In Thailand English-language News for May 15, 2017, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
• The national strategy act drafting committee of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has advised that the National Strategy act will be completed by June 12. Once the act is passed the National Strategy Commission (NSC) will be established with five of its 32 members being high ranking military officers.
• Deputy Prime Minister for legal affairs, Wissanu Krea-ngam, has moved to allay fears of a walk-out by contract nursing staff working at public hospitals and state health units nationwide who are seeking permanent civil servant status. According to Mr Krea-ngam the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has 10,000 vacant civil servant positions which he hopes to see allocated for nurses.
• Deputy Prime Minister for legal affairs, Wissanu Krea-nga, has responded to criticism of the Thailand Cabinet’s decision to approve the purchase of a Bt13.5 billion (about US$ 390.173 million) Chinese-built submarine for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) without gaining the approval of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), saying the the purchase is a matter of national security and therefore exempt from the requirement.
• In response to complaints by rice farmers in Sing Buri Province a team of inspectors from the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has conducted inspections on scales used by rice traders. At least two cases of irregularities were found with the owners fined Bt20,000 ($579) and the scales banned from future use. To avoid unscrupulous traders farmers have been advised to ensure scales are in good condition and have a ministry seal in place.
• Thailand government spokesperson, Lieutenant General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, said the government will deliver a report on its performance since seizing power in a bloodless coup d’état on May 22, 2014 some time in June.
• Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor, Veerathai Santiprabhob, said the central bank will partner with financial institutions to formulate a plan to lower household debt. Currently Thais can have debt five times their income, while many have multiple credit cards.
• Work is underway to improve water storage in Buriram Province ahead of the wet season, while the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Department (RRAA) has announced that in the past 68 days it has carried out 1,319 cloud seeding flights inducing rain in 55 provinces and increasing water storage capacity by some 237 million cubic metres.
• The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is installing additional water pumps and piping at locations around Bangkok ahead of the wet season.
• Inspections by the Land Transport Department (LTD) have found 569 violations by public transport providers during April. Throughout the month the department inspected 17,173 public buses, vans, taxis, and motorcycle taxis in Bangkok. Two hundred and eighty taxi drivers had refused passengers, while 179 passenger vans were found to be substandard. One hundred and thirteen motorcycle taxi drivers did not use approved vehicles, or did not possess valid driving licences.
• NBTC World takes an in depth look at the freshly opened Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC), which recently relocated from the Emporium shopping mall on Sukhumvit Road to the historic Grand Postal Building on Charoenkrung Road.
• About 100 people have attended a seminar in the Southern Thailand province of Narathiwat to hear about potential increased trade opportunities for SMEs with Malaysia.
• 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.