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Electricity discount has been switched off

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Khaosod English

Yesterday the Ministry of Energy announced that the national electricity discount from March to May, which differed based on the amount of electricity used and size and type of the venue, has ended and will not be renewed. But, at best, the discount was merely a perfunctory political gesture, not a useful saving for most Thai residences. The discount was 3% for most residents.

The discount was enacted to ease the financial burden of households and businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis. About 22 million homes are expected to be affected. The statement, from the energy minister himself, said the discount was not extended as the situation has stabilised and many people are able to return to work, and the country has been reporting daily virus cases in the single digits for weeks.

But Thailand has still not allowed all businesses to open and millions, based on government estimates, remain out of work, especially in the tourism, hospitality sectors, including bars, nightlife, sports and entertainment venues, due to forced closures and a ban on international arrivals. Moreover, schools are still closed, leaving millions of students stuck at home for extended periods.

The Energy Ministry also noted on their website that the hottest time of the year has passed, and gave tips for those still out of work or working from home on how to save money on electric bills.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ken jones

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Gee Whiz big spenders. Take away peoples work and give a 3% discount. HMM politicial you bet ! They are not elected. They need to provide party favors.

  2. Avatar

    Phil

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Genius! Half of businesses at <50% capacity, many more closed beyond rescue, and this is they best idea right now? Should be putting money IN to support business, not taking more OUT with utility bills!

  3. Avatar

    Semper Figuy

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    I think we need to get further clarification on this. There are actually two different discount programs in effect and both of them were initially from Mar-May but were later changed to April through June. One was the 3% and the other was a discount that would bring the bills down to the February reading for most people. This news article from the Thaiger.com talks only of the 3% discount, so the other must still be in effect unless we can get some confirmation otherwise directly from PEA. The first attachment below is the notice of the 3% and the second is the larger discount. (Sorry, don’t see that I can add attachments)

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Business

No government bailout for Thai Airways

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Christian Junker

A final meeting for a vote on the Thai Airways debt restructure program is set for this Wednesday after being postponed last week.

Meanwhile, a source close to those managing Thai Airways’ debt rehab plan, says the state is not obliged to provide a bailout for the national carrier. The Bangkok Post reports that Chansin Treenuchagron, acting president for Thai Airways, says no such commitment has been made and the government is not obliged to take on the role of loan guarantor for the airline.

It’s understood that last week, representatives from the Finance Ministry attended an online meeting between the airline’s debt rehab planners and its creditors. However, Chansin says the ministry’s presence at the meeting is not an indication that the state will provide a bailout.

According to the Bangkok Post report, a number of creditors are concerned about the carrier’s ability to secure a loan without assistance from the Finance Ministry, but Chansin insists that, should the rehab plan be judged financially viable, loan procurement will not be an issue, even with the airline’s huge debts.

A vote on the plan was delayed last week after more than 15 creditors asked for amendments to be made. It’s understood a number of creditors, including the Finance Ministry, are against the proposal of a no debt cut outlined in the plan. Thai Airways is understood to be trying to defer bond repayments.

The vote is now scheduled to take place on Wednesday, when the airline’s creditors will decide whether or not to accept the plan. The carrier needs more than 50% of its creditors to vote in favour of accepting, at which point, it will be submitted to the Central Bankruptcy Court for consideration. In the event of insufficient votes in favour of the plan, the national airline will be declared bankrupt.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Business

Thailand’s airlines call for meeting with PM to discuss soft loans

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Ferry Octavian

The Thai Airlines Association says 7 member airlines are pushing for a meeting with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to discuss the option of soft loans. The carriers have been seeking this financial aid for some time and have even decreased the amount being asked for, from 24 billion baht last year to 14 billion now.

The Bangkok Post reports that representatives from Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai Smile Airways, Thai Lion Air, and Thai Vietjet Air want to meet the PM to discuss what progress, if any, has been made on the matter. Wutthipong Prasartthong-osod from the TAA says the loans would give the carriers the support they desperately need at this time, with the association also putting the request in writing.

The airlines previously met with the PM last August to discuss the proposal, with the TAA pointing out the situation has worsened considerably since then. The ongoing third wave of Covid-19 has led to a reduction in flights, which has had a significant impact on revenue.

In addition, carriers are struggling to meet the ongoing costs of operating flights and paying workers. The association says the provision of soft loans would cushion the impact and help domestic tourism. It is also calling on the government to vaccinate airline staff, given that they are frontline workers in the tourism sector.

The Bangkok Post reports that in February, the Finance Minister, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, was hesitant in his response to the call for soft loans, with the Export-Import Bank of Thailand asked to come up with some form of financial assistance for the airlines. According to Arkhom, providing soft loans or bringing such lending under the Public Service Account would mean his ministry having to take responsibility for the difference between market interest and soft loan interest.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

Thai Airways debt restructuring vote pushed back to next week

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Wikimedia

The vote on Thai Airways International’s debt restructuring plan has been postponed and rescheduled for next week. The national airline needs the plan to be approved by more than 50% of creditors to move forward with the bankruptcy proceedings.

The airline’s total liabilities stack up more than 300 billion baht. With flight suspensions over the past year brought on by travel restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Thai Airways lost 141 billion baht last year.

Thai Airways has proposed a 3-year freeze on the loan repayments as well as a 6-year delay on bond repayments. The airline is also pushing to have unpaid interest on loans waived.

Debtholders discussed the plan during a video conference today and decided to delay the vote, a legal advisor to Thai Airways told reporters. Back in March, Thailand’s Finance Minister, which is the airline’s largest shareholder, had implied that they back the debt restructuring plan. An attorney representing the creditors had also said many favoured the proposed restructuring.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

 

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