In Thailand English-language News for January 24, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:48 | Princess Chulabhorn has established an emblem in the shape of an orange drop containing a white cross and the outline of five animals vulnerable to rabies for her ‘Disease-free animals, save humans from rabies’ programme. Described as a major problem in Thai society, the emblem depicts the images of a cow, dog, cat, pig and rabbit, while orange is the colour of the day of the Princess’ birth.
01:45 | Chairman of the Constitutional Drafting Commission (CDC), Meechai Ruchuphan, said yesterday that the rationale behind the decision to delay implementation of the Members of Parliament Law must be explained by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). He said he personally wants to hear the reasons behind the decision
Meanwhile, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday denied claims that he intervened in the work of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and assured the public that the general election will take place, though the exact date will be up to related agencies.
03:07 | Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson, lieutenant general Sansern Kaewkamnerd, yesterday announced that the Cabinet has agreed to transfer management of the Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) to the Ministry of Interior (MoI).
Meanwhile, he reported that the Thai economy in 2017 exceeded its target, while requests for investment incentives to the Thailand Board of Investment (BoI) in 2017 totalled more than Bt641.9 billion (about US$20 billion), exceeding the target of Bt600 billion (US$18.88 billion). Heading the list were investors from Japan, Singapore, and China. For 2018 the BoI has set an incentive target of Bt720 billion (US$22.656 billion).
05:04 | Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson, lieutenant general Sansern Kaewkamnerd, reported yesterday that deputy prime minister Dr Wissanu Krea-ngam had informed the weekly Cabinet meeting that all 11 national reform committees had completed their draft work plans, and that the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has already summarised them, though will need to add additional pages before hosting a joint committee meeting mid next month.
06:24 | The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has expressed disappointment at the World Report on Human Rights 2018 by Human Rights Watch, saying human rights efforts undertaken by the Thai government had been ignored due to the organisations political bias. Newsline takes a look at the various steps taken to improve human rights in the kingdom.
09:12 | Deputy prime minister and Defence Minister, General Prawit Wongsuwan, has instructed security units to strictly enforce the law to ensure public safety. According to Defence Ministry spokesperson, lieutenant general Kongcheep Tantravanich, security units have to date arrested some 25,000 individuals involved in drug, and arms trafficking, as well as the production of fake passports, and credit cards.
12:12 | The Cabinet on Tuesday approved plans by the Government Housing Bank (GHBank) to sell government bonds worth Bt33.2 billion (about US$1 billion) with the aim of averting potential long-term liquidity problems.
13:33 | The logistics subcommittee of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is to host a seminar on January 31, 2018 aimed at brainstorming production, trade, and service practices and standards in the logistics sector, with the aim of developing a national logistics strategy for the next 20 years.
Meanwhile, the National Housing Authority (NHA) has been granted approval to proceed with eight out of 14 affordable housing projects for low-income earners up until 2020, with a budget of Bt792.5 million (about US$24.986 million) for the construction of 2,190 units in eight provinces.
14:26 | The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has urged the government to reconsider its minimum wage increase. The increases, the first since 2013, ranges from Bt5 (about US$0.16) to Bt22 (US$0.69) per day and will increase minimum daily wages to between Bt308 (US$9.71) and Bt330 (about US$10.40).
Scheduled to commence April 1, 2018, JSCCIB president, Klin Sarasin, said that body had found up to 92 per cent of people questioned consider the rise as “excessive” and warned it will result in high unemployment and rapid automation.
15:49 | The Thai economy is expected to expand 4 per cent this year due to continued growth momentum in the export and tourism sectors, as well as the acceleration of public investment. However, investors remain concerned by uncertainty in the country’s election roadmap and other risks including appreciation of the Thai currency, lower-than-expected inflation, and an upswing in oil prices.
17:40 | The Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO) has organised a seminar on the Thai economy and technological changes to provide suggestions for business survival in the digital era. Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor, Veerathai Santiprabhob, told the gathering that business should adjust to changes and pay attention to efficiency enhancements while using technology and innovation. Skills of those in the working age group should be developed so that they can succeed in the digital era, he added.
18:44 | Newsline takes a look at efforts to prevent extinction of authentic Thai cats.
22:48 | Rakhine Chief Minister Nyi Pu has requested the central Myanmar government form an independent probe committee to investigate clashes between local residents and police in Mrauk U last week.
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Newsline is a daily Thailand English-language news and current affairs programme produced by the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNBT) under the Thailand Government Public Relations Department (PRD) for *NBT World, the NNBTs 24/7 English language television service delivering Thailand government news and information to the Thai, Asean, and wider Asian communities. AEC News Today publishes Thailand English-language News M-F.