Thailand English-language News for March 29 (video)

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In Thailand English-language News for Mach 29, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:

00:46 | Minister of Finance, Apisak Tantivorawong, yesterday announced that the Treasury Department is set to unveil new coins and a new series of banknotes for general circulations on April 6 with the front side featuring a portrait of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and the name “King Rama X.” He said that other existing coins will remain valid, noting that the use of coins and banknotes will gradually drop as the electronic transaction systems become more widely used.

02:03 | Commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army (RTA), General Chalermchai Sittisart, said yesterday that he was unaware of a plan by some members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to petition the Constitutional Court (CC) to review the draft law on the election of parliament members to determine if it violates the current Constitution, saying he is confident that the general election will be held in February 2019.

He added that officers from different national security units are keeping a close watch on members of  fledgling pro-democracy movements who are calling for a general election as soon as possible as Thailand heads towards the fourth anniversary of the ‘military intervention which saw democracy ‘paused’ in the country.

03:23 | Chairman of the Police Reform Committee, General Boonsang Niampradit, yesterday reported that after nine months of work the committee has come up with a reform plan targeting the authority of the police, police interrogation and investigation processes, and management and transfers of senior personnel.

The reform plan, he said, will be presented to Prime Minister General Prayut-Chan-o-cha today for any required adjustments, before seeking the approval of the Cabinet, and the Office of the Council of State (OCS), with finalisation expected to take over one year to complete.

05:06 | The National Legislative Assembly’s (NLA) “NLA Meets the People” project has covered six zones in northern Bangkok and found that heavy traffic congestion— particularly on Phahonyothin Road— drainage issue, and the encroachment on public land were some of the main problems upsetting residents.

Vice President of the NLA, Peerasak Porjit, said that legislature members will identify one main problem in each of the six zones and present them to the main assembly on April 24 where ten representatives of each of the 50 districts, along with representatives of relevant state agencies, will be invited to join the discussion.

06:43 | The Department of Employment (DOE) at the Ministry of Labor (MoL) has collected the retina scans of 168,538 foreign workers in the fishing and related industries in 22 coastal provinces since October 2nd last year.

Retina scanning enables the immediate identification of a person that cannot be distorted or forged, and is particular beneficial for those who work in the fishing and seafood industries whose fingerprints can be difficult to obtain due to their work. The collection process is scheduled to end on March 31.

07:45 | Authorities in various provinces are working around the clock providing rabies vaccination to stray dogs and cats, with Dr Tanit Sermkaew, head of the Phatthalung Office of Public Health saying that medical staff was recently sent to Bang Kaeo district of Phatthalung to give rabies vaccine to the family of a 39-year-old man believed to have died of rabies on March 25.

Officials have also been sent to the provincial central prison in Samut Songkhram where up to 80 of some 100 stray cats and dogs have been vaccinated and sterilised.

11:47 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday that the tourism and export sectors expand in February by 24 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

General Chan-o-cha said that safety and stability were two of the major reasons tourists visited Thailand and he urged the public and private sectors to hospitable toward foreign tourists and help ensure their safety and deliver good customer service.

12:44 | The director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN), Auramon Supthaweethum, told a media briefing that her department has dispatched negotiators to meet local farmers, in preparation for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia and New Zealand.

Ms Supthaweethum said an emphasis will be placed on improving the quality of coffee, beef, and dairy products, which will face tougher competition in the global market in the next 3-8 years when the kingdom relaxes import duties on these products from Australia and New Zealand.

To help local products compete with imported products the government will provide  information on produce processing knowledge and registering their products as Geographical Indication (GI) goods, she added.

Ms Supthaweethum also said that the department is continuing to monitor US trade policy in the wake of the recently announced trade barriers on steel and aluminium and that further discussions are planned with the US to formulate an appropriate reaction.

15:31 | Chairman of the board of the Deposit Protection Agency (DPA), Krisada Chinavicharana, assured the public of the agency’s solvency in light of a reduction in the protection limit to come into effect in August, saying the protection fund grew by 18.19 per cent in 2017. The liquidity coverage ration is currently at 180.11 per cent, he said.

On August 11 the protection limit will be reduced from Bt15 million (about US$479,000) to Bt10 million ($319,000). Next year it will reduce to Bt5 million ($159,000) and in 2020 reduce to Bt1 million ($31,000).

Currently, the DPA covers a total of 35 financial institutions with a combined 74.69 million clients. The deduction of the deposit protection limit will have no affect on the majority of financial institution clients, 99.9 per cent of whom have deposits less than Bt15 million and 98.21 per cent of who have less than Bt1 million(about $31,000).

16:44 | Commencing April 2 those who receive a police traffic ticket will be able to make payment at Krungthai Bank offices nationwide, via its network of ATMs, or via its KTB Netbank system. Payments can also be made at any of the 8,000 CenPay counters nationwide.

17:41 | The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is organising the annual Songkran celebration at Lumphini Park from April 12-15 aimed at promoting traditional festivities.

Activities include a showcase of the Thai way of life and traditional New Year festivities, as well as the Miss Songkran Beauty Pageant competition. Visitors who wear traditional Thai dress to the event and post their photos on social media with the appropriate hashtags will be eligible to win cash prizes and plane tickets.

19:43 | The Ministry of Foreign Affair (MFA) has organised a seminar to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Malaysia. The seminar included three panel discussions on politics and security affairs, economic and trade relations, and sociocultural issues.

21:44 | Newsline takes a look at the Rail Asia Expo & RISE Symposium 2018 which showcases railway solutions. The event ends today, March 29th.

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.  


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