Motorists urged to use Biodiesel to reduce smog
BANGKOK (TNA) -- The Department
of Energy Business encourages Thai motorists to use biodiesel B10 and B20
that can help reduce smog by 3.5-25%.
of the department, said biodiesel could effectively relieve the air
pollution because emission from vehicles caused 70% of particulate matter
2.5 micrometers and less in diameter (PM2.5).
B10 could cut PM2.5 by 3.5-13.5% and B20 20-25%, she
“The consumption of B10 and B20 helps reduce PM2.5 and supports palm
growers. In 2020 it will consume about 2-2.2 million tons of crude palm oil
that is two-thirds of all yields and help increase the price of raw palm
nuts by at least 4 baht per kilogram,” MsNantika said.
According to her, six oil refineries of Thai Oil, Bangchak Corp, Star
Petroleum Refining, PTT Global Chemical, Esso and IRPC will invest 50
billion baht to improve the quality standard of their products from Euro 4
to Euro 5. The improvement is required to be completed within Jan 1, 2024 to
MsNantika predicted oil consumption this year would increase by 2% from last
year to 132 million liters a day. (TNA)
EIT Offers training on making DIY dust sensor
BANGKOK (TNA) – The Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) will
offer training for public members to make DIY air monitoring devices as the
PM2.5 levels remain high in the capital.
EIT chairman ThanetWeerasiri told
a press conference on Tuesday that the EIT had worked with Yakkao (White
Giant) group in producing DIY dust sensors, which will be given to hospitals
and schools in need.
Yakkaw group comprises academicians from universities,
the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the
Fifty dust sensors were distributed to schools in
Chiang Rai to provide real-time information on the dust level in each
particular area. The data from the sensors can be sent to the Yakkaw
application for effective real -time monitoring.
The pilot project gave satisfactory results and more
sensors will be produced for distribution in other areas.
Anyone, who is interested in making the DIY dust
sensors can register for the first training on Jan 28. Application can be
made to the EIT via email:
or phone 02-1844600 ext. 517.
Fifty applicants will be accepted and they have to buy
their own equipment, worth between 1,800-2,200 baht to make one dust sensor.
Thanet said additional 100 sensors will be made this
month for distribution to the North and the Central region, including
The information from the dust sensors will be provided
to the Pollution Control Department for analysis of dust concentration in
each respective area. (TNA)
Constitutional court dismisses call for Future Forward Party disbandment
BANGKOK (TNA) -- The Constitutional Court
dismissed a request for the disbandment of the Future Forward Party
based on the allegation that it intended to overthrow constitutional
The request came from NatapornToprayoon, former
advisor to the ombudsman. He alleged the party, its leader
ThanathornJuangroongruangkit, its secretary-general
PiyabutrSaengkanokkul and other party executives had exercised their
rights and freedom in order to overthrow constitutional monarchy.
The complainant cited Section 49 of the constitution which prohibits the
exercise of rights and freedom for the purpose.
The Constitutional Court ruled that it did not see
any of the accused with any behaviors intended to terminate
constitutional monarchy. However, the court ordered relevant parties
including the Future Forward Party to adjust the party’s regulations to
According to laws, anti-monarchy allegations, if
proved, can lead to the disbandment of a political party held
Disease control intensified to handle Chinese New Year visitors
BANGKOK (TNA) – Thai health officials have stepped up measures to
screen Chinese visitors who are arriving for the Lunar New Year festival as
China confirms its new coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person.
Dr TanarakPlipat, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease
Control, said countries were intensifying their disease control after
Chinese authorities officially confirmed that the 2019 novel coronavirus was
already transmitted among persons.
Stricter screening was implemented at immigration
checkpoints where Chinese people were arriving as infected people were found
in more Chinese cities including Beijing and Shenzhen. The screening was
applied at the checkpoints receiving visitors from those cities in addition
to Wuhan, Dr Tanarak said.
According to him, about 16,000 Chinese people visit Thailand daily and about
30 people have been quarantined for suspected infection of the novel
coronavirus this month.
CNN reported that the novel coronavirus killed three people and about 220
people were infected with it. At least two people contracted the virus from
other people. They were in Guangdong province and received the disease from
their family members who had visited Wuhan city. Some medical personnel were
also infected. (TNA)
Drought affects elephants’ health
TRANG (TNA) - Elephants in
Thailand’s southern Trang province take leave of absence from their routine
works as their owners are concerned of the effects of drought on their
Owners and mahouts say they opt to take their elephants
away from logging industry in drought-hit areas and switch to works in
tourism industry instead.
From about 100 elephants in Trang, only a dozen remain
after most of them are hired for elephant trekking in nearby Krabi,
Phang-nga and Phuket provinces.
The owner of a 32-year-old male elephant said drought
and heat could depress the jumbos therefore mahouts must keep them close to
They have accepted only logging works in areas near
waterways to allow the elephants to cool themselves. (TNA)
Supreme Patriarch marks PhraArchan Man’s 150th birthday anniversary
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Supreme
Patriarch has visited Pathum Wanaram Temple in Pathumwan district of Bangkok
to officiate at the event marking the 150th birthday anniversary of the late
PhraArchan Man Phuriphatto.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation (UNESCO) in November 2019 recognized the late revered monk
PhraArchan Man for his roles in promoting peace.
The commemorative event was jointly conducted by the
Ministries of Culture, and Education, and disciples of PhraArchan Man.
The late monk relinquished his lay name of Man Kaenkaeo
when he ordained as a novice at the age of 15. After a couple of years of
learning dhamma at his village temple, he reluctantly left the monkhood at
his father’s request to help the family earn its livelihood.
Later, he met a monk on pilgrimage and asked to become
his disciple. PhraArchan Man followed him to a temple in UbonRatchathani’s
capital district, where he took up his studies again.
He ordained again as a monk at age 23 and began a
lifelong pursuit of dhamma practice. He died in 1949 at age 79, after which
his meditation-based dhamma practice gained a large following.
First Coronavirus-infected tourist in Thailand returns to China
BANGKOK (NNT) - Dr Sophon
Iamsirithaworn, Director of the Department of General Communicable Disease,
as head of the Emergency Operation Center, has disclosed that a Chinese
tourist from Wuhan who was found to be infected with the new strain of
coronavirus when she arrived in Thailand on January 8, 2020, has now
returned to China. She was screened at the airport on arrival and was found
to have a high fever. She was then admitted to the Bamrasnaradura Institute.
However, she has now fully recovered, and results of tests by two
laboratories were negative. She was allowed to return to China on January
Dr Sophon said today that the World Health Organization
has not yet announced a ban on travel to countries where this strain of
virus is reported. As the Chinese New Year festival is approaching and there
will be more visitors to Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health has
determined guidelines for preventing its outbreak here and increased
surveillance in communities and at tourist attractions nationwide.
Dr Aphichat Wachiraphan, Director of the Bamrasnaradura
Institute, has assured the public that the Bamrasnaradura Institute’s
standards of operation meet international standards. People who need to
travel to risk areas are asked to be careful, avoid being in crowded places
and stay away from people with respiratory symptoms. When they return from
the risk area, should the travelers have suspicious symptoms, they must see
a doctor immediately and reveal their travel records. If patients with
symptoms of pneumonia are found, please call the DDC’s hotline 1422 to have
an ambulance from a hospital pick them up immediately.
Industry Ministry to take measures to encourage sugarcane planters to stop burning the fields
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Department of Pollution Control has reported the
burning of sugarcane in plantations to prepare for a new planting season has
been a major cause of PM 2.5 airborne dust, particularly from December to
April during which sugarcane in plantations is harvested. The burning
activity is likely to have a severe effect in the dry season when there’s
low humidity in the air.
Industry Minister SuriyaJuangroongruangkit recently
discussed the matter with four organizations representing sugarcane
planters: the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters; the Northeastern
Sugarcane Planters Association; the United Association of Sugarcane Planters
of Thailand and the Federation of Sugarcane Planters of Thailand. The
Ministry of Industry plans to assist sugarcane planters by providing about
130 baht in aid for a ton of fresh sugarcane bound for sugar making
The Office of the Sugarcane and Sugar Committee, is to
propose measures to provide a sum of 10 billion baht in immediate aid to
sugarcane planters in the 2019/2020 season. The sum will be divided into two
parts - one amounting to 6.5 billion baht for aid in sugarcane production
and the other amounting to 3.5 billion baht for planters who harvest fresh
The planters who have harvested fresh sugarcane and
supplied it to sugar factories will be given over 1,000 baht per ton,
meaning their fresh sugarcane will receive about 130 baht more than burnt
sugarcane per ton. The measures are part of the effort to reduce PM 2.5
airborne dust particles and alleviate the woes of the sugarcane planters.
About 50% of all sugarcane supplied to sugar factories is expected to be
fresh sugarcane this year.
Thai International Travel Fair; world tour packages selling well
BANGKOK (NNT) - The last day of
the 26th Thai International Travel Fair at Muang Thong Thani was hectic with
many integrated tour packages being offered.
Tour business operators including travel firms, hotels
and airlines opened booths selling tour packages at special prices in an
effort to stimulate domestic and international tourism. Customers could
directly choose tour packages at the fair. Besides, tour-related convenience
equipment has been offered for sale such as internet packages, Wifi packages
and travel cards for use in foreign countries.
This year, Asia tour packages especially for Japan,
Taiwan and South Korea have drawn the attention of many visitors who have
made inquiries and chosen the packages to benefit from the strengthened baht
which is making overseas tours less costly.
Domestic tour packages to famous tourist destinations
especially in the South have remained popular though not many package tours
were booked during the early part of the year, just after the New Year
Water sourced to cope with drought, wildfire in Chiang Mai
BANGKOK (TNA) – The Royal Irrigation Department is sourcing water to
cope with drought and forest fires in Chiang Mai province, its
ThongplewKongjun said he ordered irrigation officials
in the northern province to find sources of water to deal with drought and
forest fires that were escalating. Local organizations needed water to
increase humidity in the air and to spray from high rises to reduce smog, he
According to MrThongplew, there are 12 medium and large-sized reservoirs and
117 small ponds in the province and reserved water fills 43% of their
There is also water in ponds at military camps reserved
for tap water production. He assured that there was enough water at the Mae
NgadSomboonChol dam and in Mae Taeng irrigation canal in Mae Taeng district
for tap water production for people in Chiang Mai and some areas of Lamphun
province throughout this dry season.
Two more medium-scaled reservoirs and new water-pumping stations would be
built to serve the expansion of farmland in the future, MrThongplew
Department of Agriculture promotes fruit export standards
BANGKOK (TNA) -- The Department of Agriculture is convincing fruit
exporters to meet standards for their produce and packaging processes and
about 500 operators have agreed to cooperate.
SermsukSalakpetch, director-general of the department, said the Office of
Agricultural Research and Development Region 6 in Chanthaburi province was
speeding up its procedures to issue Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Good
Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and phytosanitary certificates for eastern
Those who exported eastern fruits including durian, mangosteen, longan and
mangos destined for China had to undergo the certification processes before
their crop season, from March to July, MsSermsuk said.
\Fruit-packaging operators in the East were convened to learn about the
certification because China required GAP and GMP, she said.
Over 500 operators in the East already entered the GMP process and their
participation should facilitate fruit exports and improve the image of Thai
fruits, Miss Sermsuk said. Her department also presented honorary
certificates to the fruit-packaging factories that met GMP in the East so
that they would set good examples for other factories, she said. (TNA)
Culture Ministry Honors Venerated Monk, PhraAjarnMun
BANGKOK (TNA) – The Culture
Ministry on Monday organized an event at Wat PathumWanaram to honor
PhraAjarnMunBhuridatta’s status as an eminent personality of the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Culture Minister ItthipholKunplome and UNESCO Bangkok
director Shigeru Aoyagi conducted a ceremony in honor of the late revered
monk on the occasion of UNESCO listing him among its eminent personalities
for his contribution to peace and the 150th birthday of the monk today.
MrItthiphol said PhraAjarnMun was greatly respected for his meditation tips
to solve suffering and achieve peaceful mind and people around the world
were studying his teaching.
The Culture Ministry organized activities at Wat
PathumWanaram to honor the monk and communicate his contributions to young
At 6.15pm participants were set to meditate for 15
minutes for world peace.
MrItthiphol said the activity was aimed at promoting meditation and peace
internationally and would be live broadcast via Thai TV Global Network. (TNA)
Ultra-fine dust exceeds safe levels in several parts of Bangkok
BANGKOK (TNA) – Unhealthy levels of particulate matters have
persisted in Bangkok, with the hardest-hit area on Sam Sen Road in Phra
The Pollution Control Department on Monday morning
reported the hazardous particle levels in the air in Greater Bangkok ranged
between 47 and 91 microgrammes per cubic metre.
The safety threshold is 50 mcg.
Calm wind limits dispersal of pollutants and high
pressure traps air pollution one km. above the ground, said the department.
Meanwhile, the meteorological department forecast a
drop in the temperature in the next two days due to mild cold air mass from
China and expected rain in some areas.
In an attempt to alleviate the dust problem, the
Department of Land Transport stepped up checks on exhaust fume emissions of
passenger buses and trucks.
On Jan 19 alone, out of all 2,560 vehicles tested, 29
vehicles were banned from roads after the checks found them, emitting
exhaust fumes over required standards or over 45 per cent.
Warnings were given to 127 vehicles with 30-45 per cent
exhaust fume emissions to improve the vehicle engines.
Public members can file a complaint about the vehicles
with excessive exhaust fume to the hotline 1584. (TNA)
Agencies organize activities for Children’s Day
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will give children an opportunity to visit
the office of the Bangkok Governor, Pol. Gen. AswinKwanmuang, on Children’s
Day this Saturday, while the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research
and Innovation is organizing a science fair for children who are interested
Some 500 school students in Bangkok will have a chance
to sit in the Bangkok Governor’s chair and participate in environmental
friendly activities, games and lucky draws. They will also learn how to
create a Quick Response (QR) code and watch magic shows. The Office of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation will also perform proper fire
extinguisher and snake catching demonstrations.
The BMA will organize activities on the theme
"Litter-Free Children’s Day in four areas, including Bangkok Children’s
Discovery Museum, Wachirabenchathat Park, the Thai Japanese Bangkok Youth
Center and the 72nd Anniversary Stadium. On this occasion, scholarships will
be granted to students with outstanding academic achievements. Young people
can take part in activities to promote environmental conservation and
explore a playground with a Ferris wheel, a wind house and carousels along
with free food and beverages throughout the day.
For children interested in science, the Ministry of
Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation is organizing the Science
Avenue for three days. Children can take part in a variety of scientific
experiments as well as activities and games to promote environmental
conservation and win countless prizes. The fair is expected to attract some
30,000 visitors. Its theme is "Young Scientists for Green Earth". The event
features exhibitions on the Bio-Economy, Circular Economy and Green Economy
(BCG) model, environmental innovations and advances in the food, energy and
medical industries. The fair also features products inspired by local wisdom
and activities to promote the use of reusable bags instead of single-use
This year, the Science Avenue focuses on encouraging
the younger generation to apply the BCG model and help reduce global
warming. Visitors who bring their own food containers or reusable glasses to
the event will receive prizes. The Science Avenue is taking place at the
Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation until
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Artificial Rain Making Operations to Start Sooner This Year
BANGKOK, Jan 10 (TNA) – The Department of Royal Rainmaking and
Agricultural Aviation will start artificial rain-making operations sooner
this year as drought tends to intensify in the dry season, said Deputy
Agriculture Minister, CaptThammanatPrompao.
The department is now doing maintenance work for
aircraft and training personnel to be ready to carry out the tasks
effectively and safely.
The artificial rain making missions will start on
February 17, sooner than the normal schedule on March 1. The operations
will cover 25 river basins across the country or about 92 million acres of
SuraseeKittimonthon, the department’s director-general
said the annual aircraft maintenance, involving 26 airplanes is due to
finish on Jan 31.
In the meantime, five aircraft are operational for the
missions to create artificial rain in the areas, affected by drought and
ultra-fine dust air pollution.
Flight trainings are being undertaken before the
beginning of the mission to fight drought this year, the deputy minister
10 French Nationals Arrested for Running Call Center Scam
BANGKOK (TNA) - Thai police have arrested 10 French nationals for
allegedly operating a call center scam in Bangkok.
All of the 10 suspects were found inside a rental house
in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area, equipped with IT and network devices.
Pol Lt General SompongChingduang, head of police
immigration bureau, said nine of the suspects travelled to Thailand as
tourists; only one had work permit.
The suspects used the office as call center luring
people in France and Belgium to use their accounting and tax services, he
They are charged with working without permits, he
Two Arrested for Selling Banned Electric Cigarettes
SONGKHLA (TNA) - Police have arrested two sellers of banned electric
cigarettes and seized more than 8,000 vaping devices worth 5-6 million baht
in a raid in southern Songkhla province.
The two sellers allegedly advertise and distribute
e-cigarettes that have been banned in Thailand since 2014 via their Facebook
After buyers placed their orders and made payments,
they would mail the items to addresses across Thailand, police said.
During the raid, customer protection police and Hat Yai
police seized 8,475 sets of vaping devices, parts and vaping liquid that
have been smuggled from Malaysia.
Thai police have launched a crackdown on e-cigarettes
since last year while there is still widely debated about the call for
legalization of e-cigarettes.(TNA)
Outdoor activities discouraged as air quality worsens
BANGKOK (NNT) - The level of PM 2.5 airborne dust measured today was
higher than yesterday, with three provinces in the northern region including
Lampang severely affected. In Bangkok, 40 areas were flagged with cautious
levels of PM 2.5 dust today.
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) and the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration’s (BMA) air quality readings at 49 stations
today recorded between 39 to 71 micrograms per cubic meter of air with PM
2.5 airborne particulate matter, showing a rising trend in all areas
compared to yesterday.
40 locations were marked as Orange health affecting
The highest PM 2.5 level in Bangkok was recorded at
SoiLadphrao 95 by Ladphrao road in Bueng Kum district of Bangkok with 71
micrograms per cubic meter of air due to heavy morning traffic. Still air in
many areas of Bangkok during this period provides favorable conditions for
dust accumulation. Members of the public in affected areas should limit
their outdoor activities and closely monitor the situation.
In the northern region, air quality levels today were
measured from very good to starting to have health effects. The PM 2.5 level
in the region today ranged from 16 to 71 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
The PM 2.5 levels were recorded beyond healthy levels in Ban Tom subdistrict
in Phayao, Phra Bat subdistrict in Lampang, Sob Pad subdistrict in Lampang,
Ban Dong subdistrict in Lampang, Mae Mo subdistrict in Lampang, Ban
Klangsubdistrict in Lampoon, and Na Chaksubdistrict in Phrae.
Bangkok’s Air Pollution Remains High
BANGKOK, Jan 9 (TNA) – Bangkok was ranked the world’s eight worst air
quality on Thursday morning on AirVisual, a popular application, monitoring
the world's air quality.
The real-time ranking showed the level of PM2.5 in
Bangkok at 10.28 am rose to 99.7 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³),
exceeding Thailand’s safety threshold at 50 (µg/m³).
The Air Quality Index reading on Air Visual app was 174
in the Thai capital. The AQI is considered “unhealthy” when the level is
above 150 and hazardous above 200.
As poor air quality is predicted to continue until Jan
11, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration stepped up measures to alleviate
impacts on Bangkok residents.
Heath department has dispatched health mobile units to
conduct an awareness campaign among people, particularly in vulnerable
groups such as patients with respiratory or heart diseases, the elderly,
children and pregnant women.
The BMA’s Environment Department has implemented the
action plan, responding to the ultra-fine dust pollution by strictly
controlling sources of dust emissions from vehicles and enforcing the ban on
open-air burning. (TNA)
Authorities Battle against Seawater Intrusion
BANGKOK, Jan 8 (TNA) – The
Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) and the Royal Irrigation Department
(RID) will conduct the second “water hammer” operation to push out salty sea
water from inland rivers during the peak high tide next week.
Drought has caused low water level in the Chao Phraya
River and it cannot keep out sea water during the high tide. The high
salinity level in raw water has affected tap water production.
RaksakSuriyahan, the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority
deputy governor said in his capacity as the chairman the operation center,
responsible for solve the water crisis that the two agencies conducted the
test on the water hammer operation to increase the water flow in the Chao
Phraya River in an attempt to drive out seawater.
During the operation, the MWA halted pumping raw water
from the river when the RID increased the water discharge from the Phraram6
Dam from 5 to 15 cubic metres per second and opened KhlongLat Pho sluice
gate during the low tide.
The operation successfully pushed the sea water from
the area near the Samlae tap water production facility in PathumThani, the
MWA deputy governor said.
The RID and the MWA will start the water hammer
operation again from the night of January 9 until January 13 before the peak
high tide on Jan 13-14, forecast by the Royal Thai Navy’s Hydrographic
The high tide will peak again on Jan 26-27, according
to the department.
The related agencies will monitor the salinity level in
the river and will find the most effective way for water management, he
Foreign Affairs Ministry calls meeting to assess Middle East situation
BANGKOK (NNT) - Rising tensions in the Middle East have prompted the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs to instruct Thai embassies in related countries
to closely monitor and assess the situation. Thai diplomatic officials are
reported to have prepared plans to ensure the safety of Thai nationals in
Iraq and Iran.
The Director-General of the Department of Information,
and Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BusadeeSantipitaks, said
today the United States did not notify Thailand about the recent US strike
in Iraq, as previously reported.
The Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, called a
meeting with high-ranking officials of the ministry to acknowledge reports
from Thai embassies in related countries. Thai diplomatic officials have
prepared plans to ensure the safety of 89 Thai nationals in Iraq and 359
Thais in Iran, most of whom are students or workers.
Ms. Busadee said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is
closely following the situation in the Middle East. If necessary, the
ministry will call a meeting of the Rapid Response Center (RRC) with
relevant agencies, to evaluate the situation and come up with measures to
assist Thai people in the region.
The Labor Minister, MR JatumongkolSonakul, said he had
instructed the minister-counselors for labor affairs in Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) to visit Thai workers in Iraq and Iran and
coordinate with their employers to gather information about their needs and
working conditions. The agencies have created channels for workers to call
for assistance and have prepared accommodation should they have to be
Early Water Shortages Are Expanding
BANGKOK, Jan 8 (TNA) - People started to suffer early and severe
water shortages in many provinces and the Chao Phraya dam raised its
discharges to protect Bangkok and nearby provinces in the lower Chao Phraya
river basin from seawater intrusion.
The Regional Irrigation Office 12 in Chai Nat province
increased the discharge rate of the Chao Phraya dam from 85 cubic meters per
second to 100 cubic meters per second to protect Bangkok from salinity
during the high tide from Jan 8 to 10. The office asked people living
downstream from the dam along the Chao Praya River from Chai Nat to
PathumThani province to stop pumping water from the river. The increasing
discharge rate would not have any adverse impacts on consumers living near
In the Chao Phraya river basin, corn is dying in Ang
Thong province although it naturally consumes relatively less water than
other crops. Irrigation canals have been generally dry in InthaPramul
sub-district of Pho Thong district for over a month. Growers dug canal beds
to desperately find water remaining after consumption by rice farmers.
In Uttaradit province, seven districts covering 198
villages have been declared drought-stricken areas as local water sources
dried out and more than 10,000 families lacked water.
In the southern province of Songkhla, rice was
withering as it was producing grains in about 1,000 rai in KhlongRee
sub-district of SathingPhra district. Local farmers depended only on
rainwater because the nearest canal, KhlongArthit, is more than two
kilometers away. If it does not rain within this month, their paddy fields
will be damaged. (TNA)
19 Illegal Rohingya Migrants Escaped in Songkhla
SONGKHLA, Jan 8 (TNA) – Nineteen illegal Rohingya migrants escaped
from a detention facility of the immigration police in the southern
The detention center stands in Moo 2 village of Samnak
Kham sub-district in Sadao district. All the escapees are male.
Evidence showed that they broke iron bars of a window
on the third floor of the center, climbed down cloth and jumped to the
ground at about 4am.
Police, soldiers and administrative officials were
hunting for them and arrested one escapee who had a broken leg and hid near
a villager’s house.
Authorities were looking for other escapees in rubber
plantations near the Thai-Malaysian border. Two years ago, illegal Rohingya
migrants escaped from the same detention facility. (TNA)
Govt Orders Close Surveillance for Mysterious Pneumonia
BANGKOK, Jan 8 (TNA) – The Public Health Ministry implements a close
surveillance program for a mysterious pneumonia from China at four main
airports as the cabinet has ordered it to seriously watch out for a possible
Deputy government spokesperson TrisuleeTrisoranakul
said the movement responded to the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia in the
Chinese city of Wuhan.
The Public Health Ministry and the Department of
Disease Control told the cabinet that they intensified their surveillance
operations that covered all channels of international transport. Air
passengers from Wuhan were checked for fever and other symptoms of
respiratory diseases, Miss Trisulee said.
“Flights from Wuhan land at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang,
Chiang Mai and Phuket airports. So far officials have not found anyone
infected with the viral pneumonia,” the deputy government spokesperson said.
Miss Trisulee advised people avoid crowded places,
refrain from sharing personal tools with others, keep themselves warm and
see a doctor immediately if they have a fever, sore throat or runny nose or
cough. People can inquire about the disease at the hotline number 1422 of
the Department of Disease Control. (TNA)
Water Crisis Worsens in North and Northeast
NAKHON RATCHASIMA (TNA) – Local
residents and farmers in drought-hit areas in northeastern and northern
Thailand are facing worsening water shortage.
Due to lower-than-normal rainfall last year, drought is
expected to be more severe and last longer in this dry season.
Water in natural sources has dried up across Nakhon
Ratchasima, forcing hundreds of households in the northeastern province to
spend around THB2,000 monthly to buy water from merchants since November.
Four districts of BuengKan province have been declared
drought disaster zones.
The water level in the Doi Tao Lake in Chiang Mai has
dropped, turning the large water reservoir into cattle field. Several
recreational rafts and fishing boats are aground in the almost dried lake.
Some rafts have to be moved 50 kilometers downstream.
In Uttaradit province, water works service in Mueang
district has faced water shortage affecting thousands of people. They now
need to rely on a reservoir, the last water source which is also running
Local officials throughout Thailand’s north and
northeast have sought long-term solutions to the drought problems while
calling on farmers to suspend their crop cultivation. (TNA)
Phang Nga offers 100,000 baht reward for information on stolen leatherback turtle eggs
PHANG NGA (NNT) - Phang Nga has offered a reward of 100,000 baht to
anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the person or
people who stole eggs of a leatherback turtle.
National park officials found traces of a leatherback
turtle which had laid eggs on Thai Muang beach, Lam Kaen subdistrict, Thai
Muang district, Phang Nga province, on the night of January 3, 2020. A thief
stole most of the eggs from the nest of the rare turtle and the officials
discovered the nest containing only two unviable eggs.
Phang Nga Governor ChamroenThipphayaphongthada
disclosed that he had ordered the Thai Muang Chief District Officer, police
officers and related agencies to expedite the search for the culprits for
prosecution. The Sea Turtle Conservation Fund, the Department of National
Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and local leaders have offered a
reward of 100,000 baht to anyone who can provide information leading to the
arrest of those reponsible.
The Governor of Phang Nga has called on people to
preserve all types of sea turtles and stop collecting, selling and buying
all kinds of turtle eggs.
Mr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, Deputy Dean for Special
Affairs and Public Relations at Kasetsart University, who is an
environmental activist, posted on Facebook saying that the leatherback
turtle is a protected species in Thailand and that the Wildlife Protection
Act imposes a 3-15 year prison sentence and a fine of between 300,000-1.5
million baht for the theft and/or illegal possession of its eggs. He has
called on anyone who has any information on the theft to notify the Turtle
Conservation Fund’s officials immediately.
He also said that leatherback turtles are among the
rarest animals in Thai seas. None have been found alive during the last 5-6
years. Only their bodies with marine waste inside were found. Last year,
more than 130 leatherback turtles were hatched. This year, leatherback
turtles came ashore to nest twice and it is expected that about a hundred
leatherback turtles resulted.
Customs Seizes THB3 Million Worth of Goods Smuggled from Malaysia
SONGKHLA, Jan 7 (TNA) - Thai customs
officers have seized THB3 million worth of smuggled goods at the border
crossing in Sadao district of the southern province of Songkhla during the
New Year holiday.
Head of the customs office at Sadao border crossing
YutthanaPulpipat has announced the confiscation of smuggled goods including
liquors, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, appliances and farm products.
All were smuggled from the Malaysian border town of
Padang Besar for local border markets, Bangkok and other cities in
Thailand’s south, he said.
Yuthana said after the New Year anti-smuggling
operation the customs officers would continue stringent measures to
eradicate illegal goods smuggling. (TNA)
Gunshots Fired into Former Immigration Police Chief’s Car
BANGKOK, Jan 7 (TNA) - Gunmen opened fires at a car of Special
Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand SurachetHakparn in
Bangkok Monday night, but the motive is still unknown.
Pol Lt Gen Surachet was a high-profile police officer
who was sacked last year from the post of immigration police chief. He was
actively implemented the government’s immigration policy as well as crime
suppressions before being abruptly stripped of the rank and position.
His car parked at a restaurant in Bang Rak district was
shot seven times into the side but he was not in the vehicle.
Bang Rak police said CCTV images and witnesses’
accounts suggested that two men on a motorcycle fired the shots before
While Pol Lt Gen Surachet has said he is certain the
gunmen intended to kill him, police investigators believed it was rather an
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen WirachaiSongmetta
said forensic experts and investigators were examining the bullets to
determine the type of firearm and CCTV images.
Police would ask Pol Lt Gen Surachet to provide further
information for the investigation, Pol Gen Wirachai said.
Pol Lt Gen Surachet has also maintained that he has not
conflicts with anyone.
The former police officer who has close ties with
Deputy Prime Minister PrawitWongsuwan had led a massive operation to
eradicate loan sharks and supervised high-profile criminal cases while
serving in the police force in the past five years.(TNA)
Air Pollution Soars in Bangkok
BANGKOK, Jan 7 (TNA) – The authorities reported
the volume of the fine dust particles reached a level considered as having a
negative impact on health in 17 districts as of Tuesday morning, increased
from eight districts yesterday.
The levels of PM2.5 pollutants in the capital were
measured between 39-62 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³) and 53 (µg/m³)
on average, exceeding the safety standard at 50 (µg/m³).
Meanwhile, Tuesday morning's Air Quality Index (AQI) in
Bangkok was 156, according to the popular website airvisual.com. The AQI is
considered “unhealthy” when the level is above 150.
The Pollution Control Department yesterday convened a
meeting to follow up the action plans to curb dust particles as the
Meteorological Department forecast worsening situation from Jan 6-11.
High pressure system, covering the upper part of the
country has weakened, leading to calm wind in the morning. This condition
will make pollution more concentrated near the surface, said Deputy Director
General of the PCD, ThalearngsakPetchsuwan, who chaired the meeting.
He said traffic congestion in the capital after the New
Year holiday is another factor that makes the level of fine particulate
matter rising over the safety standard. The poor air quality is expected to
last throughout this week.
The meeting was attended by officials from concerned
agencies such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Department of
Disease Control, the Highway Department, the Land Transport Department and
the Department of Industrial Works.
The Department of Pollution Control and agencies
concerned reviewed existing anti-dust measures and reinforce measures to
handle the dust situation and alleviate impacts on people.
Besides controlling pollution emissions from vehicles
by transport agencies, the Agriculture Ministry will find innovation for
farmers to avoid burning crop residue and public health agencies will issue
warning for local residents to protect themselves particularly vulnerable
groups with respiratory diseases and the elderly. (TNA)
PM gives embassy authority to evacuate Thais in Iran
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Prime Minister has given authority to the Thai
embassy in Iran to evacuate Thai citizens in the country if it is considered
necessary, as the tension in the Middle East rises following the US
airstrike that killed a revered military commander Qassem Soleimani.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut
Chan-o-cha, announced today that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also has a
related protocol in place to deal with similar situations, but urged
officials and Thai laborers to be prepared for an evacuation at a minute’s
He authorized the embassy to arrange a chartered flight
or to use one of Thailand’s military aircraft in the event of an emergency.
General Prayut also ordered concerned officers to closely follow the latest
developments in the situation, citing possible ripple effects such as a
surge in fuel or power costs.
Similarly, Labor Minister
MomratchawongChatumongolSonakul, today instructed the labor attaches in
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to provide assistance -- including possible evacuation
-- to Thai workers while monitoring the situation in Iran and the United
He noted that the Department of Employment has a fund
for such a predicament in accordance with Thai labor law.
Currently, there are 257 Thai workers in Iran and 25 in
Iraq working as technicians, chefs, masseuse, welders, and fishermen.
MOPH opens first medical cannabis clinic for traditional and modern medicine
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has advanced medical
cannabis development in Thailand even further, with the opening of a medical
cannabis clinic specializing in traditional Thai and folk medicine
applications, as well as offering the services of modern and traditional
medicine doctors to more people.
The new clinic is located in the basement of the Public
Health and Traditional Thai Medicine Museum, the Department of Thai
Traditional and Alternative Medicine. The Minister of Public Health
AnutinCharnvirakul, presided over the opening ceremony.
The clinic will initially provide treatments using four
medical cannabis recipes, namely Suk Saiyas, TamlaiPhraSumeru, Dr Decha’s
cannabis oil, and cannabis products to reduce gas and fatigue.
Services at this clinic are the first ever in Thailand
where traditional Thai medicine, folk medicine, and modern medicine are
offered at the same place to allow more people to have access to this
The clinic opens every day from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,
except on official holidays. Patients can make appointments on the Dr.Ganja
TTM application in advance. The clinic will accept 300 patients daily from
now to 17th January, after which only 200 patients per day will be accepted.
Deputy PM Somkid says six EEC infrastructure projects must start this year
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Eastern
Economic Corridor (EEC) continues to attract more investors. Last year, the
EEC generated over 100 billion baht from outside investment.
To keep the momentum going, the Deputy Prime Minister,
Dr. SomkidJatusripitak, has instructed the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy
Committee (EECPC) to ensure that six key infrastructure projects in the
region begin this year.
The six projects encompass the high-speed train route
linking Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports; U-tapao airport; a
center to handle the maintenance, repair and overhaul of planes; the third
phase of Map Ta Phut port; the third phase of Laem Chabang port and the
development of Digital Park Thailand (EECd). These projects will be
implemented in line with the Smart City project in Chachoengsao province to
attract new investment.
Once the projects are underway, they will benefit the
grassroots economy in the three provinces of Chachoengsao, Chonburi and
Rayong. The Board of Investment (BOI) has been assigned to create an
incentive package to promote investment and encourage the private sector to
support grassroots economic development through agriculture and tourism. The
Ministry of Finance and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural
Cooperatives (BAAC) will work together to develop 300,000 to 400,000 Smart
Farmers nationwide. Currently, Thailand has 100,000 Smart Farmers.
The government has set a target of 10 million tourists
arriving at U-Tapao airport; the establishment of partnerships between small
and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and major businesses, and reducing the
number of low-income earners in the EEC from 350,000 people to zero within
Speaking of the tensions between the United States and
Iran, Dr. Somkid said the issue is an external factor. Even if the tensions
don’t escalate, they may still affect oil prices. However, Thailand had been
in similar situations before, and the government is ready to handle
The Secretary-General of the EECPC, KanitSangsubhan,
said today the government has expedited EEC development through legal
measures and infrastructure projects. They will generate 300 billion baht
for the economy annually and contribute to gross domestic product (GDP)
growth by 1.5 to 2% each year.
Thailand to send human trafficking report to US this month
BANGKOK (NNT) - The government
is completing a report on last year’s efforts to combat human trafficking in
Thailand. The government is expected to send it to the United States by the
end of this month.
A meeting of the Committee on Human Trafficking
Prevention and Suppression, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Gen.
PrawitWongsuwan, considered and approved, in principle, a draft Trafficking
in Persons (TIP) Report in both Thai and English.
The draft report covers prosecution and law enforcement
activities to protect and assist human trafficking victims, who received
more than 11 million baht in compensation, the application of the Quick
Response (QR) code technology and a regulation requiring work contracts to
be written in three languages, namely Thai, English and the mother language
of the migrant workers, to protect the workers’ rights and privileges.
Gen. Prawit instructed all units to provide facts and
information that are clear and concise, as well as their actual
achievements, as indicated in the US recommended guidelines, such as their
proactive measures against human trafficking and measures to protect human
trafficking victims and migrant workers’ rights.
The draft report will be forwarded to the Prime
Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, on January 15. The
final version will be submitted to the US before the end of this month. The
US will use the information for its annual TIP report.
Rare Sea Turtle Eggs Stolen
BANGKOK, Jan 4 (TNA) - Rare sea
turtle eggs, expected to belong to the leatherback turtle, were stolen from
a beach in the southern province of Phangnga.
The chief of KhaoLampi - Hat Thai Mueang National Park
said park officials found traces of a large sea turtle, believed to lay eggs
on a beach at midnight during the high tide.
Experts later inspected the site and found only two
unfertilized eggs of the leatherback turtle. About 50 eggs are believed to
be stolen from the hole.
Concerned authorities are now collecting evidence left
in the area to take legal action against the theft.
Marine expert Asst Prof Thorn Thamrongnawasawat posted
a message on his facebook that the leatherback turtle is a reserved animal.
Those, who sell or illegally possess the eggs face 3-
15 years in jail and a fine between 300,000 to 1.5 million baht.
Anyone, who gives a tip-off that leads to the arrest of
the culprit will receive a 20,000- baht reward from the fund, set up by a
conservationist group, said Mr. Thorn.
He believed that about 50 leatherback turtle eggs
disappeared and this number could be one-third of the leatherback turtle
eggs in this egg-laying season, therefore, concerned provincial officials
should take action immediately. (TNA)
Drinking Tap Water Distributed from Monday
BANGKOK, Jan 4 (TNA) - The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA)
will distribute drinking tap water after Bangkok tap water in some areas has
People can receive water from its 18 branches without
paying extra expenses. The water that will be provided free of charge is
produced from the Mahasawat Water Treatment plant.
The plant receives raw water from the Mae Klong dam,
which is not affected by saltwater intrusion.
MWA governor, ParinyaYamasamit said the drought caused
low water level in the Chao Phraya River. The MWA has tried to avoid pumping
raw water from the Chao Phya River during high tides.
It has cooperated with two other state agencies -- the
Office of the National Water Resources and the Royal Irrigation Department
for water management but the high tide situation is the worst in 50 years.
The MWA said tap water with brackish taste is safe for
drinking while advising consumers, using tap water for cooking to reduce
seasoning powder in their food. However, vulnerable groups such as patients
with kidney diseases, heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, brain diseases
should avoid tap water consumption.
The situation is expected to return to normal when the
country enters the rainy season in May.
People can get information about tap water quality on
the website http://twqonline.mwa.co.th or MWA on Mobile application as well
as MWA Facebook and Line @MWAThailand. (TNA)
Govt plans biomass power plants using Napier grass from communities this year
UBON RATCHATHANI (NNT) - The government plans to build biomass power
plants with the use of Napier grass supplied by local communities this year,
in an effort to create jobs and incomes, stimulate the local economy and
strengthen national energy security.
Energy Minister SontiratSontijrawong visited the plant
of Ubon Bio Ethanol Co Ltd in Baan NongPaen village in Nayia district of
UbonRatchathani province recently. The firm purchases and processes tapioca,
produces biomass gas from waste water and produces biomass gas from tapioca
and Napier grass for a 5.6 megawatt power plant. The government is looking
to encourage farmers to build community-based power plants producing biomass
gas from Napier grass to create jobs and incomes, stimulate the local
economy and strengthen the national energy security.
The energy minister said the biomass power plant in
UbonRatchathani province will become a model biomass plant for communities
elsewhere, able to access Napier grass which can be processed into biomass
gas. However, it would depend on the preparedness of respective communities,
ready to build one, beginning this year.
Thailand on watch for pneumonia outbreak; screens travelers from Wuhan, China
BANGKOK (NNT) - While China is
currently controlling an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, Thailand is closely
looking out for it and screening travelers arriving from that Chinese city.
Wuhan’s public health office announced on its website
that the pneumonia outbreak is being contained after 44 patients were
identified. Of that total, 11 were reportedly in a coma with high fevers,
and exhibiting breathing difficulties associated with lung infections. It
remains to be seen what type of virus may have caused the disease.
In Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, authorities have
been monitoring any possible outbreak of pneumonia, and strictly screening
travelers from Wuhan at airports and other arrival points.
In Thailand, Disease Control Department Director
General DrSuwannachaiWattanayingcharoenchai, said today that international
quarantine checkpoints throughout the country have initially been instructed
to be on watch for a pneumonia outbreak and strictly screen travelers from
Wuhan at Suvarnabhumi airport, Don Mueang airport, Chiang Mai airport and
Though the World Health Organization has not as yet
issued a warning to those who may be traveling to Wuhan, they are strongly
urging passengers to follow advice by avoiding crowded or polluted places or
sharing personal utensils with others and always keeping themselves warm.
Those who may have returned from such risky areas, especially children and
elderly persons, and who have developed fevers, sore throats and runny
noses, are recommended to see doctors or public health officials
immediately, otherwise those signs of illness might possibly be complicated
Cabinet to consider implementing Article 83 to solve fisheries labor shortage
BANGKOK (NNT) - Let’s take a
look at the attempt to solve the labor shortage in fisheries; it’s one of
the requests from fishermen in 22 provinces which the government has
promised to address. The government is considering the implementation of
Article 83 of the Royal Ordinance on Fisheries B.E.2558 which will authorize
the Department of Fisheries to issue permits for immigrant workers wanting
to work in the fisheries sector.
This topic was considered by the immigrant employment
management policy committee in its latest meeting on 25th December. It is
proposing to open two registration periods for migrant workers, the first
from January to March, and the other from July to September. Those who wish
to apply must hold valid passports or official travel documents.
The immigrant employment management policy committee is
to submit this proposal for Cabinet’s approval.
Thailand has one of the largest fishing industries in
the world, with seafood products generating massive revenue each year. A
shortage of labor in the fishing industry is however a pressing issue, as
local Thais don’t favor the occupation, creating a situation migrant workers
can help solve.
Anti-plastic campaign gets positive response from public
BANGKOK (NNT) - Starting
yesterday (Jan 1), more than 75 shopping malls and convenience stores
nationwide stopped handing out single-use plastic bags to customers,
following the government’s six-month anti-plastic campaign.
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister,
VarawutSilpa-archa, and a team of officials visited four major malls in
Bangkok, including Tesco Lotus in On Nut, EmQuartier, Central Chidlom and
Siam Paragon, to seek public feedback on the "Everyday Say No to Plastic
Bags" campaign. More than 90 giant retailers, department stores and
supermarkets, earlier reached an agreement with the ministry to stop handing
out all types of single-use plastic bags to their customers.
Yesterday, many shops received a positive response from
customers, as they were already aware of the anti-plastic campaign. Many
shops also offered reusable bags to customers who forgot to bring their own
bags with them.
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister said
about 30% of plastic waste previously came from shopping malls and
convenience stores, while fresh markets accounted for 40% of plastic usage.
The campaign aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags by 50% this
In the long term, Thailand is to stop importing
electronic and plastic waste and is to create new values among the
population, especially children, about proper waste disposal to reduce the
accumulated garbage affecting the country.
"In the beginning of 2020, I’ve asked the Permanent
Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment to hold talks with the
Permanent Secretary of Education to teach environmental education to
students from kindergarten because we must cultivate the habit of waste
sorting. It can be sorted into organic waste, hazardous waste, recyclable
waste and other types of waste. Some people, still lack this knowledge.
Therefore, providing this knowledge to the people is important. As for the
government, there are waste sorting and disposal plants. They use plastic
bags to produce refuse-derived fuel (RDF), while other waste materials are
used in landfills or upcycling. We must provide this knowledge to Thai
Local Thai tie-dye now featured on Leicester City’s merchandise
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT (NNT) - Traditional tie-dye fabric, from Ban
Khiri Wong village in Nakhon Si Thammarat, has been selected and cut into
Leicester City F.C.’s latest jacket collection, showcasing local Thai crafts
and designs to the world.
The design of the jackets highlights the unique natural
tie-dye patterns and yellow-indigo colors made by the Bai Mai group in Ban
Khiri Wong village. This latest collection will be worn by Leicester City
F.C. players, showing Thai identity to the world, modern design and sending
an environmentally friendly message.
Bai Mai group representative UraiDuangngern expressed
her pride at seeing world-class football players wear jackets made of a
fabric woven by herself and other group members. She said it is a privilege
for villager to bring fame to Ban Khiri Wong village, Nakhon Si Thammarat
province, and Thailand by introducing local wisdoms to the world. She said
this is a New Year gift from all Ban Khiri Wong villagers to all Thai
After the introduction of this collection, the Bai Mai
group has seen a spike in sales of many items, such as shirts, trousers,
bags and hats in various designs. All products are naturally dyed using
extracts from trees, leaves and fruits grown in the village.
Industry Ministry approves loans worth ฿70m to SMEs
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Permanent Secretary for Industry,
KobchaiSungsittisawat, said today the government approved 70.8 million baht
in soft loans for 28 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) between
November 15 and December 20 this year. The government is offering soft loans
worth 3 billion baht to SMEs, under its Pracha Rat scheme.
The Permanent Secretary for Industry said about 700
users have applied for loans worth more than 2 billion baht. A committee
managing the SME Development Fund is now looking into their applications.
The seven provinces with the highest number of SMEs applying for loans are
Bangkok, SamutPrakan, Songkhla, SamutSakhon, PathumThani, Nakhon Pathom and
The committee also approved five SME promotion and
development projects for next year. The projects aim to establish an
industrial reform center, apply advanced technologies to increase the
capabilities of the food industry, strengthen SMEs in the processed food
industry, add value to creative industrial products in line with the
Circular Economy concept and encourage businesses to use knowledge generated
from research and innovation processes.
The projects are to promote and develop SMEs in all
respects, encompassing technology and innovation, while moving toward a more
sustainable bio-based economy. They are expected to generate 150 million
baht in economic value.
His Majesty the King wishes all Thais a Happy New Year
BANGKOK (NNT) His Majesty the King wished everyone
happiness and good health, both physically and mentally in his New Year
He urged them to have wisdom,
faith and awareness while adhering to virtue, righteousness and
appropriateness, and to be determined to contribute to national and public
His Majesty the King said that
mistakes and flaws were natural in any kind of work. They should serve as
lessons to enhance experiences and wisdom to prevent recurrences and to
House Speaker confirms opposition can file two no-confidence debate motions
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Speaker of
the House of Representatives, ChuanLeekpai, has confirmed the opposition may
file two no-confidence debate motions, remarking that while the government
has encouraged participation by members of parliament (MPs), it has not
sought to intervene in the House.
The House Speaker said the opposition may move to hold
a no-confidence debate in 2020, and it will have two opportunities to do so
during the year’s two sessions. While the government maintains a majority of
less than 25 seats, it still retains the ability to call for a recount of
Mr. Chuan assured the public that there has been no
government intervention in Parliament and that it has never made an
inappropriate request. He said it has been the legislature that has issued
requests for attendance by the Prime Minister and his cabinet, adding that
they should avoid needless absence.
44 transport mega projects in store this year
BANGKOK (NNT) -The Ministry of
Transport is proceeding with the 2020 megaprojects investment plan covering
44 projects, with work on 17 already commenced followngapproveal by the
The Minister of Transport, SaksayamChidchob has
provided an update on 2021 fiscal year budget planning, in which he has
ordered agencies under his supervision to take the national strategy as a
framework and a guide for budgeting, and to set clear priorities to prevent
redundancies. Agencies are asked to review their budget requests and submit
a revised one by 3rd January 2020.
For 2020, the Ministry of the Interior now has 44
transportation investment projects planned at a cost of 1.94 trillion baht.
These projects include those approved by the Cabinet and currently under
construction; projects approved by the Cabinet and now in preparation;
projects approved by the public–private partnership policy committee pending
final approval from the Cabinet, and projects pending a proposal to the
17 projects under construction come with 0.78 trillion
baht total budget, including three intercity highways, phase 1 dual track
railway construction of seven lines for a total of 993 kilometers, the MRT
Orange Line’s eastern sector between the Thailand Cultural Center and
Minburi, the MRT Pink Line’s Khae Rai - Minburi section, the MRT Yellow Line
project’s Lad Phrao - Samrong section, and the SRT Red Line commuter
railway’s Bang Sue - Rangsit and Bang Sue - Taling Chan sections.
The Ministry of Finance is also proceeding with the
High Speed Railway Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima section where 14 separate
contracts have been drafted for the project, with construction already in
progress under two contracts. The project is now proceeding with
consideration by the Council of State regarding payment for ALRO lands.
Government to focus on bettering daily life in 2020
BANGKOK (NNT) - The government has resolved to focus on improving the
daily lives of citizens next year, with a more targeted approach taking
particular aim at farmers, low-income earners, senior citizens, employees
and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Government Spokeswoman, Prof. Dr.
NarumonPinyosinwat, said today that state work in 2020 will be centered
around living standards, with plans being tailored to specific groups
ranging from farmers to SMEs and startups.
In the agricultural sector, the government will seek to
develop full cycle growers and BCG or Bio-Economy, Circular Economy and
Green Economy farmers. Production will take cues from market demand both
domestically and in the export sector.
For low-income earners, qualifications for the welfare
scheme will be adjusted based on the already registered 14.6 million people.
Adjustments will be made so that the program genuinely serves those in need.
As for the elderly, of whom there are about 11.35
million people in the country, the government has identified that only 8.4
million are receiving a stipend with the rest mostly living on pensions
provided by their state office jobs. Some 5 million senior citizens hold a
welfare card with another 4.6 million still working, 3.59 million of whom
are informal workers such as farmers. These facts will inform intended
support for the group.
Meanwhile, the nation’s 14.6 million employed workers,
are still dealing with high living costs, with the government acknowledging
that while many earn over 100,000 baht a year they do not qualify for
welfare. Relevant ministries have been tapped to work with private firms to
better care for workers, and financial institutions have been told to issue
measures to lighten their burden of debt.
The final group, SMEs and startups, will be elevated in
2020 through the application of innovations, knowledge and capital. The
government will seek to release businesses from their current limitations.
BOT projects 2.8% 2020 economic growth from recovered export sector
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Bank of Thailand has announced a 2.8% growth
projection for the Thai economy in 2020 thanks to a better performing export
sector, while the country’s economic performance in November 2019 is still
in a slowdown due to declining export figures affected by economic slowdowns
among trading partners.
The Bank of Thailand’s economic analysis bureau has
released updated economic projections where Thailand’s export sector
would result in negative 3.3 percent growth, causing goods import,
industrial manufacturing, and private investment indicators to be in
The government’s general and investment
expenditures have also declined, while government measures have
partially maintained the general public’s purchasing power.
The tourism sector has shown continuous growth,
contributing as a major driver in national economic recovery, with this
year’s overall economic performance expected to show 2.5 percent growth.
The overall national economic growth in 2020 is now
projected to be 2.8% from the anticipated recovery of the export and
investment figures. The global economy next year is expected to continue
seeing fluctuations, however analysts expect global trade to gradually
improve following expected clarity from trade negotiations.
Government investments for 2020 are expected to
fully commence in February after the approval of the fiscal year 2020
budget bill by the parliament. The approval will enable government
investment projects to fully proceed, helping stimulate spending, and
benefiting the domestic economy recovery.
The Bank of Thailand also recommends the private
sector increase their investments in keeping with the current economic