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August 2016 : Draft Constitution Approved 61.35%

  • HM appointed Privy Council members
  • Royal endorsement of 12 cabinet members
  • Buddhist Act amendment
  • NLA passed Computer draft Bill
  • NLA approved personal income tax reduction
  • NLA passed Mineral draft bill
  • 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan
  • Trafficking victims-witnesses get 2 years residency permits after ruling
  • Cabinet resolved Insurance draft Bill
  • Cabinet resolved to increase Restoration Funds authority
  • 2 draft Bills on rail transportation approved
  • 55 skill labors daily wages increase
  • Cabinet approved 190 BB increases to central budget
  • 3 law enacted by Section 44
  • 3 political agents dissolved by Section 44
  • Duplicated functions Inspection Commission dissolved
  • First political party draft Bill unvieled

    Privy Councilors appointed

    In December, His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn appointed 13 Privy Council members. They are:
    1. General Prem Tinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council
    2. Gen. Surayud Chulanont
    3. Mr. Kasem Watanachai
    4. Mr. Palakorn Suwanarat
    5. Mr. Atthaniti Disatha-Amnarj
    6. Mr. Supachai Phungam
    7. Mr. Chanchai Likijitta
    8. Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pookpasuk
    9. General Dapong Ratanasuwan
    10. General Teerachai Nakwanich
    11. General Paiboon Koomchaya
    12. Mr. Wirach Chinvinitkul
    13. Mr. Charunthada Karnasuta

    Cabinet reshuffle got royal endorsement

    On 15th December, the Cabinet reshuffle was endorsed by His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn.

    The outgoing are:
    1. ML Panadda Diskul, from the Minister to the PM Office.
    2. Mr. Omsin Chivapruek, from the Transport Minister.
    3. Mr. Suwapan Tanyuwattana, from the Minister to the PM Office.
    4. Mr. Suvit Maesincee, from the Deputy Commerce Minister.
    5. Mr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, from the Science and Technology Minister.
    6. Mr. Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, from the Deputy Minister of Education.
    7. Mrs. Atchaka Sibunruang, from the Minister of Industry.

    The incoming are:
    1. Mr. Omsin Chivapruek, Minister to the PM Office.
    2. Mr. Suvit Maesincee, Minister to the PM Office.
    3. Mr. Veerasak Futrakul, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    4. Ms. Chutima Boonyaprapas, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
    5. Mr. Pichit Akarathit, Deputy Minister of Transport.
    6. Mr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Digital Economy and Society.
    7. Mr. Sonthirat Sonthijirawong, Deputy Minister of Commerce.
    8. Mr. Suwapan Tanyuwattana, Minister of Justice.
    9. Mrs. Atchaka Sibunruang, Minister of Science and Technology.
    10. Mr. Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Minister of Education.
    11. ML Panadda Diskul, Deputy Minister of Education.
    12. Mr. Uttama Savanayana, Minister of Industry.

    Buddhist Monks Act amendment

    On 29th December, the National Legislative Assembly read the Buddhist Monks Amendment draft Bill and consecutively passed for 3 rounds. Amendment was on Section 7 making the King absolute power to appoint the patriarch.

    NLA passed revised Computer Crimes draft Bill

    On 16th December, the National Legislative Assembly voted 168 to 0 to pass the Computer Crimes draft Bill. As the Bill was amended by the Reading Panel on Section 20 to increase the Scrutinizing Commission members from 5 to 9 to include experts in human rights, therefore, it must be sent back to the Cabinet.

    More personal income tax exemption

    On 16th, the National Legislative Assembly unanimously voted with 191 to 0 passed the Revenue Amendment draft Bill on the Revision of Personal Income Tax. Principle is to exempt income tax taxes as follow:
    • Tax exempt 60,000 baht each for both the taxpayers and none-income spouses.
    • Tax exempt 30,000 baht, for a lawful offspring or adopted child of the taxpayers and their spouses. The total number of exemption is 3 children.
    • Tax exempt 60,000 baht on inheritance. This shall apply to either taxpayers who are individuals or members of partnerships companies or none-juristic groups residing in Thailand. However, total amount of partnerships and none-juristic groups of persons exemption should not exceed 120,000 baht.

    NLA passed Mineral draft Bill

    On 8th, the National Legislative Assembly voted on the third round with 183 to 3 abstains to pass the Mineral draft Bill. The Bill comprises of 188 sections and annexed with the minerals fee rates.

    The bill was extensively criticized from academicians, intellectuals, NGOs, the Human Rights Commission, civil societies and conservation groups. The comments have been sent to the extraordinary committee.

    12th National Economic and Social Development Plan

    The 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (B.E. 2560-2564) was published on the Royal Gazette website. The plan aligns with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) 20 years national strategic roadmap, B.E. 2560-2579, on the adoption of the late King Bhumibols Sufficiency Economy concept. Key goals are sustainable development, restructuring towards Thailand 4.0 strategies and participation from every societal sector.

    Human trafficking victims-witnesses get 2 years residency permits

    On 13th December, the Cabinet resolved the Interior Ministerial Regulations to allow victims and witnesses to the human trafficking cases to stay in Thailand for 2 years after the courts ruling on condition they must not conduct any violence. During their temporarily stay, they can be employed accordingly to the employers agreement and entitled to free health examination, required by the State, and exempted from employment fees, too.

    Cabinet resolved Insurance Amendment draft Bill

    On 13th December, the Cabinet resolved on the Insurance Amendment draft Bill with principles to:
    1. Govern the practices of insurance agents, currently approximately 300,000, and protect the insurers from losing their policies when the agents fail to send the premiums on time. Normally, the defraud causes the policy to be disrupted regardless to the actions were done by the agents.
    2. Evaluate casualties loss and appropriate payment.
    3. Regulate electronic transactions in the insurance business.

    This Bill will be the first amendment after the current one enforced for 24 years.

    Cabinet resolved to increase Restoration Funds authority

    On 8th December, the Cabinet resolved the Bank of Thailand draft Bill, proposed by the Finance Ministry, with principle to increase the Restoration Funds capability to solve financial crisis.

    Rail transport to be enacted

    On 27th December, the Cabinet resolved 2 Rail Transportation draft Bills.
    The first Bill is to establish a department with functions:
    1. To propose policies and strategies.
    2. To plan countrywide rail transport network.
    3. To regulate and govern maintenance criteria.

    The second one is to legalize the rail transport by:
    1. Enforce safety standards.
    2. Govern and control rail transport sector.
    3. Support research and development.
    4. Promote the rail transport to support other transportation.

    The draft Bills will be forward to the State Council before conducting public hearing and enacted by the National Legislation Assembly.

    55 skill labors daily wages increase

    On 13th December, the Cabinet acknowledged the new skill labors wages rate. A total 55 categories are grouped into 3 functions; mechanic and metal, air-condition and industrial molds and 2 levels.

    The first level skill labor must be over 18 years of age, graduated from certified vocational education institution and has some working experiences. The Bangkok Metropolitan and vicinity areas daily wages are such as; mechanics 460 baht, electroplaters 500, hydraulic technicians 460, mold polishers 380, cold room technicians 385, etc. They are increased from 310 baht daily.

    The second level must obtain the first level certificates for at least 2 years and pass the required test with score higher than 80 percent. The daily wages are increase to 550 baht for hydraulic technicians, 470 baht large air conditioning, 455 baht air conditioner assemblers, etc.

    The new rates shall be effective after 90 days publishing in the Royal Gazette.

    190 BB increased to central budget

    On 7th December, the Cabinet resolved to allocate more 190 billion baht to the central budget of the 2017 fiscal year. The budget shall come from two sources; taxes and other revenues 27,078 million baht, and loans 162,921 million baht.

    3 laws enforced by Section 44

    On 27th December, the National Council for Peace and Order used Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to enact 3 laws as follow:
    1. A law to increase efficiency on the granting of permits on health products required by the Foods and Drugs Council.
    2. Measures to solve problems due to the disconnection of Huay Lumpong-Bang Sue and Bang Yai-Bang Sue rail transportation.
    3. An establishment of the National Reform Committee, chairs by the Prime Minister.

    3 political agents dissolved by Section 44

    On 13th December, the Royal Gazette website published a national Council for Peace and Order ordinance, regarding Section 44 of the Interim Constitution, on the dissolution of three political organizations; the National Economic and Social Consultation Council, the Political Development Council and the Law Reform Council reasoning their functions were similarly with other agencies.

    Previously, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha suspended the selection processes when the councils members terms ended. Following these dissolutions, official personals will be returned to their former agencies or posting to the Office of the Prime Minister.

    Duplicated Inspection Commission dissolved

    The Royal Gazette website published the National Council for Peace and Orders command, in regards to Section 44 of the Interim Constitution, on the dissolution of the Inspection Commission of Acts being Detrimental to the State. Reasons were its functions are similarly with other agencies. The Commission was established to follow up and inspect public expenditures on big projects and one of their works was on the State Railway of Thailand procurement of 126 rail road engines.

    First political party draft Bill unveiled

    On 7th December, the Constitution Drafting Committee unveiled the first draft of the Political Party Bill. The Bill has 10 chapters and 1 transitory provision. Among all 129 Sections, the most important one is Section 23 on the disqualification of a political party when failing to meet 4 requirements needed. Dissolution will to be trialed in the Constitutional Court and the Courts ruling is final. Upon party dissolve, executive party members shall be barred from candidacy.

    An establishment of a political party requires 500 founding members; each contributes at least 2,000 baht as a founding capital, making a total capital of 1,000,000 baht. However, an individuals capital is limited to a maximum of 500,000 baht. The party is obliged to present the lists to the Political Party Registrar, the Secretarial to the Election Commission, for publication in the Royal Gazette. Within the first years after establishment, the party must recruit 5,000 members and increases to 20,000 within four years. Each party must set up regional offices, a minimum of 1 per region. The regional office must have at least 500 residence members and the provincial offices, of minimum 100 members, can appoint unlimited numbers of partys representatives.

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