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Govt readies New Year ‘presents’ for citizens

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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Govt readies New Year ‘presents’ for citizens
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The government has many New Year “presents” for the public, Cabinet members said yesterday, including transparency in state operations, bicycle lanes, and no ATM fees among the planned gifts.

From next week onwards, the public will be offered gifts ranging from increased allowance for registered disabled people, more transparent services by state agencies, new bicycle lanes, and no ATM withdrawal fees during the long New Year holiday.

Social Development and Human Security Minister Adul Saengsingkaew said his ministry had prepared about 20 presents.

Adul said they included an improvement to the ministry’s hotline system, increasing the disabled allowance from Bt500 to Bt800, a lower interest rate at pawnshops, and a house-repair project for poor people.

Christmas Day surprise

He plans to hold a press conference on December 25 to reveal all the details.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said his ministry had also prepared many projects that would be given as New Year presents to the people. He said they included more efficient garbage collection and improved transparency and services at local administrative organisations and state agencies under the ministry including the Land Department.

“After December 20, the bike-lane project should be able to start in Bangkok,” Anupong said, adding that the Interior Ministry was working with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to implement the project.

He said his ministry was also working with relevant state agencies to build roads along the Chao Phraya River in the capital. The government has approved the project in principle and the relevant agencies will work out the design, scope of the project, budget and construction.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said her ministry had worked with the Thai Bankers Association so that anyone making a withdrawal from an automated teller machine in a province other than their own between December 31 and January 4 would be exempted from a fee.

The minister dismissed concerns that there would be insufficient banknotes in the ATMs during the long holiday. “There will certainly be enough money to withdraw,” she said.

Kobkarn said the martial law that had been in place since the coup in May had no impact on tourist arrivals, with the number of foreign visitors increasing over the past three months.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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