong enough to set up and run their
own rice mill, instead of selling their paddy at low price to private
millers. His Majesty at that time donated his own fund for the
establishment of a demonstration rice mill to provide knowledge to
farmers on milling techniques and appropriate ways to store various
types of paddy.
His Majesty later proceeded past the Suan Dusit powder milk factory and
a UHT milk production center before taking a rest at the solar-powered
house built by the Defense Energy Department in honor of His Majesty the
King on the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne in
His Majesty spent about an hour at the Chitralada Farm before returning
to Siriraj Hospital at 4.43 p.m.
NRC’s environment committee pushing for prevention of problems from all mega-projects
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council’s committee on environment is pushing for more preventive
measures against the impact of any problems caused by the implementation
Spokesman of the NRC’s committee on natural resources and environment
Thon Thamrongnawasawat said that the committee is planning to make it
compulsory for all large-sized projects to prepare an environmental
assessment report in order to promote transparency and the speed of the
Mr. Thon said that the push will involve the strategic environmental
assessment or SEA, which will be conducted in advance for any project
that covers a large area.
He added that the SEA will enable the public to be informed of and to
take part in the project that will have an impact on their life since
According to Mr. Thon, all steps suggested by the committee will be
completed and conducted both before and after any project is executed as
it is believed that such an approach will help Thailand achieve
sustainable development and genuine public participation.
CDC’s Thawinwadee: 58.9% of Thais support election of prime minister
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) The Constitution
Drafting Committee has found that more than half of Thai people prefer
to see the new prime minister who is elected by voters in a general
Chairwoman of the CDC’s sub-committee on the promotion of public
participation Thawinwadee Bureekul said that the sub-committee joined
the National Statistical Office to conduct a survey on 5,800 samples
during March 5 an 11.
Ms. Thawinwaddee said that the survey found many developments have been
approved of by more than 90% of the respondents.
Those issues are such as the rights of the people to vote in a public
referendum when it comes to the matter of national interest and the
compulsory assets disclosure by members of all independent
She added that 67.6% of the surveyed people believe women should
represent at least 30% of political office holders while 58.9% wanted
the next prime minister to be a member of parliament.
CDC startes review of all 315 articles of draft charter before submission to NRC
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) The Constitution
Drafting Committee has started reviewing all articles of the draft
charter before submitting the entire draft to the National Reform
Council in mid-April.
The CDC meeting on Monday looked at the entire draft charter — the
process that will take weeks to complete.
The review of the draft charter involves the deliberation of each of the
315 articles, with a focus on the wording and not the principle behind
them given that it has been reviewed once already.
However, the CDC will also look at all pending details of any article,
such as the proposal to set a minimum of one female political office
holders for every two male colleagues, and make a final resolution for
each issue before the final draft is submitted to the President of the
NRC by April 17.
Apart from the review of the draft charter, the CDC has prepared a table
of summary of the intent for additional law amendments to confirm that
the charter drafters have carried out their duties as called for by the
NRC acknowledged report on educational reform committee
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council has acknowledged the report from the committee on educational
reform which focuses on the development of Thailand’s education and
The NRC sitting on Monday reviewed a report from one of its committee
which is about the strategies for educational reform and people’s
Deputy chairman of the committee in charge of the study Narong
Budhhicheewin informed the NRC sitting about the principles and the
reasons behind the report which he said has compiled researches,
documents and opinions from all parties involved.
Mr. Narong added that, while Thailand is entering the era of ageing
society, the quality of education in the country remains mediocre while
the conditions of human resources are somewhat worrying in many ways.
Therefore, he said that the development of Thailand’s educational system
and people must be launched to strengthen the citizens and the society.
The committee has hoped to push the suggestions in the report to be
included in the national agenda while the NRC members have expressed
their support for the setting up of free scholarship for poor children.
NRC’s committee on economic reform urged Finance Ministry to review personal tax restructuring
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council’s committee on economic and financial reform has urged the
Finance Ministry to review the restructuring of the country’s personal
Chairman of the NRC’s economic and financial reform committee Somchai
Richupan said that the committee has suggested the Finance Ministry to
adjust the tax rate brackets under the personal tax collection system to
be more aligned with current value of the baht and the country’s
economic development pace.
According to Mr. Somchai, the committee has viewed the current personal
tax brackets that have been put to use for more than 20 years as
outdated and a restructuring will bring more people under the system
while current tax payers will be paying at least a little less – a
scenario that will not affect the country’s revenue.
He added that the committee’s latest meeting with the Finance Ministry
also discussed the planned implementation of the property tax policy,
which the committee believes should be timely implemented in order to
achieve the results of Thailand’s reform.
Pump prices down for all fuels but E85
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) Pump prices have gone
down for all fuel products except for E85, after the Committee on Energy
Policy Administration (CEPA) resolved on Monday to reduce the rates of
contribution toward the Oil Fund.
The pump prices of all kinds of fuel except E 95 have been lowered
effective this morning, according to oil retailers. The prices of diesel
has been cut by 50 satang a liter, octane 95 benzene by 2 baht per
liter, and all types of gasohol bar E85, which remains unchanged, by 1
baht per liter.
The CEPA has slashed the Oil Fund contribution rate for benzene by 2
baht per liter, gasohol by 1 baht per liter and diesel by 20 satang per
liter. It also resolved to cut E85 subsidy by 1 baht per liter.
In Bangkok, gasohol 91 now sells for 27.98 baht a liter, gasohol 95 by
29.30 baht a liter, benzene 95 by 34.96 baht a liter and diesel by 26.89
baht per liter.
Tunnel boring machine for Blue Line extension gets to work
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha affirmed
on Monday that the target date for bringing the entire electric train
network for Greater Bangkok into service is currently being set for late
2018 or in 2019.
On Monday, General Prayut presided over the launching ceremony for the
tunnel boring machine that will bore under the Chao Phraya River to
allow the Sanam Chai-Tha Phra segment of the Blue Line extension to be
completed. According to Gen. Prayut, the entire electric train system
for Greater Bangkok is expected to come into service by late 2018 or in
2019. The government has been addressing hurdles in terms of contracts
in the hope of moving the service date forth. There are currently three
electric train routes that remain to be approved by the Cabinet, said
Monday's ceremony was also attended by Transport Minister Prajin
Juntong, who reaffirmed to reporters that the Purple Line electric train
would be coming into service by January next year.
The Blue Line extensions from Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae and from Bang
Sue to Tha Phra stretch 27 kilometers and encompass 22 stations. Unlike
the main segment of the Blue Line currently in service, most of the
extensions' railways will be located above ground.
Gen. Prayut: land and building tax collection not anytime soon
BANGKOK, 10 March 2015 (NNT) The land and building
tax will not be collected anytime soon, because three more hearings on
the law's draft by the National Legislative Assembly are required. There
will also be a long time lag before the taxation takes effect, said
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
According to General Prayut, it may be one or two years before the new
taxes are collected. He explained that the significant time requirement
is due to deliberation into details of prices, urban planning, and other
relevant matters. Gen. Prayut added that he and state officials would be
among those who will be taxed under the new law.
The prime minister added that the collection of land and building tax is
required in order for the state to gain additional income to offset
shortfalls in revenue collection from other sources, which were
attributable to tax avoidance. He noted that the avoided taxes will also
be recouped at a later time.
Gen. Prayut elaborated that the government had to set an unbalanced
budget with a deficit of around 200 billion baht in order for the
sub-district administrative organizations to pay for their loans, the
warehouse bills for mortgaged rice, the expenses incurred from free
train and bus services to keep them running and regular expenses of the
PRD deputy chief visits Mae Sot to observe the country’s first SEZ
TAK, 9 Mar 2015 (NNT) Deputy Director-General of the
Government Public Relations Department Prawin Pattanapong and his
entourage on Monday visited Mae Sot border district in Tak Province, to
study the progress of the country’s first Special Economic Zone which
has been established to catch up with business opportunities offered by
the approaching ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Mr. Prawin met with the provincial committee responsible for the
economic zone establishment, led by Tak Governor Hataya Tanti as well as
Public Relations officers from the 17 northern provinces and Radio
Thailand officials in Tak. The study visit was aimed at equipping the
PRD officials with knowledge about the special border economic zone
which will play an important role in trade and investment promotion
during the AEC, due at the end of this year.
Mr. Prawin will also observe the development and management strategies
in the province during his 3-day visit. He will discuss possible methods
to improve the quality of life of the locals and gather as much
information as possible for use in publicizing the special border
economic zone before and during the AEC.
The PRD Deputy Director-General added that his agency would step up its
operations to promote understanding between the government and Thai
people, underline the unity, and instill love for the nation, religion,
and the monarchy.
Police steps up security measures after grenade attack at Criminal Court in Bangkok
BANGKOK, 8 March 2015 (NNT) National police chief
Somyot Pumpanmuang has ordered police to step up security measures and
share necessary information with soldiers assigned for a peace-keeping
mission in Bangkok following an explosion at the Criminal Court on
Ratchadapisek Road on Saturday night.
Uniform and plainclothes police officers have been deployed around
various important places in Bangkok to ensure security for Thais and
The explosion involved an RGD5 grenade that was thrown into the court's
parking lot, followed by a gunfire which wounded a man. RGD5 had been
used in numerous attacks by protesters during last year's political
rallies. Thus the police chief believed the explosion was intended to
create unrest and violence.
Motivation of the grenade attack is still under a joint investigation by
police and military units
Consumable items get cheaper after Chinese New Year
BANGKOK, 8 March 2015 (NNT) Many consumer products in
markets are now on sale at cheaper prices after the Chinese New Year
festival, as observed by the Commerce Minister.
The Minister of Commerce, Gen Chatchai Sarikulya, today conducted a
field observation for retails in the Wattananun Market in Don Mueang
District, Bangkok along with officials from the Department of Internal
He said that the prices of most items have been reduced, while some
items remain at the same price from the Chinese New Year festival,
including pork, chicken, vegetables, fruits, and eggs, except for beef
that has a higher price compared to other items due to lower levels of
In the observation today, most merchants have displayed prices for each
item clearly, while some vendors used inaccurate weight scales and have
been notified. Accurate weight scales are also available in the market
for consumers to re-check their purchased items.
The Minister of Commerce also mentioned that the prices for cooked foods
in Don Mueang District are still within the controlled standard of the
Ministry, and the public can report overpriced foods or products to the
Ministry for further inspection.
Meanwhile, the DIT will continue conducting observations to check the
sales of fruit and vegetables as the country has entered the drought
season, causing some strain on the amount of produce for some fruits and
vegetables. In this observation however, seasonal fruits and vegetables
are still available at normal prices.
Water and fire trucks sent out around Lampang to reduce haze
LAMPANG, 8 March 2015 (NNT) The Third Army Area has
sent out water and fire trucks around Lampang Province to spray water to
reduce haze and air pollution which has covered the province since Jan
The trucks move past living quarters in Muang District while spraying
water into the air to increase moisture and simultaneously decrease the
fine particle load in the atmosphere which is still higher than the safe
The officials on all trucks also encouraged local residents to spray
water in their house gardens and the front lawns, as well as avoid any
fire until the air quality becomes normal.
Measurement of air quality in Lampang in the morning of March 8th
indicates that haze remains heavy in the area with the Particle Matter
(PM10) level over standard. In Muang District the PM10 level is at 105
micrograms per cubic meter whereas in the sub-districts of Ban Dong, Sop
Pat and Mae Mo, the particle loads are at 108, 100 and 96 micrograms per
cubic meter respectively. Overall, air quality ranges from medium level
down to the level which causes health problems.
The Third Army Area sent its 2nd Corps Commander to inspect the progress
of haze and fire control measures in Lampang during the weekend and
found the situation was satisfactory. However, the officer urged
provincial authorities to standby for emergency until the air quality is
back to normal situation.
NRC expected to consider reports on education reform and human resource strategy
BANGKOK, 9 March 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council (NRC) is expected to consider an educational and human resource
development strategy drafted by the educational reform committee in its
Apart from the issue, the NRC will hear a report of progress presented
by the Constitution Drafting Committee.
The meeting will continue tomorrow to endorse the progress report on the
draft constitution to be presented by the chairman of the drafting
committee Bovornsak Uwanno. This will be followed by a consideration
into a report by the national resource and environment committee on the
organizational reform related to city planning and land usage system.
Chiang Mai holds MOL meets public employment fair
CHIANG MAI, 8 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Labour
has joined hands with Chiang Mai province and related agencies to hold a
job fair today with aims to reduce unemployment, improve workforce
skills, and stimulate the economy.
The Minister of Labour, Gen Surasak Karnjanarat, today presided over the
opening ceremony of the MOL meets the public job fair 2015, which is
themed ‘Joyful Northern People thanks to Employment’ on 8-9 March 2015
at the Chiangmai International Convention Center.
In this occasion, the Permanent Secretary of Labour Ministry, Nakorn
Silpa-archa, said that the MOL meets the public project has been held in
Khon Kaen, Chonburi, Songkhla, and Chiang Mai to deliver the services of
the MOL and its related agencies to the public along with the Governor
meets the people project.
The activities are designed to address the economic development trends,
encourage employment, reduce labour shortage issues, as well as improve
the skills and capabilities of the public workforce in preparation for
the challenges and the competitions in the ASEAN region and the
international level, said the Permanent Secretary of Labour.
The job fair features 10,000 vacancies from 200 companies, an online
well wishes signing booth for Their Majesties the King and Queen,
employment consultancies, employment preparedness tests, and exhibitions
on the achievements of about 100 government and private agencies.
For the governor meets the people event held in parallel with the job
fair, the event includes health checkup services, issuing of
identification cards, renew driver’s licenses, Red Cross Charter
services, the sale of OTOP merchandise, the Blue Flag cheap product
fair, as well as entertainment activities.
NACC to hold "Corruption-Free Local Administrative Organization" workshop during Mar 9-12
BANGKOK, 8 March 2015 (NNT) The National
Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is to hold an annual workshop aimed at
promoting a corruption-free local administrative organization (LAO) at
Richmond Hotel in Nonthaburi from March 9-12.
The workshop will raise the understanding of LAO staff about the threat
of corruption to national prosperity. Participants in the workshop will
be embedded with the value of honesty, morality and good governance so
that they can be models for LAO officials nationwide.
Since 2009, a number of LAO have been presented with “Good Governance
Award” for their efforts to keep the administration out of corruption
and promote public participation in anti-corruption process. These
organisations are ready to transfer their experience to other LAOs in
Thailand, revealed an NACC spokesman.
Govt.: Land and house tax collection necessary
BANGKOK, 9 Mar 2015, (NNT) The new land and house tax
collection scheme will not affect the majority of the people, Deputy
Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd has said, adding
that the country needs income for development.
as According to Maj Gen Sansern, the old bill is obsolete and needs to
be updated to better reflect the current situation. He asked all to
understand that tax collection is necessary for the development of the
nation, underlining the fact that it is everyone’s duty to pay tax.
He said Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has already drawn up
guidelines for the Ministry of Finance to follow; for example, the bill
must not affect low-income earners, but those who earn more will have to
The Deputy Government Spokesperson, however, said the issue remained an
idea at the moment, and more studies would be conducted to ensure that
the bill would be fair to all sides. The Cabinet and the National
Legislative Assembly must also approve of the bill in order for it to
He asked the residents not to be overly concerned and urged all to
refrain from lambasting the bill.
NBTC to discuss CAT’s internal restructuring in mid-March
BANGKOK, 9 Mar 2015, (NNT) The National Broadcasting
and Telecommunications Commission will convene a meeting in the middle
of this month to discuss the internal restructuring of CAT Telecom
According to Commissioner Supinya Klangnarong, her agency has initially
planned to scale down the number of its sub-committees and combine some
of its offices with the NBTC.
She also disclosed that the Commission had received an open letter from
Amarin Televisions Company, asking it to address several issues
regarding the management of the digital TV.
The company asked the NBTC to look into the fairness in assigning the
channel numbers in digital TV, the airing of standard definition
contents in high definition channels, the clarification of regulations
regarding ads in the digital TV, and the technical hiccups that prevent
the airing of high definition content from the DVB-S2 digital satellite
NRC President assures only charter without flaw will be put to use
BANGKOK, 6 March 2015 (NNT) The President of the
National Reform Council has assured that he will not allow the new
Constitution to be put to use if it has any flaw.
NRC President Tienchay Kiranant said that the Constitution Drafting
Committee, on April 17, is scheduled to present their first draft of the
new charter to the reform council who will spend the following 10 days
deliberating the draft.
Therefore, the NRC is set to carefully review the new Constitution
during April 20 and 26, except April 23 when the National Legislative
Assembly has scheduled a meeting, he said.
Mr. Tienchay added that all NRC members will be allowed to freely share
their opinions about the draft charter while any questions from them and
the NLA , the Cabinet as well as the National Council for Peace and
Order can later be directed to the charter drafters for clarification.
The NRC President believes that the final version of the new
Constitution will be exactly how it has been expected — a suitable and
fair charter that can solve the problems of social, economic and
He asserted that the NRC will not allow a charter which is not of any
value or meaningfulness to be put to use as it will only cause more
problems to Thailand later.
NLA approves draft law on infectious animal diseases.
The legislature also agreed to appoint a 19-member
special committee to work on the draft law, and scheduled the
deliberation within seven days. The entire process is set to be
completed within 60 days.
The latest draft law that received an endorsement of the NLA was first
passed in 1982 and the amendment was initiated to update it to suit the
current global conditions.
Under the amended law, the Public Health Minister who will receive
advice from a committee on animal germs and toxin, which is yet to be
set up, is authorized to make all announcements about the details, the
methodology, the list of germs or toxins, and all related information to
protect the public.
In addition, more efficient control measures and clauses related to
legal punishment have also been added to the old law. (NNT)
CDC: Election to take place with 180 days after new charter is in effect
BANGKOK, 6 March 2015 (NNT) The next general election
will have to take place within less than six months after the new
charter is put into effect, according to the Constitution Drafting
CDC spokesman Kamnoon Sidhisamarn said on Thursday that the new
Constitution is expected to include 315 articles.
He added that, under the suspending clause of article 308, the general
election of members of parliament must take place within 90 days while
all senators must be ready to work within 150 days after the related
organic law of the new Constitution is in effect.
Once the new charter is officially in use, the CDC will have to submit
to the legislature within 60 days the organic law related to the
elections of MPs and senators before sending it to the Constitutional
Court within 30 days to rule whether it is in contradiction with the
charter .Mr. Kamnoon said that.
Based on these conditions, it is clear that the general elections of MPs
and senators will have to be organized within 180 days and 240 days,
respectively, after the new Constitution is active.
Nan Province to hold Thai Heritage Conservation Day activity during 2-6 Apr
NAN, 6 March 2015 (NNT) Nan Province is to hold an
event to mark the Thai Heritage Conservation Day under the concept
“Bringing Ethnics Together for ASEAN Prosperity”. It is also held in
honor of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the occasion of her 5th
Cycle Birthday Anniversary.
The Governor of Nan said that the event is aimed at promoting public
unity amidst ethnic diversities for better mutual understanding and
integrity. It is also an opportunity for people of all ages to
participate in religious and cultural activities which can help
stimulate the local economy of Nan through cultural tourism and trading
of OTOP products.
There will be a wide range of activities in the event, for example, food
offering to Buddhist monks, Summer Monk and Novice Ordination, trading
of native products made by ethnic groups, cooking demonstration on
native cuisine and performances as well as a light and sound show
entitled “Bringing Nan Heritage to ASEAN”.
People are invited to attend the event during 2-6 April 2015 at Kuang
Mueng Nan and the provincial museum.
PM vows to promote women's rights on International Women's Day
BANGKOK, 6 March 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha vowed to promote gender equality in Thailand so that women
can have a better quality of life.
His commitment was contained in his speech on "Two Decades of Beijing
Declaration: The Power of Women, The Power of Society" delivered at the
opening ceremony of the International Women’s Day celebration held at
The PM said that nowadays Thai women have taken a
greater role in society including political, police and military
circles. Most of them work in office jobs dealing with documentation and
administrative system which require high patience, accuracy and
minuteness. In his opinion, women should be given an equal opportunity
to access political sphere. However, he admitted that some careers, such
as army chief, do not suit women.
As head of the government, he gave moral support to Thai women to help
develop the country and insisted that the government has put efforts to
expedite the enactment of gender equality laws as gifts for Thai women.
The draft law is under the deliberation of the National Legislative
The PM also assigned the police to stop a planned rally by monks on 12
Mar aimed to terminate the National Reform Council (NRC) committee on
the Protection of Buddhism, saying the move was inappropriate for monks.
Chaiyaphum holds national reform opinion forum
CHAIYAPHUM, 6 March 2015 (NNT) The public opinion
forum on the national reform has been held in Chaiyaphum province to
encourage the public to participate on the reformation agenda.
The Governor of Chaiyaphum Wichian Chanthanothai has presided over the
public opinion forum at the Chaiyaphum Rajabhat University auditorium.
The forum was held to gather opinions from the general public on the
topic of national reform.
The public opinion forums have been held in accordance to the National
Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s roadmap in its second phase, which
consists of the gathering of opinions and suggestions from the general
public aged over 18 years in the subdistrict level. The public feedback
coverage also includes opinions from education institutes and
About 200 students participated in this forum held at Chaiyaphum
The reconciliation proceedings aim to create unity at the village,
district, provincial, and eventually on a national level.
Security & transport authorities discuss accident prevention plans for Songkran
BANGKOK, 6 March 2015 (NNT) High-ranking officials
from the Royal Thai Police and the Department of Highways have convened
a joint meeting to discuss plans to prevent and minimize accidents in
preparation for the upcoming Songkran Festival.
According to Royal Thai Police Spokesperson Pol. Lt. Gen. Prawut
Thawornsiri, the Department of Highways will expedite the repair and
maintenance of all damaged roads and will also enlarge road shoulders in
rest areas and souvenir zones in order to lower accidents.
The Department of Highways expects to complete the repair and
maintenance of main roads within one month. A recent survey has found
that there are more than 700 roads across the country where maintenance
works are needed. The Royal Thai Police has also requested the
Department of Highways to give a notice before carrying out the revamp
so that police will be sent out to facilitate the task.
Traffic accidents during the seven-day Songkran Festival last year
reportedly claimed 322 lives and injured 3,225. Driving under the
influence was the main cause of casualties.
TCELS receives positive feedback from BioAsia event
HYDERABAD, 6 March 2015 (NNT) Thailand’s BioAsia 2015 event has received
much attention from participating entrepreneurs and media, with
highlight on cosmetics made from natural rubber, says the CEO of
Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences.
The Chief Executive Officer of Thailand Center of Excellence for Life
Sciences (TCELS), Nares Damrongchai, has said that the TCELS and its
network agencies have joined the BioAsia 2015 event in Thailand Pavilion
The Thailand Pavilion exhibition features products and services in life
sciences such as cosmetics made from natural rubber and the medical
gnome center. The exhibition also invited agencies and entrepreneurs
from India to attend the Thailand LAB 2015 technology exhibition, set to
commence in Bangkok during 9-11 September 2015.
The TCELS CEO has said that the centre’s participation this year in
BioAsia, has given TCELS insights on medicine manufacturing and new
medicines, biological products, medical services, and in-dept clinical
He said that Thailand’s exhibition received the most attention from
visitors with entrepreneurs, investors, and the media. Much of the
attention was concentrated on cosmetics that were made from natural
rubber. Research cooperation in medicine and tests in human, the medical
gnome project, and medicine registration in Thailand also drew attention
from the attendees and the media.
This event saw about 20 business negotiations and cooperation prospects.
Another fruitful cooperation was between the TCELS and the Federation of
Asian Biotechnology Association (FABA), an agency of the Telangana State
in India. Both parties will led the Indian agencies' attendance to the
Thailand LAB 2015 exhibition, according to the TCELS CEO.
The TCELS CEO has then said that the presentation of the achievement on
life sciences by TCELS and its partners has been the main role of the
center, that has led to cooperation on the international level, which
complies to the center’s main role as an agency for life sciences
cooperation that aims to collaborate with other agencies domestically
S. Korea, UAE to jointly penetrate new renewable energy markets
SEJONG, March 6 MCOT South Korea and the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) will join forces to make inroads into promising renewable
energy markets, the government said Friday.
The deal came as South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrived in the UAE
the same day as part of her nine-day, four-nation trip to the Middle
East to strengthen ties with the region.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) was inked in Abu Dhabi on Thursday that can harness
South Korea's technical know-how in the energy and industrial sectors
with the UAE's financial clout and understanding of regional markets.
The MOU is expected to further accelerate bilateral cooperation in
markets that have good growth potential, such as Egypt.
South Korea and the UAE have been working together to enter the North
African country's solar energy sector, as well as port development and
ship repair works. Other African countries can also become future
markets for joint projects.
Under the latest agreement, the two sides will set up a standing
consultative group chaired by ministerial-level officials that will
oversee feasibility studies and carry out research.
"The latest MOU lays the foundation for the two sides to penetrate new
growth markets that can benefit all sides," the ministry said.
It pointed out that joint cooperation can allow South Korean businesses
to capture emerging markets ahead of the competition and allow South
Korean workers to find jobs in these countries and with businesses that
support such operations. (Yonhap)
China to reduce coal consumption for better air
BEIJING, March 6 - China will slash coal consumption
by 160 million tonnes in the next five years to reduce air pollution,
according to an action plan released on Friday.
Jointly released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
(MIIT) and the Finance Ministry, the 2015-2020 action plan on the
efficient use of coal underlines the country's efforts and target for
greener energy use.
Reducing coal consumption will involve eliminating outdated production
capacity and using cleaner energy such as hydropower, nuclear, wind and
solar, said the action plan.
The highlight of the action plan is using fiscal and financial policies
to support coal consumption cuts by pumping more funds and financing to
battle pollution, said Gao Yunhu, a senior official of MIIT.
Currently, China's coal consumption accounts for about 66 percent of
primary energy use, 35 percentage points higher than the world average.
China aims to bring its share of non-fossil energy to 15 percent by 2020
and 20 percent by 2030.
According to the annual government work report delivered by Premier Li
Keqiang Thursday, the Chinese government plans to reduce energy
intensity, or units of energy per unit of GDP, by 3.1 percent in 2015.
NRC: religious reform is only an idea
BANGKOK, 6 March 2015 (NNT) The Defense Minister
downplayed a controversial proposal for
religious reform, following strong opposition
from Dhammakaya followers.
Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan
assured the public that the National Reform
Council (NRC) is well aware of the strong
opposition to reforms that are related to
NRC President Thienchai Kiranan said the NRC is
only discussing religious reforms, an idea which
currently exists in its infancy.
Followers of Wat Phra Dhammakaya have vowed to
take to the streets if the proposal was not
withdrawn in seven days. Despite the threat,
General Prawit claimed he is not worried about
Meanwhile, Army Chief General Udomdej Sitabutr
said he personally believes that further
deliberation is needed to decide whether the
religious reform should be implemented. He said
that no conflict should arise from the debate
and called for careful consideration of the
issue, given its sensitive nature.
Ratchaburi to hold public hearings on national reform
RATCHABURI, 6 March 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council (NRC) has launched another round of public hearings on national
reform in Ratchaburi province, where a total of 11 meetings are
scheduled by the end of March.
The sessions consist of more than 70 politically-active people, who were
asked to share their vision of Thailand 20 years from now and suggest
ways to solve deep-rooted issues. These problems include corruption,
vote buying, lagging education, nepotism, and social and economic gaps.
Among the proposed solutions were harsher punishments, especially in the
form of lifelong impeachments for rogue politicians, as well as the
acceleration of legal procedures and proceedings.
Other suggestions included the establishment of a school of ethics for
prospective civil servants, and a civil organization tasked with
scrutinizing civil servants and politicians.
The NRC is expected to finish the 11 hearings by the end of this month.
The final session is scheduled for March 26th.
Rescue units on standby as thunderstorms about to affect 40 provinces.
BANGKOK, 6 March 2015 (NNT) The Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has coordinated rescue efforts
in preparation for thunderstorm forecast across the country until next
According to DDPM Deputy Director-General Anusorn Kaewkangwan, the high
pressure system from China could bring thunder and hail storms to some
areas in the Northeast, lower Central region and the East of the
The DDPM is expected to respond to any emergency situations at any time,
even though no severe weather conditions have been reported yet. People
in 40 provinces have been told to brace for gusty winds and heavy rains.
They are also urged to remove any signs and placards which are
vulnerable to wind damage. The 18 DDPM provincial offices will be on
standby to dispatch a rescue team to help those in need or call a 24
hour-hotline at 1784.
However, the storms could raise national water storage levels and put
out forest fire on top of everything else. Residents affected by the
water shortage are advised to take this opportunity to store water.
Udon Thani holds an OTOP fair, highlighting traders' readiness to enter the AEC
UDON THANI, 6 Mar 2015 (NNT) The Upper Northern
Region Provinces are currently holding a One Tambon One Product (OTOP)
Fair in Udon Thani with a view to showing the readiness of Thai
entrepreneurs to enter the ASEAN Economic Community. The fair opens from
now until March 7th from 11a.m. to 10 p.m.
According to the organizers, the event provides another distribution
channel for OTOP products and also an incentive for producers to produce
high quality goods for the regional market. The fair is being organized
in line with the policies of the Government and the Department of
There are 150 stalls of vendors selected from all over the nation, the
organizers indicated, adding that 50 other stalls from Udon Thani’s
agricultural sector and another 50 food stalls from the previously held
OTOP City 2014 are also taking part in the fair.
The event also offers live performances and art shows and exhibitions.
Crown Prince changes Emerald Buddha’s costume to that of the summer season
BANGKOK, 6 March 2015 (NNT) His Royal Highness
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn on Thursday
(March 5) represented His Majesty the King at
the ceremony of changing the costume of the
Emerald Buddha image, at the Temple of the
Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace.
His Royal Highness, accompanied by his eldest
daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess
Bajrakitiyabha, arrived at the temple at 5.40
p.m. to perform the ritual of changing the
costume of the Emerald Buddha image from the
winter season cloak to the summer season attire
made of pure gold. The attire includes a diamond
studded headdress. The change of the costume
from the winter gown to that of the summer takes
place every year on the first waning moon of the
fourth lunar month, considered the first day of
This ceremony was dated back to the reign of
King Rama I who then built two seasonal costumes
for the Emerald Buddha image – one for the
summer season and the other for the rainy
season. King Rama III had another costume made
for the winter season. The costume used today
was built by King Rama IX in 1996 to replace the
old one which is 200 years old and becomes
After changing the Buddha image’s costume, His
Royal Highness sprinkled lustral water on
officials who were attending the ceremony inside
the ubosoth and then permitted the Brahmin
priests to pass consecrated candles known as
'Waen Wian Thian' to members of the Royal Family
and officials, in a gesture of blessing. After
the Wian Thian ceremony, His Royal Highness
sprinkled lustral water on people who came to
observe the ritual outside the temple.
Princess Soamsawali awards outstanding working woman of the year
BANGKOK, 6 March 2015 (NNT) Her Royal Highness
Princess Soamsawali yesterday (March 5) presided
over the ceremony of presenting plaques of honor
to women who have been selected Outstanding
Women of the Year 2015, at a hotel in Bangkok.
The award presentation was held in conjunction
with the International Women’s Day, March 8,
2015. It was organized by the Department of
Labour Protection and Welfare, Ministry of
Labour with a view to honoring women who have
played an exemplary role in promoting women’s
right and in the implementation of women
This year, a total of 29 women have been
selected as outstanding working women. They
represented women in six groups namely those
working in the executive level, those working in
the operational level, those taking independent
careers, those in the labor sector and the mass
media, and women in the development
Thailand, through the Department of Labour
Protection and Welfare, has been campaigning for
the right of woman labour by raising public
awareness on the importance of working women and
promoting equal opportunities in workplaces as
well as developing their legal knowledge for the
benefit of their lives and families. This year’s
theme for the International Women’s Day
celebration in Thailand is on the power of women
in national reform.
Buriram water usage jumps, as drought rages on
BURIRAM, 6 Mar 2015, (NNT) As the haze weather
condition from drought rages on, the
Northeastern Province of Buriram has reported
that its average daily water usage of the local
has jumped to 21,000 cubic meters, an increase
of 2-3,000 cubic meter from the usual.
According to the Waterworks Office in Buriram,
the temperature in the Northeastern region at
this time of year is between 36-38 degrees
Celsius during the day, and will likely be even
higher during the month of April and May, the
hottest period of the year.
According to officials, the locals reportedly
consumed 653,000 cubic meters of water during
April of last year. The figure is expected to
remain the same or even higher this year.
In order to avoid water shortages, the
provincial waterworks and the irrigation office
plan to release water from the nearby Huay Talad
Reservoir to the Huay Jorakay Reservoir, the
province's source of raw water for tap water
To prevent shortages, the Office plans to draw
more water from the Mart river if needed, said
the officials, adding that the province would
need up to 10 million cubic meters of water for
consumption this year.
Roi Et holds an exposition on traditional Thai and alternative medicines
ROI ET, 6 Mar 2015 (NNT) Roi Et Province is currently holding an
exposition on the Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine.
Director General of the Department of Thai Traditional and
Complementary Medicine, Dr. Twatchai Kamontham, yesterday
chaired the opening ceremony of the exposition which was being
held at the Somdet Phrasrinakarin Garden in Roi Et.
The event is the 7th of its kind, and is a part of the local
annual ‘Bun Phawet’ merit making festival. The exposition
showcases new innovations and exhibition on the Thai traditional
and complementary medicines and their application in the era of
the ASEAN Economic Community.
The fair is also an excellent ground for experts in the field to
mingle and exchange their ideas.
Event goers can also purchase a wide range of herbal medicines
and try out Thai traditional treatment at the fair.
Organizers expect that more than 10-thousand people including
practitioners, health officials and interested youths would
visit the exposition this year.
The new Land and House Tax Collection Bill is expected to be promulgated within the next 2 years
BANGKOK, 6 Mar 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister M.R.
Pridiyathorn Devakula told press members that the Cabinet would
grill the new land and house tax collection scheme within the
next 2 weeks, while expecting its promulgation in 2 years’ time.
M.R. Pridiyathorn briefly explained that the new scheme would
collect tax starting from 0.1% of the land price, from the owner
of a land with building. He added the tax for land without a
construction would be slightly higher than before, and the tax
for land with residential building would be as much as that of
annual vehicle tax.
He expected the new bill would be promulgated within the next 2
years. In the meantime, the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology
Development Agency, or GISDA, needs to survey the entire area
and constructions in the country while the Treasury Department
should work out prices of land in different parts of the
As for a hike in the Value Added Tax, the Deputy Prime Minister
said there is no indication of the hike for the moment, adding
that the necessity of the move may be negated if the Government
implements the new land and house tax collection scheme.
However, he said the amount of tax collected from February would
also contribute to the decision.
M.R. Pridiyathorn admitted that the amount of tax collected last
month may be lower than that of January, but expressed his
confidence that the figure would be higher than the one in the
same period last year by 7-8%.
He said the number signals an improvement in public spending,
despite the falling Consumer Confidence Index last month.