PM promises overhaul of chicken industry
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has pledged a radical
overhaul of Thai chicken farming methods in response to the avian flu
crisis, saying that farmers will be encouraged to turn to closed farming
methods to prevent similar epidemics in the future.
The prime minister unveiled a raft of long-term measures
to stem off the swelling tide of concern that avian flu could strike again.
Speaking in Suphan Buri Province, which has been worst
affected by the flu outbreak, Thaksin hinted of a mass vaccination program
which would be carried out each year before the seasonal migration of ducks
from China. But he also conceded that it would be necessary to kill all
chickens to halt the immediate crisis.
“We will have to kill all chickens, as well as other
kinds of poultry and partridges, even if they do not show signs of disease,
in order to prevent the spread of the epidemic. This epidemic has now
covered the entire province of Suphan Buri. We must act decisively. Chicken
coops must be made free from chickens. They must be sprayed and abandoned
for a while before they are used again,” Thaksin said.
“When this crisis is over, I will ask the Ministry of
Agriculture and Agriculture Cooperatives to find ways to help farmers make
the changes,” Thaksin said. (TNA)
Government to shave corporate tax for oil traders
The government has approved a proposal to cut the
corporate tax for oil trading companies from the present 30 % to 10 % to
support Thailand’s initiative to become the energy hub in Southeast Asia.
The bill is expected to be passed within two weeks.
The Ministry of Energy said it would use PTT Plc, PTT
Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP), and the Electricity Generating
Authority of Thailand (EGAT) as the international investment arms for its
plans to promote Thailand as an energy hub in the region.
Minister of Energy Prommin Lertsuridej, said the
government aims to make the Kingdom a regional hub for electricity, oil,
fuel, natural gas, petrochemicals, and cooking gas. Eventually Thailand
plans to set up a link with Indo-China which would allow Thailand to supply
electricity to other parts of Asia. (TNA)
Thais asked to help save energy
Energy Minister Prommin Lertsuridej is calling on Thai
people to help save energy to ease the burden on the government’s fuel
price cap. He said gasoline prices in the world market had begun to decline
gradually since the Chinese New Year festival. However, diesel oil prices
are slightly higher because the demand has increased in Europe, where the
weather is now very cold.
The minister said he wanted people to help save fuel
consumption since the government is using the Oil Fund to cap prices by
spending around 1-2 baht per liter, or 80-90 million baht per day.
Dr. Prommin projected that the fuel situation would
return to normal in the next two months, and the government would not need
to cap fuel prices after that. He said, however, that the government’s
measure on the fuel price cap had kept product prices in the market under
Chicken industry chiefs urge talks with trade partners
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) called on the
government to hold a series of talks with its trading partners over the bird
flu scare, saying that frank discussions were better than mutual
Speaking about the confirmed cases of bird flu in
Thailand, FTI deputy president Kiertiphong Noijaiboon asked the government
to hold talks with representatives from trading partners, including the
European Union (EU) and Japan, and invite chicken producers to explain their
“These talks would help create a joint approach to the
situation, with trade representatives advising Thailand on how best to
proceed to solve the problem,” Kiertiphong said.
At the same time, Kiertiphong stressed the necessity of
cooperating closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), noting that
WHO approval of Thailand’s measures to contain the epidemic would
considerably boost its international credibility.
Kiertiphong was quick to point out that the bird flu
epidemic was confined to egg farms, and was not affecting meat farms.
He explained, “The problem of chicken flu has emerged
in open farms, which are all chicken egg farms, rather than farms producing
meat for export. If the government gives this information to Thailand’s
trading partners, they should be able to understand the situation more
clearly. That way, the impact on the chicken meat export industry, which is
worth 40 billion baht per annum, will be reduced.”
Meanwhile Wichai Techawattanan, president of the
Association of Chicken Producers, Traders and Exporters, said, “The
association has edged down exports of eggs, as it fears a domestic egg
shortage. Currently eggs are no longer being exported to India, South Africa
or the Middle East although they are still being sent to Hong Kong.”
Wichai stressed that these measures had been put in place
by the Thai exporters, not because some countries had imposed an import ban.
Domestic prices of eggs have risen to a 10-year high. For
example, size 2 eggs now cost 2.80 baht each. The public is being advised to
refrain from the consumption of raw eggs, while reassurances have been given
that the consumption of cooked eggs is 100 percent safe. (TNA)
Establishment of Asia Bond Secretariat approved
The Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Asia
Bond Secretariat Office in Thailand, as proposed by the Finance Ministry.
Government Spokesman Jakrapob Penkair said, “The
government has placed great importance on setting up the Asia Bond market.
This market could serve as a long-term capital source for member countries
and lead to a balanced structure of the money, capital and debt-instrument
The secretariat office will play a role in monitoring the
movement of the money and debt-instrument markets in the region, boost
mutual understanding and cooperation among member countries, and develop the
demand and supply of the debt-instrument market in the private sector. (TNA)
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