In Thailand English-language News for April 20, 2017, Newsline presenter Sandra Hanutsaha tells us about:
• The State Enterprise Policy Committee (SEPC) intends to submit a draft law on the overhauling of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by the end of this month. At its latest meeting the committee agreed in principle for TOT Public Company Limited, and CAT Telecom Public Company Limited, to establish subsidiaries that will operate in the same manner as private firms, with the two SOEs to be managed by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES).
• The Department of Land Transport (DLT) said yesterday that public transport vehicles were involved in only 20 road accidents over the 2017 Songkran holiday period, with no deaths and only five passengers injured. Claimed to be a significant improvement on last year, but not supported with comparative figures, the low numbers were attributed to recently introduced and enforced road safety laws. The new regulation banning passengers to ride in the bed of a pickup vehicle will be stayed until the end of the year, pending modification to the law due to public outcry.
• A consortium of road safety organisations has urged the government to pursue alternate methods to modifying driver behaviour and traffic management in the wake of the 2017 Songkran holidays, which saw 390 people killed on Thailand’s roads. While the number of deaths was down on last year, the number of accidents and injuries increased. Speaking ahead of the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week (GRSW), themed ‘Save Lives Slowdown’, to be held between May 8-14, Dr Wittaya Chartbanchachai, said more steps are needed to encourage the authorities and drivers to focus on speed management. The groups plan nation-wide activities to increase public awareness during the the fourth GRSW.
• The Comptroller-General’s Department has said that elderly citizens who qualify for the old age pensions will be able to receive their payment via either direct bank deposit, cash from their local administrative office, or via the new PromptPay mobile payments system.
• Produce prices have risen slightly in the wake of the long Songkran holiday break, with the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) expecting prices to ease once supply returns to normal.
• The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has organised vendor space for Thai geographical indicator (GI) products at two Central Food Retail Company Limited (CFR) locations to pilot the effectiveness in raising awareness of the branding. If successful the scheme will be introduced into 100 Central branches nationwide. Twenty-nine GI products will be displayed, with items rotated according to seasonal availability.
• The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has said that the fuel tariff (FT) for electricity supply bills issued between May and August will increase due to increased gas supply prices. The new rate is still being calculated.
• Deputy Finance Minister Wisudhi Srisuphan has told a seminar organised by the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) that continuos monitoring of digital solutions to insurance products and management was necessary to strengthen public confidence in the sector and for the development of a digital economy.
• Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will lead a high level delegation to Bahrain between April 24 and 26 to pursue increased economic and trade opportunities between the two countries, particularly in the areas of agriculture, and education. In related news Thailand aims to increase trade with Kazakhstan, its largest trading partner in Central Asia.
• Organisers of the Third Asean International Film Festival (AIFF) as part of celebrations to mark Asean’s 50th anniversary have announced that twenty films drawn from all ten Asean member countries will be screened for free between April 26 – May 1 at Paragon Cineplex and SF World Cinema. All movies will have Thai and English subtitles. One ticket per person can be obtained from the organisers by registering at Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival Facebook page.
• and more.
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Newsline is a daily Thailand English-language news and current affairs programme produced by the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNBT) under the Thailand Government Public Relations Department (PRD) for *NBT World, the NNBTs 24/7 English language television service delivering Thailand government news and information to the Thai, Asean, and wider Asian communities via cable and satellite. It is also available via android and iOS apps. AEC News Today publishes Thailand English-language News M-F.