9 Dec 2017
9:09 pm

Rice, rubber, palm oil, and livestock farmers will expect better livelihood next year as the government says it will be launching a plan that will provide comprehensive solution to problems afflicting the farming sector as New Year’s gifts to farmers.

This was disclosed yesterday by deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak after a meeting with economic team comprising ministers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Interior and the head of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives

The plan provides farmers with greater access to marketing, production (growing) and distribution information relevant to the country’s main economic crops such as rice, rubber, palm and livestock.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid said that the meeting agreed to set up a “war room” team made up of specialists in each area to come up with a comprehensive solution for the country’s farming sector.

They include production, marketing, community tourism as well as agricultural credit.

The main purpose is to provide farmers with direct access to vital information critical for their livelihood such as market demand and market prices so that they are able to make the necessary change in their yearly planting plans in accordance with market forces.

The plan will be sent to the cabinet for approval once everything has been worked out, he said.

Expectation was that it will be implementedcwithin the next three months.

But he said the rubber farmers will expect priority as the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has been ordered to implement measures to raise rubber prices to exceed existing production overheads as quickly as possible.

The ministry has begun buying up rubber at recently adjusted prices from the previous 42 -43 baht per kilogram to 47 – 48 baht.

Other government departments have also been encouraged to make rubber procurements of their own which will in total help to absorb more than 100,000 tons which is hoped to drive market prices up to exceed the current 51.28 baht

Meanwhile the Ministry of Energy is also trying to reduce the huge raw palm oil stockpile which currently at the highest recorded level of 540,000 tons by converting them to bio diesel.

The record stockpile was attributed mainly to an increase in local production from 2 million tons to 2.4 million tons a year.

The bio-diesel produced will be used for electricity generation to offset current electricity production costs which are very high.

9 Dec 2017
3:33 pm

The Ministry of Commerce yesterday clarified the blocking of Thai exports to the United States is just a normal blocking procedure.

According to Ms Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat, the director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion, the US announcing the blocking of 11 Thai goods which they say contain pollutants exceeding the specified level, was a regular occurrence.

However she said what was important was that the announcement was not a direct ban but was a warning to Thai producers to exercise greater care in their quality controls to meet strict US regulations.

Ms Chantira said some of the products targeted are salted fish, dried logan, frozen durian, medical/surgical gloves, ground chilli powder and chilli paste.

She said these products are mainly produced by small independent producers.

9 Dec 2017
2:11 pm

The family of the dead cadet student Pakapong Tanyakan yesterday vowed to bring all relevant people for trial in the court after forensic autopsy result indicated the victim had several bruises from assaults.

The move for court action came after the Justice Ministry’s Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) sent the autopsy result to the cadet student’s family yesterday.

It said several bruises were believed to be caused by assaults. Beside the broken fourth rip bone was not caused from cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as earlier believed.

Pakapong, 18, collapsed at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School’s medical division on Oct 17. He was rushed to Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy School Hospital in Nakhon Nayok province where he was pronounced dead at 8.24pm. His body was later sent to Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok for the first autopsy. However, Pakapong’s family suspected foul play and asked the police to find out the cause of the death.

At yesterday’s press briefing by the victim’s elder sister Ms Supitcha Tanyakarn, she said the autopsy result was for the examination of the body part that involved several marks of blue and dark spots on the skin.

The result showed they were caused from assaults.

The fourth rib bone which was broken was also not caused from the attempted CPR to save his life, she said.

The second part which examined the internal organs has not yet finished, she said.

However she vowed that the family would bring all people relevant to his death for court trial.

Earlier Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong said the final autopsy result will be known on December 15.

CIFS director Som Promrot said the autopsy result has been given to the police in Ongkharak district and the family yesterday.

However the family wanted the result to be kept confidential, he said.

Ongkharak district police inquiry officers approached the institute on Oct 27 to conduct the second autopsy on Pakapong after police received complaint from the family of the deceased.

9 Dec 2017
1:07 pm

Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport remained closed on Saturday (Dec 9) as authorities continued to drain flood water out of its runway and erect sandbag embankment to prevent overflowing of water into the runway again.

The closure of the airport for safety reason after the transport minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith and Airports Department’s director general Darun Sangchai inspected the flooded site yesterday to assess the situation with focus on the runway and safety equipment.

This was to ensure the highest safety standard before the airport is to reopen, the minister said.

The Department of Airports has set aside 353 million baht for Nakhon Si Thammarat airport to build a 9.7 kilometre road with four flood gates and two draining stations that will serve as a flood embankment to prevent flooding in the airport compound.

Construction started from August this year and will finish in December next year.

Meanwhile the Department of Airports has sought cooperation from domestic airlines to increase flights at adjacent Surat Thani airport to Don Mueang airport today to cope with increasing passengers from Nakhon Si Thammarat.

There are normally about 20 flights daily between Bangkok and Nakhon Si Thammarat. The airport closure has affected thousands of people.


9 Dec 2017
12:29 pm

Former actor Weerachaisriwanik Wanukkul and two colleagues turned themselves into Saimai police yesterday (Dec 8) after they are wanted for posing as narcotic suppression officers in a raid on a garage and detaining its owner over drug allegations.

Weerachaisriwanik, 38, and his two colleagues Siwat Lamsri, 36, and Narongrit Thongpan, 30, turned themselves in to Saimai police at yesterday afternoon after the Minburi Provincial Court’s issued arrest warrants for them over charges of night-time intrusion involving firearms, posing as police officers, carrying guns in public without permission and illegal detention.

But the former actor claimed he was in detective business and was investigating a drug case.

The three suspects entered the garage of Nuttapong Jitsaguan, 26, allegedly handcuffed him and accused that he was involved in drug trafficking.

They searched his garage and office for drugs but couldn’t find it. After Nuttapong called his father who is an Air Force officer, the three armed men fled the scene.

Saimai police said another victim also came to lodge complaint with the police yesterday saying two of the three suspects were among four men who extorted him of 200,000 baht on November 3 showing arrest warrant in a case.

The victim said he had filed complaint of the extortion to Kannayao police in Bangkok.

Saimai police they are investigating if the two cases were linked to this gang of the former model.

Weerachai was said to be a model in 2000 before playing supporting roles in several television series and later aged from the entertainment limelight.

9 Dec 2017
8:20 am

People are advised to delay getting a dengue vaccination during this time, pending a decision by a subcommittee on building of the immune system on Dec 14, according to Dr Tawee Chotepittayasunon, president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of Thailland (PIDST).

Dr Tawee said doctors and experts held a meeting on Dec 7 to analyse information about dengue vaccination.

The information says the dengue vaccine works well with people who used to contracted the disease.  But, those who have never had the disease before and received the dengue vaccine are found to have a chance of contracting the disease at the rate of 1.4 times more than those who have never contracted the disease and never received the vaccine. However, no case of death as a result of this has been reported.

The subcommittee on the building of the immune system will consider this information on Dec 14 and is expected to come out with some recommendations.  During this time, the people are advised to delay getting the dengue vaccine.

The dengue vaccine has been registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Thailand since 2016.  The vaccine has been available at private hospitals.

According to a company supplying the vaccine, Thailand has ordered 30,000 doses of the vaccine and about 10,000 have been used.

Dr Tawee said before giving the vaccine, doctors should carefully check health records of people who want it.  The suitable ages for taking the vaccine are between 9 to 45 years.

Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said the people should not worry about the order by the Philippine Department of Health to suspend giving the dengue vaccine to people after detecting side effects.

Although the vaccine being used in Thailand is of the same kind as that in the Philippines, the Thai Public Health Ministry has not suspended the use of it.

Dr Piyasakol said Thailand places more emphasis on prevention and destruction of the breeding sources of mosquitoes.

He said the dengue vaccine has not yet been included in the standard list of vaccines in Thailand and it is available only at private hospitals.  Moreover, this vaccine is only 60% effective, which means those who used to contract the disease can have it again, but in a lesser degree of seriousness.

8 Dec 2017
5:39 pm

The Thai embassy in Tel Aviv has advised Thais in Israel to avoid crowded areas in Jerusalem and closely monitor the situation in a wake of violent demonstrations against US President Donald Trump’s statement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The embassy’s warning was posted on its Facebook page on Dec 7. It said that beginning from the night of Dec 6, there were violent demonstrations at various Palestine communities in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah cities in the West Bank and Gaza.

It said the violent demonstrations were expected to drag on until Friday.

The embassy then warned Thai citizens in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, and adjacent cities to monitor the protest situation closely and cooperate with authorities on security measures and follow the police advice.

They are warned to avoid travelling to densely populated public places for their safety.

8 Dec 2017
3:57 pm

Gold price tumbled on Friday morning (Dec 8) as domestic gold trade reacted to the strengthened dollars and news of investors pulling out of the safe haven on growing optimism over President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts.

The Gold Traders Association of Thailand reported gold price falling 150 baht in the morning trade opening at 9am.

Buying for gold bullion is 19,250 baht per baht weight, while selling price is 19,350  baht.

For gold ornaments, buying price is 18,904.52 baht, and selling price is 19,850 baht.

Yesterday gold bullion closed at 19,400 baht for buying, and 19,500 baht for selling.

Gold ornaments closed at 20,115 baht for buying, and 20,140 baht for selling.

8 Dec 2017
3:47 pm

The Revenue Department is now ready to amend the present Revenue Code to give more tax credit for second child.

Under its proposal, parents having the second child will get 120,000 baht tax credit for each child.

According to Prasong Poontaneat, director-general of the Revenue Department, the tax credit was aimed at encouraging parents to have more babies.

He said revenue officials are now ready to amend the existing law to give tax credits to parents who have second child.

He said tax credit for second baby will be capped at 120,000 baht, breaking down to 60,000 baht per year as expenditures for raising the baby, and 60,000 baht for maternity-related health care spending at hospital.

He expected that the amended law will become effective in the next 2018 tax year, and submission of tax forms for tax deductions will be from January-March 2019.

At present tax credit for legitimate child is set at 60,000 baht per child,  equally shared by father and mother and with no limit of how many child they have.

Mr Prasong added that tax credits alone won’t be enough to encourage parents to have more babies as now the country is expecting more aging population.

He said more tax incentives are being considered such as improvement of university curriculum to recruit more skill labour personnel to cope with the increasingly aging population.

7 Dec 2017
9:54 pm

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has asked Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to explain his two items of accessory–a diamond ring and an expensive wristwatch–that he was seen wearing during a photo shoot of new cabinet lineup at the Government House on Dec 4.

NACC deputy secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said after a meeting of the NACC to discuss Gen Prawit’s asset declaration that the deputy prime minister could explain in person to the NACC or in writing within 30 days of receiving a notification from the graft-busting body today (Dec 7).

The two luxury items were not declared when he assumed the office three years ago.

After Gen Prawit’s clarification of how he acquired the two items with the backup of evidence, Mr Worawit said the matter would be referred to the NACC board for consideration.

He assured that it would not take much time for the NACC board to finalize the matter because the case “is not complicated.”

Gen Prawit’s wristwatch which was described by watch experts as a Richard Mille timepiece–a brandname wristwatch for the rich and fabulous with a starting price of one million baht up to more than 60 million baht.

The NACC’s action followed a call by Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of Thai Constitution Protection Association, for a probe of Gen Prawit’s acquisition of the diamond ring and the Richard Mille wristwatch which were not declared when he assumed the ministerial office in 2014.

Ruangkrai Leekijwattana, Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, also urged the NACC to investigate Gen Prawit’s wealth.

He said if Gen Prawit claims that he possessed the wristwatch and the diamond ring before taking the ministerial post in 2004, Gen Prawit must explain why he did not declare them to the NACC.

On the other hand, if he claims that he acquired them after taking office, he has to clarify their origins and evidence to the back up the claim, Mr Ruangkrai said.

Asked whether the NACC has checked Gen Prawit’s assets in the past four years which appear to be increasing every year, Mr Worawit said that NACC officials had been examining his assets as normal.

He asked the public to have trust in the NACC and assured that its probe into the deputy prime minister’s diamond ring and wristwatch would not be a whitewash.