In Thailand English-language News for April 4, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Naruala tells us about:
00:42 | Deputy prime minister, General Chatchai Sarikulya, has visited the Command Center to Combat Illegal Fishing (CCCIF) to ensure its preparedness ahead of the arrival of European Union (EU) officials who will be inspecting Thailand’s progress on the elimination of Illegal, unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing until April 11.
02:02 | The Cabinet has approval the draft Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act— an adaptation of the Private Investment in State Undertaking Act 2013— and will forward it to the Office of the Council of State (Cos) for review, before it is submitted to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).
The new draft law mandates that the government draw up clear policies for infrastructure development and public service projects while placing emphasis on joint investments between the public and private sectors. The draft law is expected to encourage more private operators to invest in state infrastructure and public service projects, enabling them to be undertaken more quickly and efficiently.
03:38 | Election Commission (EC) Chairman, Supachai Somcharoen, said yesterday that the EC is ready to implement the ruling of the Costitutional Court’s (CC) interpretation of the draft law on the election of parliament members. He said that the Constitution requires that the EC organise an election within 150 days, but the election could still take place if the timeline was be changed to 90-days in order not to derail the election roadmap.
He acknowledged that the government was entitled to seek to amend the National Council for Peace and Order’s (NCPOs) order, adding that the EC has proposed six points for adjustment.
04:38 | Director-General of the Cooperatives Promotion Department, Phichet Wiriyapaha, yesterday signed an agreement with the Rice Department (RD) and the Provincial Administration Department (PAD) to exchange farming information aimed at elevating farmers’ quality of life in accordance with the Thailand 4.0 policy. The new system is expected to be activated in the next growing season.
06:01 | Minister of the Interior, General Anupong Paochinda, yesterday said the ministry will be stepping up measures to combat road accidents, especially in known danger zones, and ask heavy-duty trucks to avoid using the roads during Songkran.
The government’s grand Songkran celebration will be held at the Royal Plaza and Sanam Suea Pa between April 6 and 8, and include merit making ceremonies to pour water onto Buddha images and senior citizens, Songkran exhibitions, a sand pagoda building competition, and a revelation of ancient fragrances.
07:16 | Minister of Transport, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, said yesterday that some 18.9 million people are expected to travel using public transport during next week’s Songkran holiday, a drop of about 8.12 per cent over last year.
To help facilitate people’s travel an additional 11, 000 public buses, 20 trains, and 67 flights will be available, while 212 checkpoints will be established on roads nationwide in an attempt to reduce road accidents and deaths by 7 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education yesterday launched a project to set up 252 volunteer centres to provide services for holiday makers between April 11 and 17. Some 20,000 students and teachers from vocational schools will be stationed at the centres.
10:31 | A meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking (JSCCIB) has revised Thailand 2018 GDP growth from 3.8-4.5 per cent to 4.0-4.5 per cent. It also raised its 2018 export growth forecast from 3.5-6.0 per cent to 5.0-8.0 per cent. The revisions follow robust economic growth in the first two months of the year. Inflation for 2018 was revised downwards to 0.7-1.2 per cent, from 1.1-1.6 per cent.
12:04 | Newsline discuss the Power Development Fund (PDF) with Pajchima Tanasanti, commissioner for the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). The project was launched in 2017 with the aim to promote the use of sustainable electricity among the public.
The next round of evaluations of energy-saving devices will take place between April 9 until May 15 with information in English or Thai available on its website.
20:04 | Thailand Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) has launched the ‘i-MEDBOT 2018’ contest aimed at finding new robotic technology to support handicapped and elderly people. Robotic skill auditions will take place between April 9 and May 31. Further information can be found here.
22:14 | Thailand’s Minister of Labor, Police General Adul Saengsingkaew, confirmed that all migrant workers who had completed the migrant worker registration process will be able to return home for the Songkran holidays, even if they had not completed the verification process.
Police General Saengsingkaew called on all employers to provide them with the correct paperwork to facilitate their return home, and reminded those who had not completed the migrant worker verification process that they must return to Thailand by April 30. More than 200,000 migrant workers are expected to return home for the holidays.
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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.