In Thailand English-language News for February 21, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:47 | The ‘Love and Warmth at Winter’s End’ festival in the Dusit District of Bangkok was popular with visitors over the weekend taking in the floral and historic displays of events that took place during the reign of King Rama V and King Rama IX. The festival is open until March 11 from 10.30am to 9pm (10pm on Fridays and Saturdays). Traditional Thai dress is required for entry, which is free of charge.
02:11 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that water storage in the country’s dams is currently at 75 per cent of capacity, sufficient for agricultural purposes during the upcoming dry season. However, farmers outside of the irrigation network will need to think carefully about which crops they grow and when, he said. In addition, he said that related agencies have been urged to tackle air pollution problems in the country.
03:17 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered a probe into reports of police receiving Chinese New Year ‘lucky money’ following a viral video showing police lining up and receiving red envelopes.
Meanwhile, regarding the controversy surrounding a recent Bt30-million lottery ticket win, the PM has said plans have been devised to help resolve the problems, adding that cooperation from all concerned are needed in that aspect.
04:47 | The Cabinet has agreed to a nine-month time frame for a fresh Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the controversial Krabi-Thepha coal-fired power plant project. The decision follows Minister of Energy, Sira Chiraphogphan, advising the Cabinet of his decision to cancel the previous study.
Further, a green light has been given to funding the Equitable Education Fund Act, with an initial budget of Bt1 billion (about US$31.725 million)
07:08 | Deputy governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Seubphong Buranasirin, has signed a memorandum with four banks to support the production and sale of appliances that use environmentally friendly R600a refrigerant. Some 300,000 refrigerators are expected to be sold through the programme, which will reduces annual energy consumption by 47 million units and greenhouse gas emissions by 25,000 tons. Consumers can purchase appliances labelled with a ’Green Refrigerant’ sign on a zero per cent interest payment plan over ten months.
10:15 | The Economic and Business Forecasting Center (EBFC) of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) is predicting the Thai economy in 2018 will grow by 4.4 per cent, while exports will increase by 6 per cent.
An expansion in trade partners, especially in Asia, will bolster Thailand’s exports, while government investment is expected to boost private activity, said EBFC director, Thanawat Polwichai.
Meanwhile, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has predicted that the economy will grow between 3.6-4.6 per cent, while state spending and exports will grow by 6.8 per cent.
However, negative factors include US economic policies, an uptick in world interest rates, a slowdown in China, the appreciating Baht, high household debt in the nation, and surplus production.
12:16 | Cholaphansa Narula discusses the meanings behind the “MICE Does Not Mean MICE” pocketbook with Supawan Teerarat, senior vice president strategic business development and innovation for the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). The book is meant to educate those interested in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events (MICE) business, and is part of Thailand’s push to the become the centre for MICE in Asean.
21:29 | Thammasat University has organised a seminar to discuss long-term solutions to air pollution in Bangkok. Professor at Thammasat’s Faculty of Public Health and former director general of the Pollution Control Department (PCD), Supat Wangwongwatana said that despite recent media reports the air quality this year was “not so much different from the previous year” over a three month period.
Professor Wangwongwatana said most of the PM 2.5 particle matter came from factories and similar sources, while noting a 25 per cent reduction in annual PM2.5 levels since 2012. Suggestions to tackle the problem include measures to expand truck-free zones in Bangkok, banning burning activities, and adopting European emission standards to limit vehicle exhaust emissions.
24:54 | Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday jokingly offered to make the Philippines a province of China in front of a Filipino-Chinese business gathering. President Duterte said the military basis in the South China Sea (SCS) had been constructed to protect the region against America, not to use against states bordering the disputed region.
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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.
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