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BANGKOK, 16 October 2014  The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has declared measures to control floating sky lanterns and rockets, to keep the airspace safe during the Loy Krathong festival. 

BANGKOK, 16 October 2014  While the government is trying to stimulate domestic business productivity, Bang Phlat district has come up with a project to stimulate job promotion. Tang Hua Seng Department store in Bang Phlat District, Bangkok, from today until the 26th October 2014, is organizing the 21st Annual Handicraft fair, offering free handicraft workshops to any one interested to join in. 

BANGKOK, 17 October 2014  The Thammasat Economics Association is preparing to host a seminar on the current economic trend on Tuesday, November 11, while expressing its belief that the economic expansion in the 4th quarter of the year will be greater than that of the same quarter in the previous year.

Mr. Sakon Varanyuwatana, the dean of the Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University, said the seminar on the direction of the Thai economy in 2015 will include topics that are appropriate to the current situation, under which the country is undergoing a structural reform. He said the topics will match the interest of both Thai and foreign businesspersons who want to be informed of the direction the Thai economy is heading. There will also the topic of the drive to overcome disparities. Suggestions for the country's reform process will be made by academics, businesspersons, experts and policy makers from the state sector.

Finance Minister Sommai Phasee, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Puengboon na Ayutthaya, Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee, as well as the assistant secretary to the minister of education, Mr. Amornwit Nakonthap, will be at the seminar to discuss policy-making in the various affairs of the country. Deputy Prime Minister M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula will be giving a special lecture as well.

The seminar will be held on Tuesday, November 11 at Plaza Athenee Bangkok. Ticket, which costs 3,000 baht, may be purchased at the Thammasat Economics Association. Alternatively, call 095-801-3535.

CHIANG MAI, 17 October 2014  The cold weather in the North has prompted an influx of tourists to Doi Inthanon National Park, where the temperature reached as low as 6 degrees Celsius this week.

Since last weekend, more than 5,000 tourists have visited Doi Inthanon National Park to make their way up to Thailand's tallest peak to experience the cold. The visitors typically experienced morning temperatures of 8 or 9 degrees Celsius at the highest points of the national park. Of the 5,000, 4,600 were Thais.

National park officials are planning to limit the amount of tourists by only allowing a limited number to visit each site at a time. The parking spaces at each of the national park's attractions will be considered; full parking lots means no more visitors will be allowed into the area until the next time period. The measure to curb visitor numbers is expected to be put to use during December and January, the peak season for tourism.

BANGKOK, 17 October 2014  The rubber policy committee has resolved to pay out assistance money to rubber tree growers in the same manner as for rice growers, in addition to using 10 billion baht to buy raw rubber sheets from growers in a bid to prop up the domestic price.

Deputy Prime Minister M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula said on Thursday the rubber policy committee expects the rubber price in the global market to increase due to the decline in inventory, which is expected to fall to 2.3-2.5 million tons. The government will take advantage of this opportunity to push up the domestic price of rubber. The Rubber Estate Organization will buy raw rubber sheets from the growers and from the market. The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives will set aside 10 billion baht to buy rubber sheets from rubber growers to resell to the government. As for fresh latex, six banks will be asked to set aside 10 billion baht to buy the latex to make into concentrated latex.

Small-scale rubber tree growers will receive 1,000 baht per rai of aid money, although the ceiling is capped at 15,000 baht per household in the same way as aid for rice growers. The aid handout is expected to require a budget of 8.5 billion baht, and money is expected to reach the rubber tree growers starting from October 20 onward.

For the long-term measure, 5% interest loans will be provided to small-scale growers, who will each be eligible for no more than 100,000 baht. The government will shoulder more than half of the loan interest, in a bid to encourage the growers to make improvements to their rubber plantations.

BANGKOK, 17 October 2014  His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn yesterday afternoon deputized for His Majesty the King at the ceremony of presenting Kathin robes to Buddhist monks at Borvoranives Monastery in Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok.

Accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Srirasm, the royal consort, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince arrived at the royal temple at 5.18 p.m., after which he lighted candles and incense sticks to pay respect to the principal Buddha image --Phra Buddha Chinnasi. He then paid homage to the royal ashes of King Rama VI.

Borvoranives Monastery has been classified as first-class royal temple. In the past, several kings were ordained as monks at the monastery and spent their time in priesthood here. The Kathin ceremony has been observed for more than 2,600 years since the days of the Lord Buddha. At present, Kathin robe presentation in Thailand is observed at two levels – by the Royal Family and by ordinary people. The period for the Kathin presentation usually lasts one month following the Buddhist Lent, or from the first waning moon of the 11th lunar month to the full moon of the 12th lunar month, or around October to November each year.

The same evening, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince officiated on behalf of His Majesty the King at the ceremony of presenting royal Kathin robes to monks at Phra Chetuphon Monastery, another first-class royal temple in the same district. Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and the Royal Consort also paid homage to King Rama I’s ashes contained in the monastery, which was built as the temple of his reign.

The presentation of royal Kathin robes by His Majesty the King is considered an important royal function to be carried out every year at royal temples. The King usually leads the ritual by himself, or designates a royal representative to officiate at the function. At present there are 16 first-class royal temples, 12 in Bangkok, two in Ayutthaya and the rest in Nakhon Pathom and Phitsanulok.

BANGKOK, 17 October 2014  The Traffic Police Chief has declared that the police have come up with measures to arrest taxi drivers who refuse to accept passengers. Meanwhile, a lot of people on social media sites have praised one police officer who stepped in to take action against these taxi drivers.

Facebook users have shared photos of Pol. Sub. Lt. Meewichai Muangklang after he had fined three taxi drivers who have denied to take a passenger who was trying to get a cab at the Mahboonkrong (MBK) shopping area on October 14th. The drivers were charged with rejecting passengers without a valid reason, which is a violation of the law.

Taxi drivers who commit the same violations will also be fined for 1,000 baht and have their license suspended for 15 days. Needless to say, Pol. Sub. Lt Meewichai has received a lot of praise from the public, who have generally agreed that the police should enforce stricter measures against taxi drivers who are selective about picking up passengers.

Meanwhile, the Traffic Police Superintendent Pol. Col. Aphisit Muangkasem said that there had been several cases in tourism areas where taxi drivers refused to accept passengers. Therefore, he has dispatched several traffic police to investigate in those areas.

Thursday, 16 October 2014 16:16

Pridiyathorn forecasts 4% growth next year

BANGKOK, 16 Oct The deputy prime minister in charge of economics has forecast that the Thai economy will grow by 4% next year.

Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula delivered a speech at an economic seminar highlighting the obstacles Thailand has had to overcome, including the most recent 7 months of political turmoil and the lagging global economy, which have contributed to growth of only 2% this year.

However, the deputy prime minister was confident that the expeditious disbursement of this year’s fiscal budget would be able to stimulate the Thai economy, contributing to growth of 4% next year. He said growth could be even higher if investment projects across the country are approved.

Meanwhile, MR Pridiyathorn reassured that the current government was only in place to help steer the country into the right direction, particularly helping to resolve urgent issues with rice, rubber, and cassava products.

The deputy prime minister noted that the industrial sector needed to expand its manufacturing base to other countries to gain market share, whereby laws and regulations may have to be amended to raise foreign investments, striving to become the region’s top foreign investment attraction.

He noted that Thailand’s industrial sector ranks at the top of Asean, and that it should also aim to raise its international ranking.

MR Pridiyathorn added that one of Thailand’s major weaknesses was its wasteful energy consumption, totaling 19% of GDP, compared to 9% of GDP in other countries. He pointed to the unbalanced price structure and failing measures to reduce electricity usage as major contributors.

BANGKOK, 16 October 2014 The Ministry of Commerce is discussing with major manufacturers of everyday goods the possibility of making their products more affordable. They will be offered under a new campaign dubbed ‘Popular Brand’.

According to Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya, household products will be sold at lower than market prices. The retail scheme is also to be offered as a new year present to Thai people.

General Chatchai has also met with a group of rice exporters and traders. Their focus is on keeping the price of rice stable. For Jasmine rice, they have agreed that the acceptable price should not be lower than 15,000 – 16,000 baht per ton.

The Ministry of Commerce will also propose to the cabinet a new method which will lower the amount of rice entering the market. This may include providing incentives to encourage higher rice stocks, creating a market network to increase rice sales and selling grains at an affordable price in small packages during the festive New Year celebrations

BANGKOK, 16 October 2014 The Interior Minister met with the Japanese Ambassador to Thailand during which he reaffirmed the government’s commitment to support Japan’s investments in Thailand while applauding the two nation’s 300 years of diplomatic relations.

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda welcomed Japanese Ambassador to Thailand Shikesuke Sato as they discussed the two countries’ political and economic relations. Mr. Sato asked Gen Anupong to further support the current 4,000 Japanese companies that are conducting business in Thailand and invited the government to send its representatives to attend the upcoming World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that will take place in Sendai, Japan, in 2015.

General Anupong affirmed the government’s ongoing support in economic cooperation between the two countries and discussed measures to increase leniency in business operations for Japanese investors.

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