What's new in business news: June 3, 2014

What's new in business news: June 3, 2014

Govt decides to keep energy & cooking gas subsidies, 40 satellite TV channels allowed to resume broadcasting & NCPO backs transport & water projects.

Protesters oppose the rise in cooking gas prices. Debate over energy price reforms has intensified in recent years as policymakers have called for an easing of subsidies. SEKSAN ROJJANAMETAKUL

ENERGY 

Govt decides to keep energy & cooking gas subsidies 

Politicians are in the habit of keeping energy prices low to make voters happy. They keep the diesel price below 30 baht a litre by cutting the excise tax and they also subsidise the prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and electricity. As a result, the market is distorted and local consumption keeps rising. Thailand, a net energy importer, has seen its energy import bill surge while the Oil Fund shoulders huge losses for the subsidies.

The military junta last Friday announced it had no plans to adjust energy policies initiated by the previous government, and it allowed the cooking gas price to rise by 50 satang a kilogramme on Sunday from 22.63 baht as planned. But by Sunday evening, the decision had been reversed and LPG ordered cut by 50 satang with diesel kept at 30 baht a litre until energy price reforms could occur. The abrupt U-turn by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) surprised some analysts.

Industry experts say price reforms must be the first priority of national energy policies no matter who is in power in order to reflect the real cost of energy and encourage more efficient consumption. For three years, diesel has been kept below 30 baht a litre by collecting only half a satang per litre in excise tax, costing the government revenue of 300 billion baht. Another 200 billion baht was used to subsidise LPG. Motorists using other kinds of petrol were unfairly paying high levies to subsidise LPG and diesel. The amount of lost state revenue would have been enough to construct mass-transit rail lines to reduce Thailand's oil imports. There are calls for government ownership in PTT to be cut to less than 49% from 65% to reduce political intervention.

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BROADCASTING

40 satellite TV channels allowed to resume broadcasting 

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has approved 40 satellite TV channels out of 90 to resume broadcasting, mostly those with entertainment and children content. Most of the cartoon channels such as Cartoon Club, Gang Cartoon, JimJam and Animax are among the 40 while many of the entertainment channels such as M-Channel, GrandPrix, JKN and Boomerang will also show normal programmes. 

The TV stations that resume broadcasting would be allowed to carry six minutes of advertising per hour. The 40 channels approved this time have no complaint records. The NBC will screen another 50 channels which had earlier been accused by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies of false claims or illegal advertisements. It is likely that some political news channels might have to censor themselves or disappear while entertainment channels would be on the rise to return happiness to the public in line with the NCPO's policy. Shortly after the May 22 military coup, all satellite and cable TV channels were banned from airing. The cable TV channels, except some foreign news programmes such as CNN and BBC, were allowed to air a few days later. The NCPO had asked the NBTC to scrutinise the content of the satellite TVs before allowing them to broadcast again for fear of inciting or confusing the public.

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GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT  

NCPO backs transport and water projects

The dual-track railway project will go ahead and the high-speed railway project will be subject to a new cost-benefit study, the junta has decided, as it looks into the past government’s transport and infrastructure spending plans. Other elements of the spending are likely to be reviewed, after National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered state agencies to discuss the best ways to spend budgets secured by the past administration.

On Monday, Gen Prayuth chaired a meeting of his seven deputies and the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to discuss ways to help the economy after months of protests threatened to derail growth. Gen Prayuth has ordered agencies to study which projects under the 2-trillion-baht transport overhaul would most help the public. The projects’ environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and transparency must be taken into account. They also must undergo public hearings before they start. If the NCPO decided to go ahead with the high-speed trains, they would most likely be paid for as a joint investment between the public and private sectors, with funding support from domestic sources.

Gen Prayuth also said some projects under the 350-billion-baht water management scheme should press ahead. He also said the military could help with dredging work to speed up the projects. The NCPO attaches importance to water management in line with the royal initiatives, such as building water catchment areas known as 'monkey cheeks' to hold flood water, and the dredging of canals. In the past, the military took part in many government projects which helped keep costs down and ensured the projects met deadlines.

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Vocabulary

  • abrupt: sudden and unexpected, and often unpleasant - อย่างกะทันหัน
  • accused: to be said to have done something wrong or committed a crime - ถูกกล่าวหา
  • adj (noun): connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร
  • adjust: to change something slightly, especially to make it more correct, effective, or suitable - ปรับ
  • administration: the government of a country - รัฐบาล
  • advertisement (noun): advert; a short piece of video or words with pictures that makes people interesting in buying some product - การโฆษณา
  • advertising: telling the public about a product or a service, political candidate, etc. in order to encourage people to buy, use or support it - การโฆษณา
  • agency (noun): a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ
  • air: to broadcast; to send out a programme on television or radio - ออกอากาศ, กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
  • allow: to let somebody/something do something; to let something happen or be done - อนุญาต, ยอมรับ
  • analyst: a person whose job involves examining facts or materials in order to give an opinion on them - นักวิเคราะห์
  • announce: to tell people something officially, especially about a decision, plans, etc - ประกาศ, แจ้ง, แจ้งให้ทราบ
  • approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต
  • approved: given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว
  • as a result: it causes the following .... -
  • banned: officially not allowed to do something - ถูกห้าม
  • broadcasting (noun): the sending out of a programme on television or radio - กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
  • budget: an amount of money able to be spent on something - งบประมาณ
  • call (noun): a request, an order or a demand for somebody to do something or to go somewhere - ข้อเรียกร้อง
  • canal (noun): a waterway, a long hole in the ground made to send water from one place to another - คลอง
  • censor: to remove the parts of a book, film/movie, etc. that are considered to be offensive, immoral or a political threat - ตัดออกด้วยอำนาจของผู้ตรวจสอบ
  • channel (noun): TV channel - ช่อง, ช่องโทรทัศน์
  • claim (noun): saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
  • complaint: when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การบ่น, ข้อที่ไม่พอใจ
  • confused: unable to understand something or think clearly about it - สับสน
  • confusing: difficult to understand; not clear - น่าสับสน
  • construct: to build or make something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - สร้าง
  • consumption: using, eating or drinking something - การบริโภค
  • content: the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with - เนื้อหา,สาระ
  • coup: the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร
  • deadline: a time or day by which something must be done - เส้นตาย
  • debate: a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject - การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง
  • disappear: to no longer exist; to no longer be in use - หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย
  • distorted (verb): changed something such as information, colour, etc. so that it is no longer true or accurate - บิดเบือน
  • domestic: inside the country being talked about - ภายในประเทศ
  • dredge: to remove unwanted things from the bottom of a river, canal, lake, etc. using a sucking or other device - ขุดลอก
  • dual: having two parts or aspects - ประกอบด้วยสองส่วน, เป็นคู่
  • ease (verb): decrease, fall - ลดลง
  • efficient: effective and well organised (the opposite is inefficient) - มีประสิทธิภาพ
  • element: an important basic part of something - องค์ประกอบ, ส่วนประกอบ
  • encourage: to cause someone to be more likely to happy - กระตุ้น
  • ensure: to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
  • entertainment: fun; behaviour or activities that are not serious but come from a sense of enjoyment - ความบันเทิง, ความสนุกสนาน
  • environmental impact assessment: an evaluation/research project into the possible positive or negative effects that a proposed project may have on the environment - การประเมินผลกระทบสิ่งแวดล้อม
  • excise tax: a tax made by a government on some types of goods made, used sold within their own country - ภาษีสรรพสามิต, ภาษีสำหรับสินค้าในประเทศ
  • expert: someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
  • false: not true -
  • fund: money provided for something - เงินทุน กองทุน
  • funding: money given for a particular purpose - การให้เงินสนับสนุน
  • go ahead with: decide to do something that you planned to do -
  • habit: a thing that you do often and almost without thinking, especially something that is hard to stop doing - กิจวัตร, สิ่งที่เป็นนิสัย, สิ่งที่ทำเป็นประจำ
  • huge: very large - ใหญ่โต
  • illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
  • import: to buy or bring in products from another country - นำเข้า
  • in line with: similar to or corresponding with another thing - สอดคล้องกับ
  • in power: the people or political party that controls a government -
  • incite: to encourage people to be violent or commit crimes by making them angry or excited - ยั่วยุ ยุยงให้เกิดความรุนแรง
  • infrastructure: a set of systems within a place or organisation that affect how well it operates, e.g., the telephone and transport systems in a country or the system of train tracks that a railway uses - สาธารณูปโภค
  • initiate: to start something or make it start - ริเริ่ม
  • initiative: a new action or movement, often intended to solve a problem - ความคิดริเริ่ม
  • intensification (noun): causing to increase in degree or strength - การทำให้แรงขึ้น,การทำให้หนาแน่นขึ้น
  • intervention: a situation in which someone becomes involved in a particular issue, problem, etc., in order to influence what happens - การแทรกแซง
  • investment (noun): the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน
  • joint: belonging to or shared between two or more people - ร่วม, ที่ร่วมกัน
  • junta: a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected - รัฐบาลทหาร
  • local: in the country being discussed -
  • mass transit: the system of moving large numbers of people around in a city, including buses, trains, subways, etc. - การขนส่งมวลชน
  • monkey cheeks: areas, often rice fields, that are set aside to hold water during floods - แก้มลิง
  • motorist (noun): a person driving a car or other motor vehicle - คนขับรถยนต์, ผู้ขับรถ
  • net energy importer: imports more than it exports -
  • no matter (who, what, etc.): always true, whatever the situation is - ไม่ว่าในกรณีใด, มิไย
  • occur: to happen - เกิดขึ้น
  • oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
  • order (verb): to use your position of authority to tell somebody to do something or say that something must happen - สั่ง
  • overhaul: to improve something so that every part of it works properly - ปรับปรุงใหม่
  • ownership (noun): the condition or state of owning things, having things that you "own", that belong to you, that you are the "owner" of - สิทธิการครอบครอง, ความเป็นเจ้าของ
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • politician: a person whose job is concerned with politics, especially as an elected member of parliament, etc. - นักการเมือง
  • press ahead: to continue as planned despite difficulties - ดำเนินการ
  • previous: happening or existing before the event or object that you are talking about - แต่ก่อน, เมื่อก่อน
  • priority: something important that must be done first or which needs more attention than something else - การมาก่อน
  • private sector: businesses and industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - ภาคเอกชน
  • programming: the TV shows and programs shown on a TV channel -
  • project: a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ
  • protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
  • public: the public; all people; the people in general - มหาชน, ประชาชน
  • public (adj): belonging to the government -
  • public (noun): people - ผู้คน
  • public hearing: an official meeting at which the facts about a situation, etc. are discussed with members of the public taking part - ประชาพิจารณ์
  • rail line: a track with rails on which trains run; a system of tracks, together with the trains that run on them - เส้นทางของรถไฟ, ระบบทางรถไฟ, รางรถไฟ
  • railway: the whole transportation system of trains connecting stations along rail tracks - รางรถไฟ, ระบบทางรถไฟ
  • record (verb): to make a written account of something that is kept so that it can be looked at and used in the future - บันทึก, รายงาน
  • reflect: to show - สะท้อน แสดงถึง
  • reform: a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป
  • resume: to begin again after stopping for a period of time - เริ่มอีกครั้ง, กลับมาอีกครั้ง
  • revenue: income from taxes or business activities - รายได้
  • reverse (verb): to change and stop going in one direction and go in the other - เปลี่ยนแปลง
  • review: the process of studying or examining a situation, policy, or idea again in order to decide whether it is suitable or satisfactory - การทบทวน
  • satellite: an electronic device that is sent into space and moves around the earth or another planet. It is used for communicating by radio, television, etc. and for providing information - ดาวเทียม
  • scheme: a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ
  • screen: to find out information about people to see if they are suitable for something, at risk of something, etc. - คัดเลือก, แยกออก, เลือกออก
  • scrutinise: to look at or examine somebody/something carefully - พินิจพิเคราะห์, พิจารณา, ตรวจสอบ
  • secure (verb): to get or achieve something - ได้มา, ทำให้ได้ผล, ได้รับ
  • shoulder: to deal with or accept something difficult - แบกรับภาระ หรือสถานการณ์
  • source: the place/person/organisation from which you get something - แหล่ง
  • state agency: a government department or body - หน่วยงานของรัฐ
  • subject to: to require something to be done; to make somebody/something experience, suffer or be affected by something, usually something unpleasant - ต้องมีการ..., ทำให้ได้รับ
  • subsidise: to pay part of the costs of something - ให้ความช่วยเหลือด้านการเงิน
  • subsidy: an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a product or service - เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้
  • surge: a sudden increase in something - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
  • tracks (noun): the two long metal strips that a train travels along - รางรถไฟ
  • transparency: an honest way of doing things that allows other people to know exactly what you are doing - ความโปร่งใส
  • transport: moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง
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