ԴЪҸԻ (English)
June 2018 : National Strategy Bill Passed 1st Reading

  • NLA passed first reading of 20 year national strategy draft
  • 2019 Fiscal Budget Bill submitted to NLA
  • Charter court upholds NCPOs order on political parties
  • Court upholds jail term on 2 PDRC guards
  • NCCP endorsed decision on 2010 Red Shirts dispersion
  • Multinational corporations tax incentives revised
  • Second arrest warrant on Thaksins Krung Thai loan case
  • Former FM Surapong got jail term for reinstating Thaksins passport
  • Thai economy rising steadily

    NLA passed 1st reading of national strategy draft

    On 15th June, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed its first reading of the national strategy bill and appointed a 38-member extraordinary committee to scrutinize the bill in 22 days. The 71-page Bill covered strategies in six areas; national security, competitiveness, human resources development, social equality, the environment and rebalancing and public sector development. Upon enactment it will be national guideline for the next 20 years, from 2018 t0 2038.

    Upon final approval by the NLA, the bill will be returned to the cabinet and to the national strategy committee who will draw the details within two months. Future public policies, national socio-economic development plans, national plans, fiscal budget bills and national reform plans will be in compliance with the bill and. However, the national strategy will be reviewed every five years and may be changed when the situations at the global or national levels warrant it but a parliamentary review must be sought first.

    Bt. 3 tn. 2019 fiscal budget bill to read by NLA

    On 7th June, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) voted on its first round to read the 2019 fiscal budget bill and appointed a scrutinizing committee.

    The budget bill has 3 trillion baht expenditure and 2.55 trillion baht projected revenue, representing a deficit of 450 billion baht, down 18.2% from the previous year.

    Investment budget was set at 660.3 billion baht, down 2.4% year-on-year and representing 22% of the total.

    Budget appropriating by strategy was breakdown in national security 11%, competitiveness 13%, human potential 19%, elimination of poverty, inequality 13%, water management, sustainable development 4%, balance and administrative system development 28% and general administration 12%.

    Among all agencies, the Education Ministry gets the most 16.3% or 489,798.6 million baht. Follow by the Interior Ministry 12.5% 373,519.7 million baht, Finance Ministry 8.1% 242,846.0 million baht, the Defense Ministry 7.6% 227,671.4 million baht and the Transport Ministry 6.1% 183,732.5 million baht .

    Charter court upholds NCPOs order on political parties

    On 5th June, the Constitutional Court confirmed the constitutionality of the National Council for Peace and Orders number 53/2560 amending the political party law.

    The court ruling was in response to a petition that two main political parties, Pheu Thai and Democrat, earlier filed through the ombudsman. They were concerned about the NCPOs order number 53/2560 amending Section 140 and 141 of the political party law.

    Amendments on both sections required members of old political parties to reconfirm their membership by presenting letters and documents verifying their qualifications as party members, and pay membership fees, within 30 days of April 1.

    The amendment also set a 90-day deadline for political party to hold their general assemblies to elect executives and have the preset minimal number of regional branches and members.

    The petitioners submitted that the amendments did not protect the memberships of political parties and unreasonably imposed a heavy burden, limited rights and liberties and were discriminatory.

    The Constitutional Court ruled the amendment neither caused an unreasonable burden or limited rights and liberties, nor they discriminatory.

    Supreme Court upholds verdict on PDRC guards jail term

    On 22nd June, the Supreme Court upholds the Appeal Court sentencing two security guards of the now-defunct Peoples Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) to one year each in prison and suspends them from voting for five years. They were accused of barring ballot boxes from being distributed from the din Daeng district office to polling stations on January 26, 2014.

    The two men, Nawakorn Khonsri and Prasert Duangthip were acquitted by the lower court but sentenced reversed to a one-year jail term by the Appeal Court. They were released on bail and only Nawakorn showed up at the court to hear the ruling while Prasert has jumped the bail.

    NACC confirms decision on 2010 crackdown

    On 22nd June, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) voted unanimously not to revive the case of the violent crackdown of the supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), aka Red Shirts, from 7 April to 19 May 2010, citing no new evidence support.

    The UDD protestors were demanding the resignation of the then-government of Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and the government assigned the then former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban to oversee the crackdown that led to 91 dead in capital.

    The NACC under the old commissioners had previously rejected the case on reason the demonstration was not conducted in a peacefully manner, some protesters were armed, the crackdown was conducted in regards to legal procedures of the issuance of emergency law, therefore the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), and later the Office of the General Attorney were obliged to take the matter to the Criminal Court. The court acquitted the then prime minister Abhisit and Suthep in 2014. The decision was upheld by the Appeal and the Supreme Courts, on 31 August 2017,

    Red-shirt core leader Nattawut Saikua demanded the NACC to review the case citing the Supreme Courts Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on August 2, 2017 delivered its ruling on the case on the dispersal of Peoples Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters on October 7, 2008.

    Multinational corporations tax incentives revised

    On 19th June, the cabinet resolved to amend tax relief for multinational corporations, with offices in Thailand, to apply on income from royalty on research and development conducted in the country only.

    Previously, the tax incentives were broadly applied to multinational corporations with offices located in Thailand, regardless to their original registration. The revision excludes R&D conducted outside the country making it impossible for tax evading by selling royalties to affiliating enterprises registered in Thailand.

    Court issued second arrest warrant to Thaksin

    On 21st June, the Supreme Courts Division for Holders of Political Positions issued a second arrest warrant for the arrest of Thaksin Shinawatra to stand trial on a revived corruption case regarding the extension of 9.9 billion baht loans to companies owned by real estate developer, Krisdamahanakorn or KMC by state-run Krung Thai Bank.

    The court held its first hearing of the case against the fugitive former prime minister which dated back to 2012 when Thaksin and 26 others, who were former KTB officials and executives of the involved firm, were indicated by the Office of the Attorney-General for malfeasance in office in the loans extension despite the fact that KMC was already classified by the bank as a non-performing debtor with non-performing loans.

    The case against Thaksin was withdrawn because he has already escaped out of the country. Under the Thai law, a trial must be carried out at the presence of the defendants.

    In 2015, the court handed down a verdict on the case, giving heavy jail terms from 12-18 years to 26 defendants, including then KTB president Viroj Nualkhae and ex-chairman Suchai Jaovisidh who were given 18 years imprisonment.

    The Criminal Procedure Code was amended to legalize court trail even without the presence of the defendant making the re-trial and only the public prosecutor was presented.

    The court issued a second warrant on ground Thaksin was fully aware of the appointment with the court and did not shown up with proper reason.

    The court also set September 26 as the date for examination of evidence of both the prosecutor and the defendant.

    Thaksin was issued a first warrant on the case of transferring the telecom concession into excise tax. The revision allowed his company to gain huge profit but caused a great loss to the country. Another two corruption cases on court pending are the EXIM Bank loan and 2-3 digits lottery rewards.

    Surapong get jail term for Thaksin passport

    On 19th June, the Supreme Courts Division for Holders of Political Positions sentences former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul to two years in prison for reinstating a passport for Thaksin Shinawatra. The court found him guilty of malfeasance under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and the 1999 anti-corruption law. He was temporarily released on a bond of 5 million baht and ordered to remain in Thailand during the appeal process.

    Thaksins passport was revoked and blacklisted in December 2008 when he was on an arrest warrant on national security charges. In October 2011 when Mr. Surapong served as foreign minister in the Yingluck government, he had reinstated the passport after removing Thaksins name from a blacklist. Such actions violated a regulation on the issuance of passport that was enacted in 2005. Normally a person must be checked before a passport can be given.

    Thai economy rising steadily

    On 29th June, the National Bank of Thailand disclosed Thai economy in May is rising steadily in all sectors. Export rises 11.3%, import 12.7%, private sector consumption 5.6%, private sector investment 2.4%, public expenditures 11.8% and public investment 2.1%.
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