Thursday, 20 November 2014 16:03

Bangkokians can expect a monorail soon

BANGKOK, 20 November 2014 -The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is now preparing for the monorail construction after receiving the cabinet’s approval.

Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumband Paribatra chaired the first public hearing on the planned construction of the electric train service, known to Thais as ‘Grey Line’.

The monorail service will run on the Watcharaphon-Rama 9 Bridge-Tha Phra route. The cabinet approval to the project was meant to relieve traffic congestion and encourage more Thais to rely on public transportation.

The Bangkok Governor said the monorail would become another alternative to daily commutes. The construction would produce little impact on the environment and landscape. The 26 kilometer railway will have had 31 stations by the time the service is ready.

A feasibility study is already underway to find the pros and cons of the Grey Line. Results are expected to be revealed in the near future.

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 20 November 2014 - Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park officers in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province have discovered more than 300 ancient horse shoes.

Park officials revealed that a total of 334 old horse shoes weighing around 300-400 grams each have been discovered within the area. They were found inside a cave in Koh Rom, which is an island belonging to the national park area.

Authorities have also requested experts from the Fine Arts Department to help shed some light on these objects. Outsiders are not permitted to enter the area before investigations have been complete. As of now, it is still relatively unknown how these old horse shoes came and which era they belong to.

BANGKOK, 20 November 2014 -The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has reported an uptrend in the Thai Industrial Sentiment Index (TISI) towards the end of the year as a result of increasing orders from abroad.

FTI Chairman Suphan Mongkolsuthee indicated that the TISI in October was standing at 87.5, increasing from 86.1 in September, due largely to more purchasing orders being placed by importers overseas ahead of the year-end festive season. Remarkable increases were seen in such product categories as fashion, food, electronic and electrical appliances and telecommunications. Other positive factors included the government’s disbursement of economic stimulus budgets and the declining oil prices.

Nonetheless, Mr Suphan noted that entrepreneurs remained worried about the domestic economic direction and the slow-to-recover global economy. They viewed that the government should urgently accelerate its investments and budget spending so as to stimulate the economy in the long run and bolster the private sector’s confidence.

As for the automotive industry, about 150,000 units were produced in October, up 13.7 percent from September. As a result, the production figure for the first ten months of this year has amounted to 1.5 million units, less than the same period last year by over 25 percent. The whole year’s figure is expected to reach 2 million.

BANGKOK, 18 November 2014 -The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Ministry of Commerce, has planned to develop the "One Tambon One Product" commodities commonly called OTOP goods, to boost their sales in the international market.

Mrs.Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, DITP director-general said her office would select the most competitive four- star and five-star OTOP products to participate in the product development program to be held throughout 2015.

These products would be displayed in various exhibitions in Thailand and abroad including the Top of OTOP exhibition during the year, said Nuntawan.

The DITP's program focuses on product-design development and marketing channels to make them precisely fit the orders of international consumers. The program is expected to increase Thai exports' earnings and generate more income to local people.

BANGKOK, 18 November 2014 -The government has presided at a five-party meeting, during which all participants affirmed to drive forward the reform roadmap in a timely manner.

Members of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the Cabinet, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), the National Reform Council (NRC) and the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) have come together for the first time, with a view to following up on each body’s work progress and exchanging opinions on related subjects.

On this occasion, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed all sides to take more concrete steps to accelerate their reform efforts. The premier urged the 18 reform committees to propose any urgent matters directly to the NCPO or the government so as to put them into action as quickly as possible while noting that other issues to be made into laws should be submitted promptly to the NLA or the Cabinet for approval.

The NRC and the CDC, meanwhile, were told to push ahead with their compilation of public input concerning the new permanent constitution within the framework allowed by the martial law.

Moreover, the five bodies agreed to establish a new subcommittee to be in charge of drafting organic laws in a bid to ensure the new charter’s practicality and success in paving the way for the next general election.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:26

OBEC to improve students' O-NET test results

BANGKOK, 19 Nov 2014, To improve students' O-Net test performance, the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC), plans to give out Pre-O-Net test sheets to students so they can practice before sitting the real exam..

According to Secretary General of the OBEC, Kamol Rodklai, his agency has set January 31st to February 1st as the dates for six- and nine-grade students' O-Net tests, and February 7th-8th for twelfth graders' .

Mr. Kamol said the Office would, prior to the tests, give out Pre-O-Net test sheets for students to practice, saying that the move would help improving or at least maintaining their scores.

The OBEC has instructed schools to analyse the examination results in order to devise plans to improve their students' performance, he said. He added that the Office is planning to group schools with higher overall O-Net scores together, saying these schools could help the OBEC developing a concrete education improvement roadmap later on.

BANGKOK, 19 Nov 2014, The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has reported that the nation's national commercial banks made 53.8 billion baht in profits during Quarter 3.

BoT's senior director of the payment systems, Policy Department, Jaturong Jantarangs, said the figures represented a 5.6% increase on-year, which is considered a slow growth rate in both regular business and consumer lending.

According to him, the quarter's business lending growth is relatively close to the previous quarter's, due mainly to the fact that some major companies have opted to issue bonds instead of taking out loans from commercial banks. The quality of loans during the quarter also dropped slightly.

Non-performing loans (NPL), rose to 2.34% from the second quarter of 2.28%. He attributed the rise to the increase in consumer lending, which rose to 2.54% from 2.4%.from the quarter before.

The commercial bank sector remains stable, however, said Mr. Jaturong, adding that the sector's net profit in the third quarter was reported at 53.8 billion baht, a slight dip from Q 2's.

BANGKOK, 19 Nov 2014,  The Department of Land Transport has urged van operators who have not registered their names with either the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) or the Transport Company Limited, to do so within December or they may loose their licenses. 

BANGKOK, 19 November 2014 -The Cabinet has approved the inheritance tax bill and favorably agreed to a cooperation project to develop dual-track railways between Thailand and China.

Among other items proposed to the Cabinet for consideration yesterday, China is expected to purchase agricultural products from Thailand as part of the New Year’s gift for the Thai people and to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The Cabinet also approved the draft inheritance tax law, which will be carefully reviewed within a period of six months before being sent to the National Legislative Assembly.

Deputy Spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the Cabinet also approved in principle the Public Assembly Bill. According to the draft bill, those involved in public gatherings are required to notify the government one day in advance about the exact time and location of their rallies.

Protestors and those involved in public gatherings are also prohibited from making movement during night time or a public speech after 10:00PM. They are strictly prohibited to gather at important places such as the Government House, government offices, and airports.

BANGKOK, 19 November 2014 -Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-ocha has offered his condolences to the families of the nine soldiers killed in the recent helicopter crash in Phayao on the evening of November 17.

He has also ordered the Army Chief to provide full military assistance to the deceased. The premier said that although the helicopter was old, it had been properly maintained. The Army has more than 40 helicopters of this type in its service.

Deputy Army spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong revealed that the Army Chief has ordered that the families of the crash victims be well taken care of. The nine officers will be posthumously promoted up to 9 ranks and will be entitled to receive a retirement fund 7 levels higher than their current ranks.

Meanwhile, the Army Chief General Udomdej Sitabutr, yesterday presided over the royal bathing rite for the deceased at Wat Khuha-sawan in Phitsanulok province. A nightly requiem will be held at the monastery until November 24th and a royally-sponsored cremation ceremony is scheduled for November 25th.