In Thailand English-language News for April 25, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:46 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday dismissed claims that China’s Alibaba plans to monopolise trade in Thailand, saying that the government’s recent agreement to collaborate with the Chinese multinational e-commerce conglomerate is aimed at promoting e-commerce business in Thailand.
Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce Sontirat Sontijirawong, said yesterday that his discussion with Alibaba Executive Chairman and co-founder Jack Ma was based on reports of Chinese consumers’ love of Thai durian, demonstrated by Alibaba selling about 350 tons of the fruit on its TMall website in two days. Mr Sontirat said it is expected some 760,000 durian trees will bear fruit this year, benefiting trade between Thailand and China.
01:57 | Prime Minister and chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), General Prayut Chan-o-cha, said yesterday that Article 44 of the Interim Constitution will not be invoked as suggested by digital TV licensees, as there could be more suitable ways to help all involved without further costs.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson Lieutenant General Sunsern Kaewkumnerd said that the NCPO had discussed three possible approaches to address the issues raised by digital TV licensees, including a three-month suspension of debt repayments.
03:14 | The weekly meeting of the Cabinet yesterday approved in principle draft amendments to the Government Pension Fund Act, which includes updates to help it work efficiently, and a new initiative to assist welfare card holders.
Nattaporn Jatusripitak, advisor to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), said some 8.5 million of more that 11 million welfare card holders have applied to join the new project aimed at improving their quality of life.
04:32 | Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) Chairman, Meechai Ruchuphan said yesterday that the committee in charge of the new draft Royal Thai Police act is considering restructuring the police to achieve a more streamlined operation.
06:09 | Chairman of the subcommittee in charge of the National Legislative Assembly’s (NLAs) ‘Meet-the-People’ project, General Podok Bunnag, yesterday led representatives of the legislature to meet with residents of Chai Nat Province to promote the government’s Thai Niyom Yang Yuen campaign.
The Thai Niyom Yang Yuen initiative is aimed at addressing problems people face by encouraging them to air their grievances at public forums and propose ideas for effective solutions.
07:13 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday presided over the unveiling of the government Public Relations Department’s (PRDs) new ‘Happy Family Radio’ channel FM 105 at Government House. The new radio channel aims to attract young listeners by serving up a variety of family-friendly content.
07:57 | Newsline takes a look at highlights of events marking the occasion of 236th anniversary of Rattanakosin Island in Bangkok, with a focus on the Four Regions Market in front of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) office.
12:14 | The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has adjusted the requirements of its ‘debtors clinic’ programme after only 594 have were able to begin the process of readjusting their debt, worth a combined Bt129 million (about US$4 million), with only 30 people graduating from the programme.
The revisions see people with debt incurred up to April 1, 2018 being eligible to join the programme, while debtors who have matters before a court, but have not received a ruling, now also eligible.
The BOT is also proposing the Asset Management Act be revised by the Supreme Council to accommodate non-bank non-performing loans and, if approved, could open the debtors clinic to 50,000 more people. More information can be found at www.debtclinicbysam.com
13:52 | The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has announced its first ‘Capital Market Innovation Awards 2018’ project, with the aim of stimulating innovation in Thai capital markets. The SET has allocated Bt800,000 ($25,417) in prize money. Interested people can visit www.set.or.th
14:58 | Chiang Mai Province has extended its ban on burning activities to May 31 in a bid to solve the haze problem in the region after Mae Chaem District reported 173 micrograms of dust per cubic meter, while Chang Phueak Air Quality Monitoring Station recorded 125 micrograms per cubic meter, above the safe limit of 120 micrograms per cubic meter.
16:25 | The National Vaccine Institute (NVI) has held a seminar on the provision of vaccines for newborns and children aged up to 12 years against 11 diseases and to raise awareness of the importance of immunization for pregnant women, students, children, and at-risk adults to mark World Immunisation Week 2018. According to the NVI some 90 per cent of children have not been vaccinated.
17:19 | Newsline takes a look at the Akha Mae Chan Tai village, about 90 kilometres (about 56 miles) from Chiang Rai Province, and the attractions it offers to those who make the journey.
21:01 | Air Chief Marshal Prajin Junthong, deputy prime minister and Minister of Justice, has addressed an Asean+3 conference on the creation of a transnational crime database, with the goal of preventing repeat offences and fostering better cooperation among the bloc.
Among the topics discussed was the drug trade in the Golden Triangle, human trafficking, illegal financial transactions, and Ponzi schemes.
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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. AEC News Today publishes Thailand English-language News M-F.