ԴЪҸԻ (English)
August 2017 : Yingluch No-show, Verdict Postponed

  • Yingluck absent, verdict postponed
  • Boonsong jailed over falsified G-2-G rice sell
  • NLA accepted State Audit Bills principles
  • NLA passed 2018 Fiscal Budget Bill
  • Suthep-Abhisit acquitted from mob disband
  • 12 resource person appointed to National Strategic Committee
  • Cabinet approved compensation to Rasri Salai Dam evacuators
  • 1320 complaints submitted to NCPO in one month
  • Cabinet approved 120 national reform committees members
  • A Labor Protection Bill to increase employees rights
  • 2008 Yellow Shirt dispersal case acquitted
  • Alcohol-cigarettes excises increased 2%
  • Cabinet approved state welfare cards
  • Northeast region to become Mae Khong economic hub
  • Cabinet resolved on State Enterprises Development draft Bill
  • A 3,000 baht compensation for every flooded household
  • Flood donations to get tax exempt

    Yingluck absent, Court verdict postponed

    On 25 August, the Supreme Courts Criminal Division for Political Office Holders postponed its verdict delivery on former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to 27 September due to her absent. Ms. Yinglucks attorney submitted her sick leave, without a medical endorsement, claiming she was unfit from ear problem. After intensely consideration the Court issued an arrest warrant and rescheduled the verdict delivering.

    There were rumors that Yingluck has fled the country.

    Boonsong gets 42 years jail term

    On 25 August, the Supreme Courts Criminal Division for Political Office Holders sentenced former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom to 42 years in jail on guilty of falsifying government-to-government rice deals between Thailand and China. The court also ruled other defendants; state officials, politicians and business persons, involved in the case to certain years jail terms according to their involvement. Among the 23 defendants, one was acquitted and two had fled the country.

    NLA approved State Audit Bill principles

    On 31 August, the National Legislative Assembly read the organic State Audit Bill and approved its principles with 164 to 1 votes before appointed a 30-members committee to deliberate the Bill within 50 days.

    The 7-members state auditors shall be appointed from experts, with maximum 10 years recognition, from various fields; auditing, legal, accounting, internal auditing, monetary and finance etc. Their office term is 7 years. The Office of the State Audit shall be functioned under a governor, to be selected by the auditors and approved by the Senate voting. The governors term is 6 years.

    2018 Fiscal Budget Bill enacted

    On 31 August, the National Legislative Assembly passed the 2018 Fiscal Budget Bill after its second and third reading with the final votes of 200 to 3 abstained. The Bill has 2.9 trillion baht expenditure.

    Suthep-Abhisit acquitted on Red Shirt mob disbanded

    On 31 August, the Supreme Court upheld the First and Appeal Courts verdict and acquitted Suthep Thuahsuban and Abhisit Vejjajiva from the allegation of co-conspiracy that led to killing and attempted to kill over the disbanding of protestors between 7 April to 19 May 2010. Abihisit was the prime minister then and Suthep deputy prime Minister and director of the emergency center. The case was filed by the Office of the General Attorney reasoning several people were killed and injured during the operation.

    12 resource persons appointed to the national strategic committee

    On 29 August, the Cabinet resolved to appoint General Prawit Wongsuwan deputy chairperson of the National Strategic Committee, chairs by the Prime Minister. 12 resource persons, from security, economics, social, education and public health were also appointed to the committee.

    32,000 baht per rai compensation for Rasri Salai evacuators

    On 22 August, the Cabinet resolved to approve compensation,totaled 2,771,064 baht, to households evacuated over the construction of Rasri Salai Dam in Sri Saket and Roi Et Provinces. They are people living on 54 pieces of land, totaled 86-2-38.3 rais. The compensation 32,000 baht per rai is for land and dismantle of buildings.

    1,320 complaints submitted to NCPO

    Regarding to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) opening a center on 14 July 2017, as of 14 August 1,320 complaints have been submitted. They were divided into 668 phone calls, 433 letters, 102 personally launched to the central and 117 through the provincial centers.

    129 complaints were on state official misconduct, 129 over personal troubles, 666 related to drug and narcotic, and 110 over lack of information. Every complaint will be scrutinized and forwarded for consideration.

    120 members appointed to 11 reform committees

    On 15 August, the Cabinet appointed 120 members to the 11 National Reform Committees. The 11 committees are: 1. Politics, 2. Public Administration, 3. Law, 4. Justice, 5. Economics, 6. Natural Resources and Environment, 7. Public Health, 8. Mass Communication, 9. Social, 10. Energy, and 11. Prevention and Anti-Corruption. However, another 45 seats are vacating for further appointment.

    Their terms are 5 years, starting from 15 August 2017.

    Labor Protection Bill to increase employees benefits

    On 15 August, the Cabinet resolved on the Labor Protection Amendment Bill with principles to increase benefits to the employees. The Bill mandates employers to pay a 15 percent interest rate per year over their failure to pay regular wages. Previously, the employers only inform in advance and could later pay at convenient time.

    Regarding to changes of employer, consent must be reached from both employees and new employer before transfer of rights and duties. Male and female workers are entitled to same payment upon equal work. Employees have right for paid personal leave of 3 working days maximum. Female employees can have maternity leave and prenatal checkup, for a maximum of 90 days, with 45 days paid.

    Lay off without guilty, employees with 20 years consecutive working will be compensated with 400 daily wages. This is a change from current law stated only 10 years and 300 days respectively.

    Court acquitted Yellow Shirt disband case

    On 2 August, the Supreme Courts Criminal Division for Political Office Holders acquitted 4 defendants on the disbandment of Yellow Shirt protestors in 2007. They are 1. Former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat 2. Former deputy prime minister General chawalit Yongjaiyut 3. Former police chief Pol. Gen. Patcharawad Wongsuwan and 3. Pol. Lt. Gen. Suchart Muankaew. The Court reasoned they were performing their duties accordingly to the Constitution, in complacency and consecutively to the operation plan and unintentionally to cause fatal injuries. The situation was beyond anticipation and inevitably led to the final operation.

    Regarding to the protestors fatal and serious injuries, the Court found they were not peacefully assembled, possessed weapons. The ammunition expert testified the death were not caused from the official arms though admitted the tear gas, made in China, was fatally effective.

    Beer-whisky-cigarettes excises increase 2%

    On 1 August, the Cabinet resolved to increase 2 percent on excises of beer, whisky and cigarettes and the increases will be allocated to the Elderly Fund. Maximum excise allocation is also raised to 4,000 million baht per annum.

    Currently 5.5 percent of total excise collection is given to 3 agents; the Office of Health Care Promotion 2%, TPBS 1.5% and the National Sports Development Fund 2%. A 2% increase will make a total allocation of 7.5 %. It is anticipated the monthly elderly pension can be raised to 900-1,300 baht per head. The Finance Ministry is considering convincing the well-off pensioners to donate their monthly pensions to the needed.

    State welfare cards

    On 29 August the Cabinet resolved on the state welfare cards for 11.67 million holders. The cards are divided into 2 categories;
    1. Transportation cards for a maximum of 500 baht monthly free bus, mass transit, rail and transport bus rides.
    2. Consumer goods card for monthly purchase of groceries from the Blue Flag stores. Holders with more or less than 30,000 baht monthly income are entitled to a total purchase of 200 and less than 30,000 baht will get a 300 baht monthly. They also can have a discount of 45 baht/card/3 month when buying cooking gas from the outlets specified by the Energy Ministry.


    Northeast region to become Mae Khong economic hub

    On 22 August, the Cabinet resolved on the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) proposal to develop the northeast region to become the economic hub among countries in the Mae Khong River Basin. Development strategies are:
    1. Sufficiently and sustainability development and management of current and new water resources.
    2. Solving poverty, lessen social inequality, provide jobs for the disables and professional development through life long training.
    3. Economic strengthening; promoting organic rice farming and livestock.
    4. Develop intra and inter-regional transportation network particularly to central and eastern regions.
    5. Cooperation with neighboring countries.


    Cabinet approved State Enterprises Development Bill

    On 8 August, the Cabinet approved the State Enterprises Development draft Bill submitted by the Council of State.

    The Bill principle is to establish a State Enterprises Policy Council to make policy and oversee state enterprises. All state enterprises shall have strategic plans with clear and transparent goal. Selection of board members shall be done transparently with focus on experiences and knowledge necessary for the development and administration of such agency. There should be a monitoring and governing mechanism to reveal information and promote responsibility in line with the government policies.

    State enterprises are: CAT Telecom Plc., Thai Airways, Transport Co. Ltd., Airports of Thailand (AOT), TOT Plc., Dhanarak Asset Development Co. Ltd., PTT Pl. Co. Ltd., Thailand Post Co. Ltd., Syndicate of Thai Hotels and Tourists Enterprises Ltd., MCOT, and Bangkok Dock Co. Ltd.

    Flooded households to get a 3,000 baht compensation

    On 8 August, the Cabinet resolved to allocate a 1,685 million baht budget for compensation of agricultural households affected from flooding caused by Talus and Shernka storms from 5 July to 15 August 2017. Each household will get maximum 3,000 baht cash.

    Eligible households must be registered with the Agricultural and Cooperation Ministry before the storms took place. Compensation will be provided according to actual damages, or from loss of production cost, or from loss of possibility of income if the storms did not occurred.

    Flood donations to get 1.5 tax exempt

    On 1 August, the Cabinet resolved on tax incentive to help people in the northeastern region. Tax payers donate money for flood alleviation will get 1.5 fold tax exempt on condition the total amount not exceed 10 percent of their personal income, or 2 percent of net profit of the entities. Donations must be made from 5 July to 31 October 2017 and through the endorsed foundations.

    The Cabinet also approved tax deduction, of maximum 100,000 baht, on maintenance cost of dwellings, condominiums and offices, and maximum of 30,000 baht, on repairing cost of vehicles and motorcycles. Expenditures must be made from 5 July to 31 October 2017. Receipts must be provided as evidences.

    A 3,500 million baht remains from budget allocated for flood alleviation in the south will be transferred to help northeastern SMEs affected from flooding.
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