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June 2016 :NLA Passed First Reading of Budget Bill

  • NLA passed first reading of 2017 budget bill
  • NLA accepted principles of the new telecom bill
  • Cabinet resolved new juvenile delinquent bill
  • Laws to improve the juvenile and pregnant living
  • Thailand upgraded in US TIP report
  • A long term plan to education reform
  • Article 44 exercised to provide free education for all
  • Forensic Science Bill enacted
  • Supreme Court upheld Wasana-Prinya verdicts
  • NLA voted to set up Digital Ministry
  • Political party subsidiary reform
  • Cabinet approved Land and Building Tax draft Bill

    NLA passed first reading of 2017 Budget Bill

    On 23rd June, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed the first reading of the 2017 Budget Bill with 189 to 0 and 3 abstentions and appointed a 50 members extraordinary committee to scrutiny the bill.

    Previously in February, the cabinet resolved the Bill, 2.733 trillion baht expenditure for the 2017 fiscal year. The budget is 13 billion baht or 0.5 percent increased than 2016 and carrying a deficit of 390 billion. Total investment budget is 540 billion baht, 20 percent of the total budget.

    NLA accepted principles of the new telecom bill

    On 30th June, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) accepted the principles of the Telecommunications and Broadcasting draft Bill and appointed a 17 members extraordinary committee to scrutiny within 60 days.

    The Bill is to revise the number of the commissioners from 11 to 7, and they shall consist of 7 experts, 1 each from sound broadcasting service, television broadcasting service, telecommunication broadcasting service, engineering, legal, economist and consumer protection. The selection committee, consists of 7 members; the chairman of the Constitution Court, the chairman of the Supreme Court, the chairman of the Supreme Administration Court, the Chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the chairman of the State Audit, the chairman of Ombudsman and the chairman of the Bank of Thailand, will select 14 from the nomination list to submit to the Senate for final selection within 30 days.

    Laws to improve the juvenile and pregnant living

    On 28th June, the cabinet has granted an approval of the draft bill on juvenile delinquency with principles to appoint a committee, chairs by the Ministry of Justice, to administer and set directions for the rehabilitation of the young internees so they will return as good people to the society. The law also prohibits any form of chained to the youth and delinquents in the detention centers.

    Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved the draft regulations on the classifications of unsafe jobs for the pregnant or children under 15 year of age.

    Thailand upgraded in US TIP report

    On 30th June the US Department of State released a 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report with a statement that Thailand was lifted to the Tier 2 Watch List ranking indicates that the Thai government made significant efforts to eliminate trafficking during the rating period, from April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. However, the statement added Thailand does not fully meet the minimum standards for doing so.

    A long term plan to education reform

    On 21st June, the National Reform Steering Assembly resolved to approve the education committees report on education reform with 143 votes and 2 abstentions. The report will be submitted to the cabinet.

    Previously, the committee has proposed an ad hoc plan to delay education assessment nationwide, according to the 4th Education Reform Plan, for a period of 2 years, until the education development plan completed due to the assessment requires great effort and time of the relevant personals which is contradict to the policy to return teachers to the classrooms. It was concluded that the assessment outcome does not reflect the current situation, therefore, the committee proposed a long term plan to achieve education reform.

    Article 44 exercised to provide free education

    On 15th June, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha exercised his authority through article 44 of the Interim Constitution to issue the 28/2559 Prime Ministers order with principles that the state shall provide free education to all Thais for 15 years, from kindergarten to Mattayom Suksa 6 in basic education system or Por Vor Chor 3 in vocational system. This includes tuition fees, books and materials, uniforms, students development activity and other appropriate expenses as resolved by the cabinet.

    Forensic Science Bill enacted

    On 10th June, the National Legislative Assembly voted 148 and 7 abstentions in the third reading to pass the Forensic Science Bill. The Bill principle is to authorize the Justice Ministrys Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) to provide and promote the forensic services. A committee, chairs by the permanent secretary of Justice Ministry, will be appointed to promote and supervise the operations. The committees members shall comprise of the Police Chief, Director General of the Department of Medical Science, Secretariat of the Thai Industrial Standards Institute, Secretariat of the Human Rights Office, President of the Medical Council of Thailand, Chief of the Office of Police Forensic Science, and a maximum of 5 experts as appointed by the minister.

    Supreme Court upheld Wasana-Prinya sentence

    On 3rd June, the Supreme Court upheld the two-year jail sentence and a 10-year political ban given to former election commissioners Wasana Permlarp and Prinya Nakchutree for delaying an inquiry into poll fraud in 2006, thereby allowing the then-Thai Rak Thai Party to form a new government.

    Suthep Thaugsuban, former secretary-general of the Democrat Party filed the lawsuit on April 2006 against the four Election Commissioners but Gen. Charupat Ruengsuwan had resigned from the position, therefore, the defendants were reduced to three, including Veerachai Naewboonnien. The Criminal Court, on July 25, 2006 found them guilty and sentenced the three to three-year imprisonment and 10-year ban. The jail term was reduced to two years. They were bailed on July 28, 2006. The Appeal Court in 14 May 2008 upheld the ruling and during the appeal to the Supreme Court, Veerachai died.

    NLA voted to set up Digital Ministry

    On 3rd June, the National Legislative Assembly unanimously voted with 122 to approve the Digital Ministry Bill with principle to set up a ministry to boost the countrys economic potential and social development.

    The new ministry will have the administrative scope to plan, promote, develop and implement activities related to a digital society and economy. The agency will have its own ministerial and permanent secretary offices and also supervise the National Statistics Office, the Thai Meteorological Department and a new body, the Digital Commission for Social Affairs and the Economy

    Political party subsidiary to be reformed

    The chairperson of the National Reform Steering Assemblys subcommittee on political party reform revealed a concept to free political party from capitalists and comprises of genuine political advocates by re-regulating the members to pay an annual fee of not more than 200 baht and the party shall receive state subsidize of half the total sum. By doing this, the political part will become an institution, not privately own, and the party will focus on delivering good policy to attract its members. Donates are unlimited but entitles to get tax exemption at maximum of 15,000 baht p.a.

    Cabinet approved the Land and Building Tax draft Bill

    On 7th June, the cabinet resolved to approve the principles of Land and Building Tax draft Bill to forward it to the Council of State before submit to the National Legislative Assembly. The Bills principle is to reduce social indifference and justified taxing system. The local authoritys annual share in local maintenance tax will increase to an average of 64 billion baht, against a current 30 billion baht. However 99.96 percent of the households will not be impact by this new tax since the new tax will apply to the property of more value than 50 million baht. They are only 8,556, only 0.04 percent and mostly living in Bangkok.

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