Kittirat chairs meeting on flooding rehabilitation plan for private sector


BANGKOK, Oct 17 — Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittirat Na Ranong on Monday is chairing a meeting of economy-related agencies to address flood rehabilitation for the hard hit private sector industrial estates.

Meeting at Don Mueang Airport in conjunction with the government Flood Relief Operations Centre situated, agencies attending the meeting are the Bank of Thailand (BoT), the ministries of industruy and labour, and commercial bank executives.

Mr Kittirat, who chairs the economic rehabilitation committee, said earlier that the meeting will focus on the flood’s impact on the economy, particularly the manufacturing sector.

It was expected that the meeting will provide clear requirements and steps for aid and other remedies, including tax rebates and labour assistance.

An evaluation of the initial impact on the Thai economy will also be discussed, he said.

Mr Kittirat admitted that the evaluation could be difficult because damage to the manufacturing sector will cost over Bt100 billion but is quite necessary because this year’s floods could negatively impact foreign investor confidence, the disruption of production and damage on workers who may lost their jobs.

The deputy premier stressed that the relief measures would not against the law and strictly observe fiscal discipline.

The government has prepared budget of Bt80 billion from government agencies for rehabilitation and on flood prevention plan in the future, he said.

All five Ayutthaya industrial estates are under water — Saha Rattana Nakhon, Bang Pa-in, Rojana, Hi-Tech and Factory Land. Together they are valued at about Bt200 billion in total investment capital and employ more than 200,000 workers.

Meanwhile, the Navanakhon Industrial Estate in Pathum Thani is threatened by the oncoming flood from the Bang Pa-in Industrial Estate, nine kilometers away.

Soldiers and workers at the Navanakhon Industrial Estate worked all night filling sandbags to fortify flood walls in northern and eastern portions of the estate to protect over 200 plants from flooding.

The Flood Relief Operations Centre is still confident that Navanakhon Industrial Estate in Pathum Thani can be spared from flooding.

Overall the Navanakhon Industrial Estate has 227 factories and employs 270,000 workers.