Connect with us


Phuket Gazette Thailand News: PM orders flood action; Govt mulls ISA add-on; First-car scheme costs Bt30bn payout



– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Prime minister orders immediate action in flood-affected provinces
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: A priority list of flood-relief provisions was issued yesterday by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to immediately tackle the problems faced by flood-affected residents, via a network of local administrative bodies under Interior Ministry supervision.

The eight provisions, implemented on the direct orders of the prime minister, are divided into immediate and post-flood action, including the prevention of flooding in key areas not yet inundated. Other areas to be dealt with include the repairing of roads and damaged public property, the inspection of flood-caused damage, security for people in flood shelters, post-flood medical treatment, and the prevention of water-borne diseases.

Yingluck, who as defence minister is head of the Defence Relief Operations Centre, has also signed an order to activate a large number of military-owned water pumps and other pieces of flood-prevention equipment to be used in flood drainage operations in Chachoengsao, now heavily submerged.

The pumps are also being used in eastern and western Bangkok to drain away shallow floodwater.

After two days of heavy rain brought by Storm Nari, Chachoengsao is now severely flooded. Residents living along the swelling Bang Pakong River have either been evacuated or moved to the second floors of their properties. The situation could worsen during the peak high tides on November 6-8, as the province is near the Bang Pakong Estuary.

The national flood update said yesterday that a total of 22 provinces have now been flooded, covering 4,109 villagers in 93 districts. Meanwhile floodwater in another 24 provinces is dissipating.

The flood-caused casualties reached 61 yesterday with a total of 674,952 people in more than 236,757 households affected by the national disaster. Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said water gates run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, especially those located in the suburbs, would remain closed for the time being to curtail flooding in the capital.

However, they would later be opened to help ease flooding in neighbouring provinces, including Chachoengsao, he said.

Kabin Buri district in Prachin Buri – the first province to suffer from this year’s floods on September 17 – is still heavily inundated, with average floodwater levels recorded at 1 metre. Three other districts have also recorded average floodwater levels at 80 centimetres.

Meanwhile, the Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya has swelled another 5cm, but has not yet reached a critical level.

Seven of Ayutthaya’s 16 districts have been declared disaster zones, entitling them to a portion of the Bt40-million emergency-relief budget.

Bt30 billion refunded under first-car scheme
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: About Bt30 billion was refunded to 500,000 people who bought cars under the government’s first-car scheme, while the fourth quarter of this year is expected to see Thailand’s car production hit 600,000 units with the prospect of production during the year exceeding 2.55 million units, according to the Excise Department.

Somchai Poolsavadi, director-general of the department, said that the rebate continued as expected with a total budget of Bt40 billion for fiscal year 2014.

The Comptroller-General’s Department has made total refund of about Bt30 billion to 500,000 buyers under the first-car scheme.

Some first-car buyers have experienced delay in receiving their rebates due to the information-checking process, he conceded.

“Usually, a buyer will receive the rebate one month after a year of ownership. However, buyers in some areas have seen some delays due to the manual inspection process,” he said.

Presently, cases are being filed against two buyers who did not meet the conditions of the first-car scheme.

The number of those who have not received their cars yet dropped to 104,000 from 130,000 earlier.

“Some of these pre-orders may have been dropped given the large number of new models and attractive campaigns,” Somchai said.

Surapong Paisitpatnapong, spokeman for the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)’s Automotive Industry Club, said that about 130,000 pre-orders under the first-car policy were with car dealers. The Excise Department and car dealers have asked customers through short message services and direct contact whether or not they would exercise their rights.

“Some customers have not received the cars under the first-car scheme as now car camps are offering campaigns for cars, especially pickups, with more benefits. Recently, dealers said that some models in stock have started to ease with the exception of small-sized cars,” Surapong said.

Pre-orders continue to rise, but financing has become more stringent. About 20-30 per cent of total pre-orders failed to pass credit approval.

As discussed with car camps, he said the Thai car market could see a normal situation after ending the first-car policy. Total car sales are estimated at 80,000-120,000 units per month.

In fiscal 2013, the Excise Department’s actual revenue reached Bt430 billion, exceeding its target of Bt410 billion, Somchai said. The revenue target is estimated at Bt463 billion in fiscal 2014.

Based on this year’s estimated 4-per-cent economic growth, the Excise Department’s revenue may reach its target, mainly due to domestic consumption. The main excise items include cars, liquor, beer and tobacco,” he said.

The recent increase in tax levied on liquor could boost an annual increase of Bt10 billion to Bt15 billion in tax collection. In the past one to two months, consumption has not yet risen as there was an adjustment period for operators. However, the Excise Department will assess the result later this year, which is the high season for tourism.

Peace a priority whichever way Preah Vihear ruling goes: PM
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday pledged to cooperate with Cambodia to keep the peace along the Thailand-Cambodia border whatever the ruling handed down by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the upcoming Preah Vihear territorial-dispute case.

“The two countries will try to cooperate to keep peace along the border,” Yingluck said.

The ICJ is scheduled to deliver its ruling on November 11, after Cambodia asked the court in April 2011 to interpret its 1962 judgement to clarify which areas around the temple came under Cambodian sovereignty. Yingluck said both Thailand and Cambodia wanted to see the area remain peaceful.

General Nipat Thonglek, permanent secretary for the Defence Ministry, said Yingluck, in her capacity as the defence minister, would not be expected to travel to The Hague to hear the ruling.

Nipat said Yingluck would chair a meeting of the concerned government agencies on Monday to discuss how to maintain law and order along the border on the day of the ICJ’s ruling.

An Army source said Intelligence from the Second Army Region showed that Cambodian troops withdrawn from Preah Vihear early this year had returned to the area around the ancient temple three days ago.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Visa6 hours ago

CCSA to consider extending Thailand tourist visa to 45 days

Bangkok6 hours ago

Man caught taking drugs inside a Bangkok police booth didn’t give a crap

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thailand no longer considers Covid “dangerous infectious disease” 

Sponsored15 hours ago

Enjoy a splashing time and immerse yourself in Thai Mythology in Andamanda Phuket

Crime7 hours ago

Wife says boss of Mountain B in Pattaya is ‘not a villain’

Crime7 hours ago

Policeman poses as Buddhist monk to trick drug dealers in central Thailand

Travel7 hours ago

Stress-free travel with AXA Travel Insurance

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Guides8 hours ago

Mother’s Day in Thailand 2022: 5 fun ways to pamper your mom

Thailand8 hours ago

Thai minister insists minimum wage increase is not electioneering

Bangkok9 hours ago

Swedish Embassy hailed for giving 6-month parental leave to Thai staff

Travel10 hours ago

Everything you need to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)

Environment10 hours ago

PM warns Thailand to brace itself for potential flooding

Travel10 hours ago

Watch Koh Samui’s magical sunset from these sunset bars

Thailand10 hours ago

Local hero predicts building collapse, saves countless lives in eastern Thailand

Phuket10 hours ago

9 year old boy kills a 7 year old girl with a police pistol in Phuket

Press Room11 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s sauciest tech event, Techsauce Global Summit to return to Bangkok in physical form

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11