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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   12 January 2012

Massive Thai investment in water management

BANGKOK, Jan 10, 2012 - The Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved four urgent decrees on the acquisition of funds for massive investment in the country’s water management projects  to restore confidence among the public after the country has been severely hit by its worst flooding in decades.

Council of State Secretary-General Atchaporn Charuchinda announced the cabinet meeting action to a news briefing after the cabinet last week agreed in principle but assigned concerned agencies to thrash out and revised details of the four financial decrees.

Mr Atchaporn said the four decrees included management of Bt1.14 trillion debt to be transferred to the Financial Institutions Development Fund (FIDF) supervised by the Bank of Thailand (BoT), authorisation for the central bank to grant Bt300 billion in soft loans to flood-hit business operators, permission for the finance ministry to seek loan for setting up Bt350 billion national rehabilitation fund and foundation of Bt50 billion insurance fund.

The decrees were earlier proposed to the cabinet by the Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development (SCRF) and the Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM) for urgent rehabilitation of areas of the country devastated by last year's flooding, restore confidence among Thai people and prevent any future flooding which may reoccur this year.

With the three measures needed to be carried out simultaneously and urgently from January, Mr Atchaporn said the cabinet approved the four decrees so that implementation could proceed immediately.

The BoT must discuss with financial institutions the repayment of the FIDF debt, while a loan to invest in the overall water management system will be sought immediately, from earlier plans to be done in one to five years, the Council of State secretary-general said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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