ԴЪҸԻ (English)
December 2017 : Governments New Year Gifts

  • Government gave 85 projects as New Year gifts
  • Cabinet approved remediation measures on Mae Moh cases
  • NLA passed Anti-Corruption organic act
  • Emergency Act in 3 southern provinces extended 3 months
  • Cabinet approved tax incentives measures to boost tourism in 55 provinces
  • 489 NGV buses bidding approved
  • 2018 inflation ranges 1-4 percent
  • Free internet for low income group in remote rural
  • Cabinet resolved on maximum 5 months bonus for state enterprise affiliates
  • EU resumes political contacts

    Governments New Year gifts

    On 26th December, the cabinet meeting acknowledged 85 projects as New Year gifts providing to Thai people in all categories, low income, agriculturers, health-concerns, children elderly, disables, and under-privileges. The projects address all means of living; transportation, tourism, tax, telecommunication, information technology, merchandising, religious, living, filing complaints, financial etc.

    Tax incentives to boost tourism in low-tourism areas. Free high speed internet for low income households in remote rural. More Pracharat Market for trading. Free 10 Hot Lines for filing complaints. Low interest rates loans for SMEs and agriculturers. Refunding 30 percent of interest paid to good creditors of Agricultural and Cooperative Banks. 1,000 baht cash refund to regular payment debtors in Government Housing Bank. 2.5% interest rate housing loans for state officers and low income group in the 3 southern provinces. Extension of low interest rates period in public pawn shops. Pracharat Market for agricultural products and first-time traders. Promoting high quality agricultural products as New Year gifts. Special logistic rates for agricultural products. Cash and gift vouchers for the -youth-elderly-disable-underprivileged. Financial aids to 65 newborns in every province. House visit and gifts for the elderly of 100 years plus. 200 DEPA Literacy Voucher of 10,000 baht for the disables. 4 new centers for the handicapped. One Day Surgery program to speed up medical treatment. RDU mobile application to provide on line medical information.

    Remediation measures on land utilization approved

    On 26th December, the cabinet mobile meeting resolved on remediation measures to solve land problems for 3 households residing in the forest conservation areas. They are among those 2,600 relocated due to the establishment of coal mining in Mae Moh district Lumpang province. Two of them, currently residing in the forest conservation, shall be relocated to new area and subsidize with 5 million baht each as relocating cost. Another one, partially overlapping in the forest area, shall be moved further.

    NLA passed Anti-Corruption organic act

    On 25th the National Legislative Assembly, chaired by Mr. Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, voted with 197 to 1 and 7 abstentions, on third round to pass the Anti-Corruption organic bill. The Bill will be forwarded to National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Constitution Drafting Committee to consider whether the revisions constitutionally or not. A tri-party, NLA, NACC and CDC could be set up to reconsider the Bill before enactment.

    Emergency Act in 3 southern provinces extended

    On 15th December the Emergency Situation Administration Board, chaired by Gen. Pravit Wongsuwan deputy Prime minister and Defense Minister, resolved to extend the Emergency Act currently applies in the three southern provinces Narathiwas, Yala and Pattani, excludes Mae Lan district, for another three months, from 20 December 2017 to 19 March 2018. This is the 50th extension since firstly applied to keep order and safeguard security in those troublesome areas.

    Measures to boost tourism in 55 provinces

    On 26th December, the cabinet resolved on tax exemption measures in 55 provinces, effective from 1st January to 31st December 2018. Expenditures on tourism; accommodation, meals, tour, package tour, either in formal or informal tax invoice/receipt, at maximum 15,000 baht per annual, can be presented when filing tax exemption.

    The 55 provinces are low-tourism destinations subjective to economic promotion.

    489 NGV buses bidding approved

    On 18th December, the Bangkok Metropolitan Mass Transit board resolved to endorse the bidding tender of 4,020 million baht for 489 NGV buses proposed by the SCN-CHO group. The first 100 units will be handed over within 90 days after contract signs, approximately in March 2018 and the rest within 180 days.

    2018 inflation estimated 1-4 percent

    On 19th December, the cabinet resolved on the 2018 fiscal policy targeting average inflation rate 2.5%, plus 2.5% minus 1.5%, or ranging between 1-4 percent. The numbers are similar to previous year, 2017.

    3 BB to provide free internet for rural low income group

    The National Commission for Peace and Order (NCPO) has made a policy to launch free-internet project in 3,920 rural villages, covering 607,000 households. However, only 520,000 households, equivalent to 86 percent, already registered as low income households are entitle to free service for a period of three years upon application. Project commencement is in July 2018 and expecting to be ready for service in August.

    Max. 5 months bonus for state enterprise affiliates

    On 4th December, the cabinet resolved on principles of maximum 5 months bonus for board members, staffs and employees of state enterprise affiliates on conditions of compliance to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) standards.

    Currently 23 state enterprises have 158 affiliations and 117 are registered with SET which aligns to the criteria. Among the rest 41, only 9 are fit to the standards, annual profit not exceed than 100 million baht.

    EU resumed political contacts

          On 11th December, the European Union Council on Thailand adopted new conclusions as follow:
    1. The Council reaffirms the importance it attaches to EU relations with Thailand. The Council is appreciative of the constructive role which Thailand plays as the current country coordinator for EU - ASEAN Dialogue Relations.
    2. The Council reiterates its call for the urgent restoration of the democratic process in Thailand through credible and inclusive elections and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
    3. The Council recalls with concern that political and civil rights and liberties have been severely curtailed in Thailand following the 2014 military coup. Freedom of expression and assembly remains highly restricted through a number of laws and Orders of the NCPO. Furthermore, civil society activists and human rights defenders continue to face judicial harassment. The Council stresses the importance of such basic freedoms being restored as Thailand proceeds towards democracy, and reiterates the importance it attaches to the role of civil society in a functioning democracy. In this regard, the EU will continue to support civil society organizations and human rights defenders.
    4. The Council encourages the Thai authorities to implement the recommendations accepted during the second universal periodic review of Thailand (May 2016).
    5. The Council notes the promulgation on 6 April 2017 of Thailands new Constitution which states that general elections shall take place within 150 days after four required organic laws are promulgated. Furthermore the Council notes that the legislative preparations for holding elections are progressing. In this context the Council welcomes the statement of the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on 10 October 2017 that the general election would be held in November 2018. The Council urges that the remaining organic laws be adopted as soon as possible and that the Constitutional timetable for holding the election be respected.
    6. The Council notes the decision of the Thai military leadership to phase out the practice of prosecuting civilians before military courts for a number of offences since 12 September 2016, including for offences against internal security and lèse majesté offences. The Council urges the Thai authorities not to prosecute civilians before military courts including for lèse majesté offences committed before 12 September 2016.
    7. The Council recalls its June 2014 Conclusions which stated that the EU would keep its relations with Thailand under review and would consider further possible measures, depending on circumstances. In the light of the afore mentioned developments, the Council considers it appropriate to pursue a gradual political re-engagement with Thailand.
    8. The Council has decided therefore to resume political contacts at all levels with Thailand in order to facilitate meaningful dialogue on issues of mutual importance, including on human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the road towards democracy. The EU and its Member States will make full use of such contacts to raise these issues of concern.
    9. The Council looks forward to the progressive deepening of relations with Thailand following the holding of credible and inclusive elections and improvements in the human rights situation. The EU looks to the Thai authorities to ensure a political environment in which opposition parties and civil society can function freely.
    10. In this context, the Council invites the Commission to explore with Thailand the possibilities for resuming talks on an EU-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
    11. The signing of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and the full resumption of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with Thailand, may then be pursued with a democratically elected civilian government under the new Constitution.
    12. The Council reiterates that it will continue to keep its relations with Thailand under review with particular emphasis on the following areas:
    13. the lifting of restrictions on freedom of expression and media as well as on freedom of assembly and association, the lifting of restrictions on activities of political parties and civil society organizations including the respect and support for the activities of human rights defenders;
    14. the holding of credible and inclusive elections in line with international standards leading to fully functioning democratic institutions;
    15. The installation of a democratically elected civilian government under the new Constitution.
    16. The European Union is ready to assist Thailand in attaining these objectives, in the spirit of partnership.
    17. The Council invites the High Representative together with the Commission to monitor and keep the Council informed about progress achieved.

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