ԴЪҸԻ (English)
March 2018 : NLA Passed MP Election Bill

  • NLA passed MP election bill with 211 votes
  • Additional 2018 Fiscal Budgetary Bill 150 BB passed
  • Sea fishing workers to get monthly minimum wage via bank account
  • Measures to speed up investigations on state officials corruptions
  • 3,664 complaints filed to NCPO petition center in 9 months
  • 2018 water reserve sufficient to fight drought
  • Inmates to have electronic devices for house detention
  • Police restructure draft bill to be finalized
  • NPCO removed Somchai Srisuthiyakorn from Election Commission
  • Constitution Court ruled NCCC term extension term constitutionality
  • Cabinet approved 11 national reform plans
  • Cabinet approved digital money draft bill
  • A plan to improve 2018 public debt management
  • Regulations on founding of commercial-private airports revised

    NLA passed MP election bill and Senate selection bill

    On March 8th the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed the House of Representatives election bill with 211 votes and 7 abstentions.

    Eight amendments were made to the bill during the scrutiny period by a tri-partite panel comprising representatives of the NLA, the Election Commission and the Constitutional Drafting Committee.

    The amendments include the adjustment of voting period from 7 am-5 pm to 8 am-5 pm; no entertainment activities during the election campaigning; individuals or officials at polling units can vote on behalf of disable or elderly voter; voters who fail to vote will be deprived of the right to contest an MP election or election of local administrators such as village heads or Kamnan; candidates of same parties will be designated the same numbers throughout the country.

    Later the Senate selection bill was voted with 202 passes against 1 opposition and 13 abstentions.

    One of the amendments is on the change of the number of the group of candidates to contest the selection from 20 to 10.

    The two bills will be submitted to Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha and, if within five days after the acceptance of the bills by the premier, no parties ask for either or two of the bills to be sent to the Constitutional court for interpretation, the bills will be forwarded to His Majesty the King for royal approval within 20 days.

    NLA passed additional 2018 expenditure bill

    On 22th March, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed the additional 2018 expenditure bill, 150 billion baht, with 183 and 3 abstentions.

    The 100,358,077,000 baht budget was divided into 4 parts; 1. Promotion and development of grass root and community economy 4,600 MB, 2. Agricultural production structural reform 24,300,694,500 baht, 3. Promoting potentiality and quality of life development 21,078,454,400 baht, and 4. Strategic plan for economic promotion and community potential development 50,378,928,100 baht.

    Another 49,641,923,000 baht will be allocated for urgent policies implementation.

    Deputy Prime Minister Somkit Jatusripitak assured these budgets will be used in promoting economic growth particularly on the grass root, community and agricultural sector economy.

    Minimum wage applies to sea fishing workers

    On March 27th, the Cabinet approved the draft Ministerial Regulation on Labor Protection in Sea Fishing Works (NO. ) B,E. , which contained important amendments to the Ministerial Regulation on Labor Protection in Sea Fishing Work B.E. 2557. The draft Ministerial regulation requires that sea fishing workers be paid monthly wages via bank accounts and that employers who own oversea fishing vessels shall provide communication devices for fishing workers to communicate with authority concerned of family members during their time at sea.

    In the previous regulation, the method of wage payment for sea fishing workers varied according to each employer. However, the new regulation requires the employers to pay the workers on a monthly basis which must be less than daily minimum wage rate multiplied by 30 days. Moreover, the payment must be paid via bank accounts to ensure transparency and accountability, to prevent unfair wage deductions as well as to help solve the issues of delayed and inaccurate payments.

    Concerning the regulation on the provision of communication devices for sea fishing workers while at sea, it is one of the mechanisms that will enhance the crews quality of life and provide them with a channel of communication to make complaint and to be able to quickly report any problems that occurred.

    The regulation shall be effective after 45 days of enactment in order to give the employers a time to provide account payments.

    Measures to speed up investigations on state officials corruptions

    On March 27th, the joint committee of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the Cabinet approved the NCPOs proposal on measures to counter corruption in state officials with principle to allow the agency head to start investigation within 7 days and finished by 30 days after receiving complaint. If there is evidence of wrongdoing, disciplinary execution must be promptly applied without criminal courts ruling. Relevant information can be forwarded to the National Counter Corruption Center for criminal court charge.
    594 corruption complaints filed in 9 months

    On 18th March, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) disclosed between 14 July 2017 to 12 March 2018, a total of 3,664 complaints have been sent to the government complaint center. They are categorized into 1,758 general troubles, 594 corruption cases, 442 drugs and narcotics, and the rest, 856, unclear information. All are streamlined weekly and forwarded to the responsible agencies for further execution.

    Water reserve sufficient to fight drought

    The Office of the National Water Resource (ONWR) assured total water reserve countrywide in 2018 is 73 percent of its capacity and sufficient for agricultural and household consumption throughout the upcoming dry season. Banning of second crop farming, applied last year, is lifted and rice farmers are allowed to plant at their wills. However, in the risky 74 districts of 23 provinces where water shortage can occur, the government will oversee their needs and providing artificial rainmaking and ground water irrigation.

    4,000 inmate electronic devices for house detention

    On 20th March, the Cabinet resolved on a draft bill on Criminal Prosecution with principle to improve flexibility and efficiency on imprisonment. Amendments are made on criteria of discharging of inmates or temporary defendants when house detentions are applied. The Cabinet also approved on the leasing of 4,000 electronic devices for house detention.

    Police restructure draft bill to be finalized

    On 20th March, the Cabinet resolved on the Police Reform draft bill concerning the appointment and transfers of police officers, the enforcement of investigation laws and the execution of police authority. The police strategy and development office will be set up to oversee the restructuring of the Royal Thai Police. The new office, having a status a command center, will act as a strategic administration unit providing supervision and guidelines, as well as drafting regulations and standards related to the development and the restructuring of the Royal Thai Police.

    Somchai removed from EC

    On 20th March, the Royal Gazette published the National Council for Peace and Order No.4/2561 order on the removing of Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, citing his inappropriate comments that could confuse the public. The order also mentioned Mr. Somchai might have a conflict of interest when he applied for the secretary-general of the Election Commissioner Office without resigning from his election commissioner position.

    Constitution Court: NCCC extension term constitutionality

    On March 9th, the Constitutional Court ruled the extension of the current National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) term constitutionality.

    Previously, the National Legislative Assembly had petitioned the Constitutional Court to rule on the legitimacy of the NACC due to heavy criticism for excluding NACC members for being set zero whereas members of the other charter-mandated independent organizations such as the Election Commission and the National Human Rights Commission are set zero.

    The Courts ruling endorsed the NACC members to fulfil their 9-year term in the office.

    Cabinet approved 11 national reform plans

    On March 13th, the Cabinet approved 11 national reform strategic plans, proposed by the National Economic and Social Development Board. They are on:
    1. Political reform.
    2. Public administration.
    3. Legislation.
    4. Justice.
    5. Economic.
    6. Natural resources and environment.
    7. Public health.
    8. Mass information technology.
    9. Social.
    10. Energy.
    11. Prevention and counter corruption.

    Planning objectives are to promote:
    1. The balance of utilizing natural resources against socio-economic growth.
    2. Providing appropriate state welfare to enhance job opportunity and fairness in economic, social and justice.
    3. Promoting agricultural, service industry, research-development and innovation.
    4. Strengthening transparency, effectively and responsiveness in public sector.

    These plans will be forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly for enactment.

    Digital money bill

    On 27th March, the Cabinet resolved to approve a Digital Asset regulation and forwarded to the Council of State for consideration. The Council made no amendment except deleted the word other but retained the words; Crypto and Token currencies until future additional which requires an approval from the cabinet.

    Transactions of digital money are subjected to 15 percent taxed as proposed by the Revenue Department.

    2018 public debt administration improvement plan

    On 20th March, the Cabinet resolved on the 2018 public debt administration improvement plan which 85,906 million baht was added to make a total budget 1.58 trillion baht. Public debt is slightly increased from 42.7 percent to currently 42.8 of GDP and debt burden towards fiscal budget decreased from 9 to 8.6 percent.

    Single authority on commercial-private airports founding

    On 13th March, the Cabinet approved a ministerial regulation on the Founding of New Commercial-Private Airport with some amendments on the application and empowering the Office of Civil Aviation a sole authority.
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