Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Flood recovery plans take form

Bangkok Post

The cabinet on Tuesday agreed in principle to post-flood rehabilitation measures proposed by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and set up a new centre to guide the reconstruction of the flooded the industrial estates.
Capt Anudith Nakhonthap
Information and Communications Technology Minister Anudith Nakhonthap said the NESDB proposed broad measures without going into detail on how much money would be needed for their implementation.

The various ministries would work out their implementation plans and required timeframes.

The government attached importance to all sectors - whether agriculture, industry or fields of occupation -  affected by the flooding.

The minister said the question of whether the government's first-car and first-house buyers assistance schemes aimed to spur the economy would continue would have to be taken for consideration.

Industry Minister Wannarat Channukul said his ministry has been assigned by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to set up a subcommittee for the restoration of the seven industrial estates ravaged by flooding in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani provinces.

Mr Wannarat said a meeting would be held this afternoon to discuss the matter at the Ayutthaya city hall.

The meeting would also be attended by Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong, the governor of Ayutthaya, and the managements of the seven industrial estates.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Industry Minister Wannarat Charnnukul board a helicopter to inspect flood areas in Ayutthaya province on Oct 7, 2011. (File Photo)
Mr Wannarat said in the initial stage an additional 350 water pumps would be installed at the industrial estates to pump out the water.  Reconstruction was expected to begin in 45 days.

"We will first pump the water out, because the machinery at some factories can be repaired and put back in operation.

"For factories which need to buy replacements, import taxes will be reduced. In the event foreign experts must be brought in, we will facilitate the process of acquiring an entry visa," he said.

The minister believed eight threatened industrial estates in the east, including Bang Chan, Bang Pu, and Lat Krabang, would be safe from flooding.

He said the prime minister had signed in approval of adjustments to tax privileges to promote investment at the affected industrial estates.

The measure was expected to be tabled for the Board of Investment to consider this week, he said.

The Commerce Ministry said the general consumer price index (CPI) for October rose 4.19 per cent on the same month last year to 113.07.

The CPI was up 0.19 per cent from the previous month, increasing the ten months average CPI (Jan to Oct, 2011) by 3.79 per cent from the same period last year, according to the ministry.

The core CPI, excluding food and energy, for the month stood at 106.83, up 2.89 per cent from last October and an increase of 0.07 per cent on September, said the ministry.

The ministry projected inflation for this year at 3.8 per cent, higher than the previous projection of 3.7 per cent due to rising prices of consumer goods caused by the widespread flooding.
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