ԴЪҸԻ (English)
October 2018 : 20-year National Strategy Enacted

  • 20-year National Strategy enacted
  • EC endorsed 5 new political parties
  • Elderly Home for the middle-income group
  • Second National Child and Youth Development Plan
  • Animal Welfare Law to revise
  • NLA passed Water Resource Bill
  • Cabinet approved Digital Administration Bill
  • 5 EEC projects need 600 BB investments
  • 2018 economy soars 4.5%
  • Coconuts added to controlled goods
  • September export slumped to 5.2% deficit
  • 7% VAT re-extended for 1 year

    20-year National Strategy enacted

    On 13th October, the first National Strategy (B.E. 2018 to 2037) was published in the Royal Gazette making development in these following 20 years in line with the strategic plant. Development goals are stability, prosperity and sustainability.

    On stability, Thailand will be safe from threats and changes at home and abroad in all dimensions-economy, society, environment and politics. It also underscores reconciliation and unity, as well as security in life, jobs, incomes, food, energy and water.

    On prosperity, the economy will grow steadily and join the worlds group of high income countries. Development disparities will decrease, giving way to equality. On competitiveness, the country will be a regional hub in transport, production, trade and investment. All forms of capitalhuman resources, intellectual, financial and otherswill be available and can be developed further.

    On sustainability, the focus is on developments that can increase peoples incomes and quality of life without excessive use of natural resources and pollution. Production and consumption must also be environmental friendly and people will be socially responsible. All parties must adhere to the sufficiency economy philosophy.

    According to the 2017 constitution, all government agencies and public organizations must comply with the master plans and budget allocations must be in line with them.

    Any policy proposed by a political party must be within the national stratic framework. A governments policy statement or budget allocations must also be in compliance with it.

    The Senate and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) task is monitoring in compliance with the strategy.

    The national strategy will be reviewed every five years and may be changed when the situations at the global of national levels warrant it but a parliamentary review must be sought first.

    The National Strategy Committee comprises the prime minister, speakers of the Houses and the Senate; a deputy prime minister or minister; Defense permanent secretary; chief of armed forces, army, navy, air force and police; secretary general of the National Security Council; chairman of the National Economic and Social Development Board; heads of the board of trade, Federation of Thai Industries, Tourism Council of Thailand and Thai Bankers Association.

    EC endorsed 5 new political parties

    On 30th October, the Election Commission (EC) has considered applications from five new political parties, they are 1.) Pan Din Tham, 2.0 Prachachart 3.0 Palang Chart Thai, 4.) Prachatham Thai and 5.0 Klong Thai. The EC also defunct Kon Thai party on ground its administrative committees resolution to dissolve the party.

    There are currently 81 political parties; 16 newly registered and 65 formerly registered.

    The general elections are expected to be held in February 2019.

    Elderly homes for the middle-income group

    On 24th October, the cabinet resolved on the Ministry of Social Development and Human Securitys proposal to set up two elderly homes Keha Katunyoo for those who need special care. One will be built on Klong Luang 1 in Bangkok Metropolitan and another on Klong Luang 2 Pathumthani province.

    The first will accommodate those with 59,701 baht monthly income and the second, high rise buildings, for those with less income. However, the high rise project must pass the EIA environmental criteria before construction.

    Second National Child and Youth Development Plan

    On 16th October, the cabinet approved the Social Development and Human Security Ministrys second National Child and Youth Development Plan (B.E. 2560-2564). The plan comprises of 5 strategies, as follows:
    1. Strategy to develop the potential of children and youth and build resilience in them;
    2. Strategy to strengthen mechanisms favorable to efficient child and youth development;
    3. Strategy to promote the participation of children and youth;
    4. Strategy to promote and mobilize the cooperation from all sectors in child and youth development;
    5. Strategy to develop management innovation for children and youth development.

    The cabinet instructed all relevant agencies to work out their action plans and annual operation plans in order to translate the Second Child and Youth Development Plan into action.

    Animal Welfare Law to revise

    On 10th October, the cabinet resolved on a principle to amend the Animal Welfare Act B.E. 2557 to add provisions on registration of domestic animals, fees, and penalties. Enforcement will be done by local authorities through by-laws. However, in the first place, only dogs and cats must be registered due to their impact on society-at-large. Next are domestic animals such as birds. Violation is fined at 25,000 baht maximum.

    NLA passed Water Resources Bill

    On 4th October, the National Legislative Assembly passed the Water Resources Bill with 191 to 2 and 6 abstain votes.

    The bill aims to integrate water management; regulating policy, projects supervising, budget monitoring, crisis management etc. There will be a water resources committee chaired by the prime minister, a committee on river basins, a water user organization and an establishment of a water crisis management center. Water management must be regularly evaluated in line with the 20-year national strategy.

    Cabinet approved Digital Government Bill

    On 2nd October, the cabinet approved the draft Digital Government Bill proposed by the Electronic Government agency (Public Organization) or EGA. The bill aims to improve public sector performance in line with the Thailand 4.0 strategy. Principles are to establish a digital government committee chaired by the Prime minister to draft a digital government plan, and supervise government agencies, a national central data exchange center, and the governments central open data center. Goals are to:
    1. Improving Countrys Digital Government-related Ranking and Indices.
    2. Providing Government Services that Response to Countrys Demands of all Sectors Rapidly, Precisely, and Paperless.>LI>Creating Government Data that Easily Accessed and Improve Government Transparency and Public Participation.
    3. Developing Government Infrastructure that collect and Manage Integrated Database, Support Cooperation among Agencies, and Efficiently Provide Government Services.

    All government agencies will store their information digitally, which will enable better information exchanges between agencies, and better access by the general public. The Digital Government will improve government efficiency in procurement, asset management, human resources and payroll, and finance and expenditures.

    Recently a no copy ID cards has already been adopted to reduce the amount of documents required when contacting with all state agents. Only a card is required to be presented and by 5th November, E-Payment policy in public agencies will be fully adopted.

    Moreover, citizens can raise all types of complaints all channels in which by 2019 state offices information technology will be integrated into one data storage. Citizens basic information will be stored in a single planform and accessible to all agencies. People need not rewrite every time they fill in documents.

    It is anticipated a 30,000 million baht budget is needed for implementation.

    5 EEC projects need 600 BB investments

    On 30th October, the cabinet resolved on the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) proposal to select private investors on five mega-projects; total investment cost 600 billion baht. Among those are a high speed train system to connect three airports; Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang and U-Ta Pao (158 billion baht). The other four are the U-Tapao aviation city (worth 290 billion baht); a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre (10.59 billion baht); the third phase of the Laem Cha Bang seaport (84.36 billion); and the third phase of Map Ta Phut seaport (47.90 billion).

    2018 economy soars 4.5%

    On 29th October, the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) announced Thai economy in 2018 is expecting to grow 4.5 percent (or within a range of 4.3-4.7 percent) and higher than 3.9 percent of last year. Private sector expenditures play significant role in both consumption and investment in compliance with employment growth. Agricultural households income also rise from higher agricultural products cost.

    Public measures to help the low income through state welfare cards promoted spending and inbound tourism constantly rises.

    Thai economic stability remains resilient. Inflation is expecting to grow 1.2 percent annually which is slightly higher than last year due to rising of petroleum prices in global market and domestic demand.

    Coconuts added to controlled goods

    On 25th October, the Bureau of Price and Quantity Administration resolved to add all kinds of coconuts productions; fresh fruits, dried fruits and dried meat to the controlled commodity goods in B.E. 2542 Act. Import is allowed via two customs checkpoints; Bangkok and Laem Cha Bang. Violation is 5-year jail or 100,000 baht fine, or both.

    September export slumped to 5.2% deficit

    The Trade Policy and Strategy Office disclosed trading in September was US 20,699 million which was higher than monthly average but decreased 5.2 percent when compare to the same period of last year. This is the first shrinkage in 19 months and when excludes petroleum and gold related goods, the shrinkage will be at 1.9 percent.

    Import in September was US 20,212 million which was 9.9 percent higher than last year making a favorable balance of US 487 million.

    Total export in the first nine month of 2018 is US 189,729 million, increased 8.13 percent while import totaled US 186.891 million, increasing 15.2 percent making a surplus of US 2,838 million.

    7% VAT re-extended for 1 year

    The 7 percent VAT was re-extended for another one year to 30th September 2019.

    The VAT was scheduled to increase to 10 percent but the re-extension was made several times to ease economic problems.
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