In Thailand English-language News for April 27, 2018, Newsline presenter Sandra Hanutsaha tells us about:
00:54 | The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday approved a new draft emergency decree on the management of foreign workers.
The NLA also approved a new version of the Immigration Emergency Decree. Both amendments are said to improve the implementation of the two laws.
02:21 | The Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Army, General Tharnchaiyan Srisuwan, yesterday shot down any hopes of the US-North Korea talks between President’s Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un taking place in Thailand, saying they should not be, as no preparations had been undertaken.
The comments came while announcing that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is ready to deal with any protests that might erupt on the fourth anniversary of the so-called ‘military intervention’ on May 22, 2014.
Questioned about his future political ambitions, General Srisuwan said that what happens after his retirement is a matter for the future.
04:05 | Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) Secretary General, Supanat Sirantawineti, yesterday denied accusations of corruption in the purchase of solar-powered water purifiers for five southern provinces.
Mr Sirantawineti said SBPAC had paid Bt500,000 (about US$15,820) each for the units, while the standard price was over Bt600,000 ($19,000) according to the estimation of King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang.
He said that the machines were capable of producing pure water worth Bt55 million ($1.74 mln) a year, and provided villagers with free drinking.
The independent fact-finding body appointed to look into SBPAC’s spending, he said, had found no irregularity in the project.
06:05 | The Ministry of Defense has used the Nong Kiew Koi (Little Miss Pinky Swear) mascot to affirm the sincerity of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in trying to bring peace and reconciliation to the Kingdom.
09:18 | Thai labourers who receive a monthly salary of less than Bt15,000 (about US$474) have been found to have the highest rate of household debt in ten years.
A survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s (UTCCs) Economic and Business Forecasting Center (EBFC) found that average household debt among those surveyed was Bt137,988 ($4,366), a 4.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) increase, while average monthly repayments were put at Bt5,326 ($168.52).
The survey found that purchasing power at the grassroots level has not recovered as widely believed. Ninety-six per cent of the 1,194 people surveyed said they had debts.
Respondents said they wanted to see a minimum annual wage hike in line with living costs, as well as remedies to unemployment, the high cost of goods, and competition from foreign workers. Most said the recent wage hike was appropriate.
Despite the high level of household debt the UTCC maintained its forecast for 2017 Thailand GDP growth at 4.4 per cent.
11:26 | Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, Grisada Boonrach, told a ‘MEET the PRESS’ event on Thursday that his ministry has been promoting the implementation of marketing strategies to help the manufacturing sector help plan crop yield according to the principles of demand and supply.
He said the ministry will be pushing forward 15 key projects, including the promotion of common farm system, organic farming, and produce markets.
13:45 | Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha today led a delegation of ministers and senior bureaucrats to the 32nd Asean Summit in Singapore.
Among the topics the PM intends to raise at the summit are the building of regional resilience, sustainable development, preparedness for an ageing society, and cyber security.
Deputy Government Spokesperson, Lieutenant General Weerachon Sukhontapatipak yesterday said that General Chan-o-cha will address the 32nd Asean Summit Plenary Session in support of the vision to create a resilient and innovative Asean, without leaving anyone behind.
15:42 | Economic and trade ministers from Asean’s ten member countries yesterday met to discuss ongoing integration under the Asean Economic community (AEC) blueprint.
16:25 | Newsline takes a look at the 32nd Asean Summit in Singapore and what is likely to be discussed under the meeting’s theme of ‘Resilience and Innovation’.
20:48 | Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) yesterday held a conference on United Partnerships against Human Trafficking.
Deputy Foreign Minister Virasakdi Futrakul told attendees that the Thailand government had placed eliminating human trafficking as a national agenda item, had taken stern measures against those caught, and had implemented aggressive measures to detect those involved.
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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.