ԴЪҸԻ (English)
September 2018 : EC Assured Feb. 2019 General Election

  • EC assured general election by Feb. 2019
  • Cabinet approved 6 local authority election laws
  • NLA accomplishment in 4 years
  • NLA approved independent agents pay rise bills
  • An Institute for Research and Development for the Future
  • Bt. 1,293 million industrial estate in Songkhla special economic zone
  • Pracharat program generated Bt. 2.8 billion in 3600 communities
  • State security card holders to get VAT refund
  • Cabinet approved sustainable agriculture draft bill
  • NLA accepted Pracharat draft bill in principles
  • Bt. 1,222 million for educational equality
  • NLA passed a draft bill on international organizations privileges protection
  • NLA passed a draft bill on petroleum tax
  • No ID card -Households Registration Book copies needed

    EC assured general election by Feb. 2019

    On 18th September, Secretary-General of the Election Commission (EC) Pol.Col.Gen. Charungwit Phumma assured the general election could be held as early as 24th February 2019 following the organic laws on Election of MPs and Selection of Senators have been published on the Royal Gazette. This is inline with the National Council for Peace and Orders road map.

    Meanwhile, the EC is working to demarcate the election constituencies, each with approximately 189,000 voters. The constitution stipulates the House of Representatives will have 500 members; 350 elected from the constituencies and 150 representatives selected from party lists and allocated on the basis of proportional representation.

    He anticipated the demarcation of constituencies and their numbers of elected MPs will be completed within the following 60 days.

    Cabinet approved 6 local authority election laws

    On 4th September, the cabinet approved six draft laws on the local authority elections and administration. The laws were proposed by the Council of State and also been approved by the Interior Ministry. They will be forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly for enactment before sending for royal endorsement. It is anticipated the whole processes will be finished by February 2019 in complacency to the NCPO Road Map schedules the general election on 24th Feb. 2019.

    NLA accomplishment in 4 years

    On 27th September, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) disclosed its accomplishment after four years. They are categorized in four areas; legislation, civic concern, foreign affairs and promoting democracy. The accomplishment are exhibiting in the parliamentary 1 hall.

    A total of 347 draft bills had been submitted for legislation and 315 passed. 306 were enacted after published in the Royal Gazette and 9 are in processing. Another 6 laws have been put in agendas for public hearing in regards to article 77 of the constitution.

    Regarding to foreign affairs, the NLA set goals to strengthen international relationships and promote understanding on political affairs.

    The NLA conducted public meetings and received a total of 10,523 complaints. 948 cases were submitted through the committee. Among them 832 were considered and forwarded to the responsible agencies.

    NLA approved independent agencies pay rise bills

    On 27th September, the NLA passed the draft bills on the raising of payment; salaries, positioning and fringe benefits to the independent agencies and the Constitutional Court personals with 171 to 3 abstentions and 172 to 3 abstentions respectively.

    They also passed a law on the regulations on the attorney-general with 166 to 5 abstentions.

    An Institute for Research and Development for the Future

    On 25th September, the cabinet resolved on a program to establish a public policy development institute to promote potentiality and allocating seeding budget, approximately 1,000 million baht, for an implementation in the first four years; 2019-2022.

    The institute duty is to be a national think tank agency focusing on public policies and gathering big data for new policy advocating. However, the institute will not become a state agency but runs the Suriyanuwat Foundation,

    An establishment of an industrial estate in Songkhla special economic zone

    On 25th September, the cabinet resolved on an establishment of an industrial estate in Songkhla Special Economic Zone with an allocation of 1,293.92 million baht budget. The estate will locate in Sadoa district, 1.5 km. from the Sadao Immigration Check point. Target industries are agricultural processing, logistics, light industry, components manufacturing, electronics and components and services.

    It is anticipated the estate will create new investment and employment in the area as well as stimulates demands on local raw materials. Upon implementation, construction, retail trading, businesses, hostels and renting houses will follow.

    Pracharat program generated 2.8 BB

    On 21st September, Gen. Anupong Paochinda disclosed the success of Pracharat Program, concerning the grass root economic development project, that after its first three years of co-launching with private sectors, headed by Thai Bev director general Mr. Thapana Siriwattanabhakdi, more than 3,668 target groups, out of 4,101 countrywide, have been selected to participate. More than 611,548 people have been actively involved resulted in increasing income accumulated to 2,841 million baht.

    VAT return to low income group

    On 18th September, the cabinet resolved on a VAT refund policy to low income group holding state welfare cards. The pilot program is scheduled to be effective for 6 months, between 1st November 2018 to 30 April 2019.

    The 7 percent VAT will be divided in three parts:

    Part one, every card holders must pay the 1 percent tax.

    Part two, a 5 percent tax will be returned to the card holders into their electronic accounts every 15th date of a month. The amount can be withdrawn in cash.

    Part three: another 1 percent will be saved in each account. A maximum monthly saving is 500 baht per account and there will be interest payment for every account.

    Cabinet approved Sustainable agriculture draft bill

    On 18th September, the cabinet approved principles of the draft bill on the promotion and development of sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is defined as a production system that incorporating ecological processes and biodiversity, preserving and balancing the environment, and being fair to economic, social, environment and ecosystem. They cover and encompass systems, individuals and organizations relating to practicing defined in the bill.

    NLA accepted on principles of Pracharat Bill

    On 13th September, the National legislative Assembly voted 187 to none and 4 abstains to accept the Pracharat draft bill and to appoint a scrutiny committee to read the bill in 7 days. They allow 30 days for the bill to be submitted for the second reading.

    The bill aims to provide welfare to the low income group so they will be able to access to basic needs in life. Several services agencies, public and private, will be incorporated with a goal to reduce inequality, distributing income, upgrade and develop sustainable quality of life.

    Bt. 1,222.2 million to promote education equality

    On 11th September, the cabinet approved to allocate a 1,222.2 million baht budget to the Education Equality Fund in the 2018 fiscal year. The money will be used to help the students and reduce education inequality and develop quality and efficiency of instructors.

    International organizations privileges protection bill

    On 6th September, the National Legislative Assembly approved the draft Act on Privileges and Immunities for International Organizations and International Conferences in Thailand with 180 to 0 and 3 abstained votes. The Act will serve as an important tool in supporting the governments policy in promoting Thailand as a hub for international organizations as well as international conferences, namely intergovernmental conferences and those organized by the private sector.

    The Act will provide a legislation framework for granting privileges and immunities to international organizations and other beneficiaries as defined in the Act. The Act aims to expedite the process of setting up an office of an international organization and organizing a conference in Thailand. Such privileges and immunities are granted based on the principle of functional necessity and are comparable to similar laws on privileges and immunities in other countries, such as the United States, Austria, Switzerland, Kenya, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

    NLA passed Petroleum Income Tax Bill

    On 21st September the National Legislative Assembly read its third reading of the Petroleum Income Tax Bill and passed with 164 to 0 votes. The law, submitted by the government on 13th March 2018, was an amendment of the B.E 2014 (A.D. 1971) Act to allow the petroleum operators to deduct a deposit of warranty for the dismantling of structures or other materials after the operation terminated, as expenditure before calculating net profit.

    During the deliberation, the Extraordinary Committee had removed Sections 4 and 8 from the draft bill.

    Section 4 stipulated that the private sector, concessionaire or exploration contract must secure the dismantling of structures or other materials after the expiry of concession by depositing monetary warranty.

    Section 8 provided that private sector must pay a sum of money for environmental protection that may cause problems from the survey.

    These led to a wide discussion among the parliamentary members due to concern on state loss.

    Admiral Chaiwat Eamsamut, Member of the NLA and Chairman of the Extraordinary Committee gave explanation on three reasons:
    1. Concession petroleum business often suffered with losses because of low yield. If loss occurs, the operator would deduct the loss value from the income before taxing, therefore, the state will receive no tax instead of full tax value or more than the value of the deposit warranty.
    2. Actually the cost of dismantling can be deducted and accounted for the cost of expenditures before taxing; therefore, if the payment is increased from warranty deposit, the state will lose this income, making the state nearly sole agent of dismantling.
    3. No financial warranty have been used as taxation instrument in Thailand, therefore, if legislating it will set an example for other concessionaires which lead to tax problem or state income in the future.

    The Petroleum Act and Petroleum Income Tax Act were first enforced in B.E. 2514 (A.D. 1971) and amended for seven times until the last versions effective on 17th June 2017. The last revisions were made to introduce the production sharing contracts and service contracts as alternative to host government instruments by which upstream oil and gas producers may invest in Thailand. Tax rate and calculating criteria in comply with the sharing of production contract.

    Thailand 4.0: No ID card-Household Registration Book copies needed

    On 28th September, the Royal Gazette published a regulation on the revocation of ID card and household registration book copies providing when contacting with all state agencies. However, those documents are still needed as identification of an individual but only the original documents should be presented. If officials decide for some reason that copies of ID cards or household registration books are needed, copying will be free of charge.

    This follows the government Thailand 4.0 strategy to reduce paper usage in all public offices.
  •  


    Print Version