Category: Thai pbs

Jay Kiew says “No” to bus fare reduction

The president, Mrs Sujinda Cherdchai, or best known as “Jay Kiew” reaffirmed her defiance to call by the state to reduce bus fare when she was asked about the fare reduction after diesel price now falls below 20 baht a litre.

She said although diesel now falls below 20 baht or the lowest price in almost seven years, it was still not justified to cut bus fares.

She said private bus operators still have to shoulder high operation cost such as maintenance cost, falling number of customers of up to 60-70%, and people turning to drive by themselves, and to low cost airlines.

These factors had forced some operators to give up operations, she claimed.

Therefore, she said, it was unreasonable to adjust bus fares down.

The Transport Department has recently called on public transport operators to cut their service fees in line with the declining oil prices.

So far, several logistic companies, ferry, canal and river boat operators have cut their transport fees, and fares. But private bus operators shuttling interprovincial bus service remain cool to the call.

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Source: thai pbs

Direct rubber purchase is just short-term solution –  Somkid says

He said for the long-term solution, more proposals should be presented on increasing rubber usage, as well as on the processing of raw rubbers and the setting up of more rubber-related factories in the country.

Mr Somkid said the Board of Investments (BOI) would be tasked to come up with new measures to persuade more investments in the provincial rubber industry.

Meanwhile Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda said that the ministry would be allocating a budget from the ministry to purchase rubber but further details are needed to be discussed before this could be carried out.

Primarily, he said the ministry would purchase materials which are made from rubber, such as rubber mats used in playgrounds and materials needed for the construction of pavilions.

He said he would also instructed Local Administration Organisations to use these materials as well.

At the same time, the Ministry of Finance has held talks with the Industry Ministry and public financial institutions on how rubber could be processed to add value.

The ministry has already approved that the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and the Government Savings Bank (GSB) to provide a loan of 4.5 billion baht to the Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) and the Rubber Authority of Thailand for the purchase of 100,000 tonnes of rubber from farmers.

Four state-owned banks were also advised to lend low interest loans to the private companies which have contracts with the government, while supporting other financial institutions to consider lending soft loans to private businesses, so as to pave way for these companies to be able to purchase more rubbers into their stocks.

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Finance Ministry proposes three measures to help shore up rubber prices

Finance Minister Apisak Tantiworawong said that the first measure calls for the Government Savings Bank and the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to extend interest-free loans to Public Warehouse Organisation to buy 100,000 tonnes of rubber directly from rubber growers.

The second measure calls for the GSB, BAAC, Krung Thai Bank and SME Bank to extend low-interest loans to private business operators which are contracted to buy rubber from eight ministries.

The last measure calls for five commercial banks to extend credits to business operators who want to build up their rubber stockpiles.

The Finance Ministry hopes that the three measures would help shore up the declining rubber prices.

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Government to buy rubber from growers at 45 baht/kg

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, chairman of a panel tasked with resolving rubber price problem, said today (Thursday) that the panel agreed to set the purchasing price at 45 baht/kg for rubber sheets.

The prices for the other rubber products such as latex and cup rubber will be determined based on the price for rubber sheets, said the deputy prime minister, adding that he didn’t know whether rubber growers would be satisfied with the price or not but he hoped they should.

He hinted that the government might, in the future, buy more rubber from the growers.

The Public Warehouse Organisation will be responsible for buying rubber from the growers with funding drawn from the Rubber Fund.

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Government’s direct rubber purchase draws mixed reaction

Secretary-general of an association for rubber and oil palm growers in Surat Thani province Mr Dendech Dechmanee said rubber growers will make move to stop the government’s plan to purchase 100,000 tonnes of rubber from farmers because the measure will not produce direct benefit to them.

He said his group will forward the demand to the government via Surat Thani governor.

He called on the government to cancel its plan to purchase rubber sheets and to only buy lump rubbers and rubber latex from farmers, reasoning that producers of lump rubbers and rubber latex are those who are hardest hit by the price plunge.

Yesterday Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha has confirmed that the government will not solely determine the purchase price of rubbers under its new assistance plan and said both the government and farmers will jointly work out suitable purchase price that suffice farmers’ living.

General Prayut said that government representatives will be sent to meet with local farmers in each area to jointly work out suitable purchase price.

He denied the purchase price would be determined by the government on its own.

His clarification came after the government had agreed to buy 100,000 of rubbers from farmers at an above-market price to help relieve impact of the price plummet.

The prime minister also said that farmers in the southern region will be the first group to receive the assistance.

He said the government will first purchase rubbers from farmers who suffer from the price plummet the most to those who feel the impact the least.

General Prayut also said the rubber price subsidy approved by his government is different from subsidies rolled out by previous governments.

He said his measure aims to help rubber farmers on a sustainable basis.

The prime minister also noted that he has asked the Industry Ministry and the Science and Technology Ministry to assess quality of rubber products and give out certificate to rubber products with good quality to boost local demand for rubber products.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will purchase 2,000 tonnes of rubber from farmers at the price of 40 baht per kilogram to help them relieve impact of the price plummet.

He said purchased rubbers will be used in BMA projects such as constructions of rubber pathways in public parks. According to the governor, the BMA Environment Agency is planning a construction of rubber roads worth 80 million baht at the railway park at Chatuchak.

Army chief GenTeerachai Narkvanich also said the army is planning to use purchased rubbers to produce pillows and mattress for soldiers. Previously, the ministry has used rubbers in constructions of 37 roads in the southern region.

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Three executives and four firms indicted in fake G-to-G rice deal

Named as defendants in the fake G-to-G rice deal with a Chinese company, Guangdong Stationery & Sporting Goods Corp, are Kitthavee Yasothorn rice mill limited partnership, Kitthavee Yasothorn Rice Company, KMC Inter Rice 2002, Jia Meng Company and their three executives namely Mr Thavee Artsamat, Mr Pakorn Leesirikul and Mrs Prapit Manatunya.

Deputy attorney-general Chutichai Sakhakorn alleged that the seven defendants bought rice from the External Trade Department for export to the Chinese firm but the rice were not actually exported and were sold locally instead.

He said that the OAG had sufficient evidences to prove the seven defendant’ wrongdoings and the damages caused to the state.

He also said that the case against the seven defendants was linked to another case earlier brought by the OAG against former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and 20 associates and many of the witnesses of the two cases are the same group of people. Hence, he asked the court to combine the two cases as one.

Regarding the Chinese firm and six Chinese nationals implicated in the fake rice deal with China, Mr Chutichai said the case was not completed yet. Moreover, there is a problem of notifying them about the charges against them because they are living in China.

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Over 22,000 business enterprises folded up last year

The department chief, Ms Pongphan Chienviriyaphan, said today that it was a normal practice around yearend when many operators registered with the department to fold up their business because they were reluctant to submit their financial budget to the department.

Also, she said that the tightening up of control over lottery trading had prompted many lottery traders to dissolve their businesses. Altogether 3,924 lottery traders folded up their businesses last year, including 831 cases in December alone, compared to 2,498 cases in 2014.

In December, altogether 3,237 companies and partnerships were set up, representing a decrease of three percent compared to the figures a year earlier. For the whole year, about 60,000 new companies were set up compared to 59,400 cases a year earlier.

Mrs Pongphan said that the number of new businesses was in line with global economic slowdown.

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30 private and state agencies join hands to drive grassroot economy

The three projects include One Tambon One SME for agriculture, project encompassing retailing of farm products, community products and tourism and project to drive grassroot economy.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding involving 30 private and state organizations.

He said that implementation of the three projects will mark the start of the drive to push for grassroot economy in a tangible fashion. Private sector, he said, will be persuaded to invest in the building of weirs, reservoirs or processing plants for farm produce with incentives to be provided to the investors.

While Commerce Ministry will try to secure markets for farm products, he said that the private sector would be asked to buy products directly from farmers.

Starting this year, Mr Somkid said Tourism Authority of Thailand will invest in the development of tourist destinations to promote sustainable tourism. He added that community organistions woud play a key role in the drive for the development of grassroot economy.

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UTCC predicts 2% export expansion, first time in four years

UTCC states that Thailand’s export sector will enjoy a growth in a range of between 0.1 – 4.1 in 2016.

This could possibly earns Thailand anywhere between US$214 to 222 billion. A growth of 2%, which amounts to US$ 218 billion, is predicted and this will mean that the country’s exports will expand for the first time in 4 years.

The UTCC predicts that as a result of the sustained economic recovery of the US, there will be a greater dependency on the US market by Thailand’s export sector.

Other markets such as the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) and Indian markets, still remain as priority markets but the slowdown in the Chinese economy could possibly burden export growth.

The UTCC predicts further that exports to China will continue to fall for this year and this represents a sustained drop of 3 years.

Other factors that could slow export growth are the global drop in agricultural prices, the EU yellow-carding the Thai fisheries industry, political confrontation between nations and finally the increase in terrorism activities throughout the world.

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Cabinet now helps fledgling businesses

The approved measures designed to support new businesses or start-ups and promote greater research-and-development in the country.

Accordingly, other criteria that were also approved were greater emphasis on improved marketing, providing greater access to investment funds and promoting greater awareness in energy savings to push start-up businesses to become the driving force in the Thai economy.

The cabinet hoped that these fledgling businesses can then muster the muscle and skills needed to access investment capital both from within the country and from foreign investors on their own.

First in line among the measures being planned is arranging for academics and specialists in their respective to host around 25 seminars every year in the country.

As of the present, US$ 2 million has been set aside by the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Program (GEF) for Start-Ups support and this has been supplemented by a further 4 million baht provided by the Thai government.

On top of this, the cabinet also agreed a move for the state agencies to employ the National Science and Technology Development Agency as special advisors in R&D (Research-and-Development) projects.

This will provide necessary support for Start-Ups to develop innovative and higher value products in the country, the cabinet said.

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Source: thai pbs