ԴЪҸԻ (English)
December 2018 : EC held cross election of provincial-level candidates for senators

  • EC held cross election of provincial-level candidates for senators
  • 3.4 BB to help palm oil plantations
  • NLA passed laws to monitor e-commerce transaction
  • NLA passed law to ban fugitive from to file criminal suits
  • Cabinet approved same sex marriages draft bill
  • EC welcome international observers on election
  • 2 water megaprojects speed up to commence on 2019
  • Tax deduction on education donation extended
  • A committee to tackle economic disparity
  • Cabinet approved draft cybersecurity bill
  • Employee protection bill: severance pay increase to 400 days

    EC held cross election of provincial-level candidates for senators

    On December 27th, at Hall 2, IPC, Muang Thong Thani, the Office of the Election Commission of Thailand (EC) organized a cross election of provincial-level candidates for senators. 7,056 people countrywide applied but only 2,742 are qualified to run the election which the elected 200 nominees would be forwarded to be finalized into 50 senators by the NCPO.

    Among them 2,294 are independent runners and 452 representing these 10 following professional groups:
    1. Administrative and security: total runners 294, 264 independent, 30 representatives.
    2. Legislative and justice: total 257, 187 independent and 70 representatives.
    3. Education and public health: total 346, 275 independent and 71 representatives.
    4. Agriculture, forestry, livestock rising, fishery: total 336, 284 independent and 52 representatives.
    5. Non-state employees, freelancers: total 231, 217 independents and 14 representatives.
    6. Environmental, city planning, real estate and utilities, natural resources, energy, science, technology, communications, innovations: total 178, 149 independents and 29 representatives.
    7. Medium and small SMEs, tourism: total 262, 227 independent and 35 representatives.
    8. Women, elderly, handicapped, ethnic groups, minorities, civil society, NGOs: total 383, 276 independent and 107 representatives.
    9. Arts, culture, music, performances and entertainments, athletes, media, literatures: total 213, 187 independents and 26 representatives.
    10. Others (non-category) :total 246, 228 independent and 18 representatives.

    The Constitution stipulated the Senate consists of 200 members installed from a selection by and among persons having knowledge, expertise, experience, profession, characteristics or common interests or working or having worked in varied areas of the society, from the level of a district, province to nation.

    However, during the initial period of 5 years, the Senate shall consist of 250 members appointed by the King upon the advice of the NCPO. They are from 3 sources:
    1. 50 from the EC 200 short list.
    2. 194 from the Senator Selection Committee 400 short list.
    3. 6 from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, the Supreme Commander, the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Airforce, the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy and the Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police.


    Cabinet approved 3.4 BB to help palm oil plantations

    On 4th December, the Cabinet resolved on the project to help the palm oil plantations by giving away 1,500 baht per rai to planters who have cultivated oil palm trees for more than three years and each is entitled to claim the handout for up to 15 rai or a maximum of 22,500 baht for each individual planter.

    Other conditions are they must have registered with the Agricultural Promotion Department; the plantations must have yielded for more than three years.

    A total of 150,000 households are entitled to the assistance and the land accumulated to 2,250,000 rai. Anticipating budget is 3,458,206,250 baht.

    NLA passed law to monitor e-commerce transaction

    On 4th December, the NLA voted 139 to 7 abstains to pass the amendment bill on the Revenue Code with principles that requiring financial institutions to report transactions of customer accounts which receive more than 30,000 deposits and money transfers a year or more than 400 deposits and money transfers with a total value of at least 2 million baht a year to the Revenue Department. The Bill aims to ensure more effective tax collection, especially from e-commerce businesses.

    NLA passed law to ban fugitive from to file criminal suits

    On 4th December, the NLA voted 149 with 3 abstains to pass the amendment Criminal Code with principles to ban people who flee their sentences from filing law suits. The law also bans people from filing a new suit in the same criminal case after a court has proved they dishonestly file a criminal suit against others.

    A dishonest lawsuit is defined as one filed with the intention of having someone prosecuted based on distorted facts. In such cases, the suit would be rejected and the plaintiff prohibited from filing another one in the same case.

    However, the law will not affect their right to file a civil suit.

    Cabinet nodded on same sex marriages law

    On 25th December, the Cabinet resolved on a draft civil partnership bill with principles to allow people of same sex to legally married. The law was proposed by the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, Justice Ministry on reasoning the Department has carefully studied and compared with other countries law; France, USA, UK, Australia and Japan which protect human rights to those of diverse sexual to legally wed and also in line with the current Thai society context.

    However, the law will be gradually applies starting with endorsement of status and registration of marriage before developing to equally rights between different sex. The draft law requires the registered persons to be more than 20 years of age and one of them having Thai nationality. Their marriage will end upon the life of partners, death, voluntarily break up or the court ruling to revoke a partner. The Civil and Commercial Code will be applied mutatis mutandis to property and inheritance as well as tax reduction in terms of heterosexual couples. Last but not least, the partners are able to adopt children and have legal support, too.

    The bill will be sent to the NLA for consideration/

    EC welcome international observers on election

    On 19th December, Election Commission president Ittiporn Boonpracong said the EC would welcome international observers to monitor the upcoming election, provided they follow procedures and respect the law. He pointed out that this practice has been common since 2003, when the EC allowed foreigners to observe the voting.

    Later, on the Senate election on 27th December, The US embassy sent Mr. Annie Ho to observe.

    2 water megaprojects speed up to commence on 2019

    On 19th December, the Water Resource Management Committee, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-Ocha, resolved to speed up two megaprojects to be commencing in the 2019 fiscal budget due to they are important and urgently required. They are:
    1. Drainage tunnel network under Klong Premprachakorn. To accelerate drainage system in Don Muang, lak Si, Sai Mai and Bang Khaen districts. Covering total 109 sq. km. budget 9800 million baht. To be completed in 2023.
    2. Klong Yom-Nan project in Sukhothai province. To revitalize the water basin by making reservoir with supplying system, conserving the environment and alleviating water shortage in dry seasons. Covering 7,300 rai, to be completed in 2021.


    Tax incentives on education donations extended

    On 18th December, the Cabinet resolved to extend tax incentive measures on education donations from 1 January to 31 December 2019.

    Individual taxpayers are entitled to deduct their income, twice the amount of the actual donations, to public education institutes, but excluding non-formal education agents, at a maximum of 10 percent of their income after deducting all expenditures and allowances.

    Entities or partnerships can deduct twice their donations to public education institutes, construction and maintenance of children playgrounds, public parks and sport fields or private sport fields which no entrance fee applied.

    Donations must be made via Revenue Department system.

    A committee to tackle economic disparity

    On 18th December, the Cabinet approved the National Social and Economic Development Board (NESDB) on an establishment of a committee to tackle economic disparity problems. The committee, to be chaired by the prime minister and assigned deputy prime minister will comprise of 15 members and a maximum of 3 experts. The secretary general of the NESDB will act as the committees board member and secretary.

    They are dutiful to designate policies and strategies, means, criteria on the reduction and solutions to solve disparity problems and support other agencies, making proposals to the cabinet, supervising and evaluating all practices in line with the implementation.

    Cabinet approved draft cybersecurity bill

    On 18th December, the Cabinet resolved on two cyber bills; a cybersecurity and a personal data protection.

    The bill on cybersecurity requires data owners; hospitals, financial institutes, utilities, energy providers, public health, state services, security etc. to install mechanisms on the alerting, protecting and risk management of cybercrimes; data hacking, ransoming on three levels; alerting, severe and critical.

    The personal data protection bill requires data collectors to have consents from data owners every time they collect personal data. Permissions must be clearly placed on the first page. Data collectors must state the uses and not use the data for purposes not permitted. Data owners can revoke their permissions anytime. This is not applied to data collected prior the law enforced.

    Labor protection bill passed; severance pay 400 days

    On 13th December, the NLA passed the latest amendment of the labor Protection Act with 4 principles on severance pay, maternity leave, personal leave and transfer of employment.

    Employees of more than 20 years services will have a maximum severance pay of 400 days maximum wage rate. Payment decreases upon service terms; 30 days for 120 days service regularly, 90 days to between 1 to 3 years, 180 days to between3 to 6 years, 240 days to between 6 to 8 years and 300 days to between 10 to 20 years.

    Severance payment applies to termination of service without guilt or voluntarily leaving.

    Maternity leave increases from 90 to 98 days, excluding prenatal care but including holidays. However, payment of the increasing 8 days should be settled between the employers and employees.

    Personal leave is entitled to not less than working 3 days with pay.

    Changes of employers or entity without employees consent are subjected to compensation. Previously employers must file lawsuit at court.
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