NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 27 September 2014 The Parliament Secretariat confirmed on Friday it does not have authority to consider any request for a new province to be created, citing the termination of the B.E. 2550 charter.

The Nakhon Ratchasima provincial administrative organization convened a meeting on Friday to discuss the legalities associated with the provincial council's proposal to create a new province out of eight districts in Nakhon Ratchasima. The meeting discussed the letter sent by the Parliament Secretariat to Arun Akkharapridi, leader of the people's network supporting the creation of the new province. The letter explained that the current charter, the Interim Constitution B.E. 2557, does not grant Parliament authority to consider a new law proposed by the public.

Mr. Arun said he will consult his network's representatives from the eight provinces, concerning how to continue to proceed with the drive to create Bua Yai province.

BANGKOK, 27 September 2014  The Administrative Court has issued an order allowing Channel 3's signal to continue to be relayed through satellite and cable channels, allowing the television broadcaster time to settle its dual-system broadcast affairs without facing interruption to its relayed contents.

Ms. Suphinya Klannarong, a member of the committee on broadcasting affairs at the National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission, said that with the court's order, Channel 3 will be able to air on cable and satellite channels until 4.30 pm on October 11. Channel 3 will need to complete its arrangements with the NBTC concerning the dual airing on both analog and digital systems. The broadcaster will also have to report its progress on completing the said arrangements to the court.

Channel 3 earlier filed for a protection order from the Central Administrative Court, concerning the NBTC's resolution to have satellite and cable operators stop relaying Channel 3's analog signal on September 30. The broadcasting regulator had reached the resolution after deeming that Channel 3 failed to go through with the proposed simulcast.

BANGKOK, 27 Sep 2014,  National Security Council Secretary-General Tawil Pliensri has submitted the name of his replacement to the Government before he retires at the end of this month.

He told the media during his pre-retirement briefing that he for the past 5 months had been clearing out his leftover works before the new Secretary-General takes office.

According to Tawil, the name of his replacement has been forwarded to the Government, but he declined to reveal who he is as it has yet to be reviewed by the cabinet.

As for the southern violence suppression measures, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has yet to appoint the new head of the peace talks delegation, adding that Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan will visit the region to hand down policies to related officials next week, Tawil said.

Monday, 29 September 2014 10:21

BoT maintains this year's GDP growth at 1.5%

BANGKOK, 27 Sep 2014, The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has maintained its projection of Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at 1.5%, but adjusted down the projection for next year to 4.8% from the previous 5.5%.

According to BoT’s Monetary Policy Affairs Director Methee Suphapong, factors contributing to the slower GDP growth for 2015 include the lower-than-expected export growth and economic sluggishness in the kingdom’s trading partners.

The national bank predicted that the export sector would grow by 4%, down from 6% predicted earlier, adding that public spending and private investment would expand 4% and 10.2% respectively.

The BoT viewed that the Government’s spending would also expand, thanks to its various projects. The move would in turn restore the economy back to its balance.

Friday, 26 September 2014 13:42

PM urges all state agencies to work in concert

BANGKOK, 25 September 2014  Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has demanded concerted efforts among government units in each line of work while stressing the need for budgets to be evenly distributed to every corner of the country.

After his meeting with representatives of state agencies, Gen Prayut said the session was mainly aimed to categorize ministries and their subordinate offices into different working groups in accordance with the nature of their responsibilities. The premier revealed he would play the role of a coordinator so as to facilitate and speed up the works of all ministries.

On this occasion, policy guidelines were also given to the newly-formed working groups and, according to Gen Prayut, they must be implemented immediately and yield concrete results within one year. Each working group was ordered to perform its duty in an integrated manner and to submit a progress report to the next meeting.

Concerning budget disbursement, the Prime Minister said the government would make use of both the leftover budget from fiscal 2014 and the new budget prepared for fiscal 2015 in rejuvenating the national economy. He reiterated that the distribution of budgets must cover all areas throughout the Kingdom while the funds for holding seminars and field trips would mainly be spent domestically.

BANGKOK, 26 September 2014 Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is joining hands with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in promoting the Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) sector in Thailand.

According to Noppharat Methawikunlachai the director of TCEB, the MICE industry and the tourism industry generate a combined income of 80 billion baht per year. Significantly, the two industries help distribute income throughout the various locales of Thailand, which helps spur development in each of the locales. Under a collaboration agreement signed with the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, the two agencies will work together in four major affairs relating to the promotion of the MICE industry. The said affairs include policy and work plan, marketing, market communications and image-strengthening, and the boosting of the Thai MICE industry’s capacity. The agencies will also work to secure the rights to host important conventions. Personnel development will also be undertaken for the purpose of feeding the demands of the MICE industry.

Mr. Nophharat disclosed further that the Tourism Authority of Thailand had already secured the rights to World Travel Market Asia and World Tourism Day 2016 events.

Friday, 26 September 2014 13:39

Princess Chulabhorn back to hospital

BANGKOK, 26 September 2014 Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn has been readmitted to Vichaiyut Hospital after experiencing a new round of stomach ache.

The Bureau of the Royal Household said in its third announcement on the princess’s condition issued last night that doctors found several lumps in her stomach through a gastroscopy examination. Samples of the lumps have been taken for tests while the Princess has been advised by doctors to stay in hospital for treatment. Her Royal Highness has also been asked to refrain from duties for a while.

Her Royal Highness was first admitted to Vichaiyut Hospital on September 4 due to a stomach inflammation and was discharged nine days later after some improvements. However, during her visit to the Republic of Turkey from September 14-23 at the invitation of Marmara University, the Princess experienced the same ache in her stomach. Upon her return, the Princess was sent to the Hospital where she was given medicine and nutrients intravenously and asked to remain in hospital.

BANGKOK, 26 September 2014  Animal rights advocates on Thursday petitioned the National Legislative Assembly to quickly push through a law for the prevention of animal cruelty.

The Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) has asked the NLA, through NLA speaker Phonphet Wichitchonlachai, to push through the law after having accumulated numerous signatures of those in support of a law against animal cruelty and that which fosters animals’ well-being.

According to the TSPCA, it wanted the NLA to finally enact an existing draft of the bill on animal well-being and animal cruelty prevention. The animal well-being advocacy group has, together with other networks, been backing the bill for at least ten years. The TSPCA also noted that no political motives are associated with this bill, and the drive to have it enacted is fueled by members of the public who want Thailand to have a law against animal cruelty and one that ensures well-being of all types of animals.

BANGKOK, 25 September 2014  DLT explained that the automobile passport is an agreement between Thailand and Laos, although new driver licenses can allow Thais to drive in all ASEAN countries.

The DLT deputy-general, Atsathai Rattadilok, said the automobile passport cannot be used among other ASEAN countries and can only be used in Laos PDR as the agreement is only between Thailand and Laos PDR. Other ASEAN countries are not involved in this, although the new driver license will allow drivers to use cars in all ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos PDR, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

In case of any confusion, or if you have any clue which can lead to uncovering any deceptive practices, reports should be made to the license department at the Provincial Land Transport Office of Bangkok area 5, Tel. 02-271-8426 or Call Center at 1584 for 24/7.

BANGKOK, 26 September 2014 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has trimmed down Thailand’s GDP growth to 1.6 percent this year, down from their original target of 2.9 percent.

Senior economist of the ADB Laksamon Attaphit stated that the lowered forecast was partly due to the political turmoil in the beginning of this year and weak exports. Nonetheless, she has maintained a positive outlook for the nation’s GDP for next year, saying that it would grow by 4.5 percent.

According to Ms. Laksamon, the driving factor that would play a pivotal role in boosting the nation’s GDP includes government spending on mega infrastructure projects. In return, this would lead to a recovery for investments in the private sector and consumer spending.

Household non-performing loans (NPLs), meanwhile, accounted for 2.2 percent of the total household debts. Even though the number is still relatively low, the number of loan defaults over a three month period has increased by 30 percent. This may eventually cause household debts to rise, which will in return affect consumer spending.

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