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Prayuth vows 2015 budget won’t burden country, will boost economy

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

NCPO aims to avoid budget debt
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha told the National Legislative Assembly yesterday the proposed budget would not leave problems or debt for the country in the long run – as he would only be in power for one year.

“I don’t want to create a burden. There is no debt. Only one year [in power], I will do what should be done. We will find the problems and solutions with a clear roadmap,” he told the military-dominated NLA.

“Don’t say the NCPO can do everything. I’m not an angel. You have to help me. If I say [something], I have to take responsibility. First of all we must develop the human resources to move the country forward.”

Prayuth, chairman of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), proposed the new budget bill yesterday for approval by the Assembly. The fiscal 2015 budget of Bt2.575 trillion will adhere to the principles of economic sufficiency.

The legislative assembly voted 183 in favour of supporting the bill on the first reading while three abstained. More than half of the 197 members of the Parliament are security officials.

“Nobody had any problems. Nobody disagreed,” Prayuth said.

The Army chief expects the economy to recover in the latter half of this year on the back of a clearer political situation and effective budget measures. The budget was set to be in deficit, adhering to the principles of economic sufficiency, he said.

The Budget bill for fiscal 2015, which has input from all ministries with departmental plans and projects, conformed to the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2012-2016) and spending had to follow fiscal and monetary disciplines, he said.

“The construction costs should lower [by] 10-30 per cent without kickbacks,” he said. “The national strategy needed to focus on both agriculture and manufacturing. Quarterly reports of budget spending should be done,” Prayuth said.

Of the total budget, Bt2.53 trillion would be used as expenditure for state enterprises and other state agencies, and about Bt41.97 billion will be repaid for Treasury balance.

Prayuth was optimistic about a Thai economic recovery from now on, expecting GDP growth next year to range between 3.5-4.5 per cent driven by global economic recovery, improvement in global trade and Thai export expansion following estimated growth this year of 1.5-2 per cent. Meanwhile, inflation next year is projected at 1.8-2.8 per cent.

He said that the country’s current account is expected to be in surplus after exports improve and tourism recovers. Net revenue collection is estimated at Bt2.43 trillion, up 2.1 per cent year-on-year, for the 2015 fiscal year.

After tax allocation of Bt109 billion to local administrative organisations, net revenue for government expenditure is expected at Bt2.325 trillion or 17.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). The fiscal year’s budget for expenditure is set at Bt2.575 trillion.

Now, the treasury balance totals Bt333.43 billion.

Prayuth said this year’s budget extended from the celebration of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s fifth cycle birthday anniversary and saw solutions to and improvement of the southernmost provinces, implementation under the Asean Economic Community (AEC), prevention and suppression of corruption, and human resource development.

National budget expenditures would fully cover all financial sources, including budget, off-budget and borrowings. Reviews will be made for necessities in projects and operations. The budget for investment was set at Bt450.16 billion, which would be made for land and construction from the central area to all regions.

Some 19.5 per cent of this year’s budget will be set aside for the Ministry of Education, the highest allocation.

Strategic budget allocation extends from Bt955.92 billion for education, health care, virtue and merits, quality of life, Bt222.76 billion for state security, Bt186.24 billion for the increase of confidence and acceleration of the nation’s foundation, Bt169.11 billion for economic growth with sustainability, Bt135.12 billion for national resource allocation and environment.

Some Bt24.74 billion is set aside for scientific, technological development, research and innovation, Bt9.59 billion for foreign and international affairs, Bt354.48 billion for the nation’s good administration and Bt517.02 billion for state operations.

The extraordinary committee, consisting of 50 members, will prepare its interpretation within seven days and its report must be final by September 11. The agenda will be forwarded to the NLA meeting during September 17-18.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Crime

Woman talks about the life of a Thai “pretty” after model’s death

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman talks about the life of a Thai “pretty” after model’s death | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Instagram/ wawa_manika

Following the news of a model who died after working as a hostess at a Bangkok party, Thai media spoke with a woman, known in Thailand as a “pretty,” about what it’s like to work in the lucrative, yet shady Thai model entertainment industry where many work as hostesses at parties and events that often involve alcohol, drugs and sex work.

“Miss Cake” told the Thai news outlet Daily News that pretties are sent to parties by “modelling agencies.” The parties are even categorized depending on if drugs or sex are involved. Apparently the parties are either “En-Up,” “En-V” or just “En” for entertainment. En-Up means drugs are involved, while En-V means the pretties will offer sexual services. Other pretties work at promotional events like auto shows. Since nightclubs and other entertainment venues in Bangkok have been closed due to the pandemic, many of the parties are now held at private homes.

If a pretty is working at an En-Up party, Miss Cake says that means there will be ecstasy, known as “khanom,” the Thai word for a dessert or snack. She says good “khanom” shipped from overseas costs around 900 to 1,000 baht while the poor quality, Thai-made drugs cost 500 baht. Just about every pretty takes drugs, she says. If mixed with ketamine, Miss Cake says it can be dangerous.

Daily News spoke with Miss Cake following the death of a 33 year old Witchayaporn “Wawa” Wisetsombat who worked died in a hospital after working as a hostess at a party in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. She had been hired by a modelling agency to serve drinks at a private party. Her younger sister told the Bangkok Post that Wawa was a product presenter and never sold sex or used narcotics. Doctors told the Post Wawa died from respiratory and blood system failure. They are still waiting for the results for a toxicology test.

The death of another model back in 2019 shed light on the abuse and danger many pretties face in the industry. 25 year old Thitima “Lunlabelle” Noraphanpiphat died from “extreme alcohol intoxication,” according to an autopsy report. Her dead body was found in the lobby of a Bangkok condominium. 6 people were found guilty for involvement in Lunlabelle’s death.

Abuse is common in the industry and many women working as pretties are often pressured into drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. The work of pretties is looked down upon in Thai society. Due to the stigma, many due not file complaints when they are abused.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Thailand

PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is postponing his inaugural Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment. According to Khaosod English, the vaccine shipment was sent to Thailand last Wednesday from South Korea, but was missing the additional required paperwork.

Prayut was supposed to receive the vaccine tomorrow, but the highly‐publicised event will not be happening. According to Khaosod English, an official at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister has also confirmed the news of the postponement without citing a reason.

Although the Sinovac vaccine is also being administered in Thailand, healthcare officials say Prayut is too old to receive it as its age limit is 60. Prayut is 66 years old, which is well over the oldest age that can receive the vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine drive is set to commence on Monday, 2 weeks behind schedule. Those frontline health workers, hospitality workers and vulnerable groups will receive the vaccines first.

Meanwhile, Phuket is waiting for the green lightto start administering vaccines and has already held a vaccine administration rehearsal overseen by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

The government pandemic center reported 72 new confirmed infections on Friday, after first only reporting 45 new cases. 37 of those cases were locally-transmitted, and one 6 year old Thai girl returning from the UK was found to have tested positive for the virus. Samut Sakhon, again, reported over half of the new cases yesterday, as it remains the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

The total virus tally in Thailand sits at 25,764, with 83 fatalities. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not yet announced the amount of new cases for today.

There is no word yet on when PM Prayut will be rescheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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