A specially empanelled committee working on flood relief and rehabilitation recommended allocating an estimated Bt10 billion (about US$30.3 million) for distribution to affected residents and the industrial sector, according to Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol.
After it met Monday, Mr Payungsak said the committee advised compensating each flood-impacted family with Bt5,000 for a total of two million households, amounting to Bt10 billion overall.
The committee, including representatives from both government agencies and the private sector, will propose the compensation plan to the Cabinet for consideration tomorrow, expecting that the funds will be paid to flood-stricken residents during the next two weeks.
The industrial sector’s rehabilitation plan is to provide temporary manufacturing plants, to drain water from flooded industrial estates, to restore overall environmental quality and safety and to examine chemical contamination in the affected area.
The FTI chairman projected that some affected industrial estates will be ready for rehabilitation and normal operation by the end of November to early December.
The industries which were hard hit by the floodwaters included automobile and auto spare parts, electrical appliance, electronics and plastic industries.
Regarding the flood situation at Bangchan Industrial Estate, Industry Minister Wannarat Channukul said although the floodwaters have risen gradually, concerned officials are speeding up draining it into the sea via Khlong Bangchan to Khlong Saensaeb and Khlong Phrakanong to the Chao Phraya River through a large tunnel.
Mr Wannarat said he hoped the operation would reduce the volume of floodwater in the area.
Regarding Lad Krabang Industrial Estate, Mr Wannarat said floodwater is now 15cm above the flood prevention dykes, but workers are pumping the water into Lamkorpai and Khlong Lamplatiew in the East, as well as through Khlong Buengbua, Khlong Putsa and the sea.
The minister said 900,000 cubic metres of water have been drained into the sea each day and more volume of drained water is expected.
Today at 13.00 hours, at the Inner Santi Maitri Building, Government House, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra delivered remarks to the Thai and foreign press regarding the rehabilitation measures. The Prime Minister spoke on the Strategic Measures for the Country’s Rehabilitation, summary is as follows. In attendance were Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittirat na Ranong, Minister of Justice and FROC Director Pol. Gen. Pracha Prommnog, and Dr. Veerapong Ramangkul.
The current flood situation has seriously and extensively affected the livelihood of the people, and the government has been quick to respond by integrating all government agencies and establishing the Flood Relief Operation Center (FROC), which has provided assistance to all those affected. In some parts of the country the situation has begun to ease, floods have been diverted or naturally flowed out to the open sea. The Government will continue to effectively and promptly rehabilitate the flooded area and provide remedies for those affected. Thailand will also have to be ready to build confidence, regain trust, and restore the country’s prosperity and stability in a long-term, in a manner that is sustainable and systematic.
The Government’s strategy for the country’s rehabilitation can be separated into three parallel phases, namely, the 3 Rs, rescue, restore and rebuild.
In the immediate phase, the FROC was established to address the immediate needs of the people and the flood management, as well as foreign assistance.
In the short term phase, or one year ahead, there will be provision of remedies, financial assistance, loans and various privileges. A committee dedicated to these provisions was also set up under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister Yongyoot Wichaidit.
In the long term phase, work will continue to build confidence and restore the country’s prosperity and stability. For this phase, two committees have been set to carry forward the effort as soon as the water recedes, namely the Strategic Formulation Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development and the Strategic Formulation Committee for Water Resources Management. The first committee will be chaired by Dr. Veerapong Ramangkul, and the second committee chaired by the Prime Minister, with the Deputy Prime Minister as designate, and advised by Dr. Sumet Tantivejkul.
The most important message is that the Government, through all government agencies and the armed forces and police, has put in the utmost effort in solving the crisis, as a national agenda. The Government has placed the safety and wellbeing of the people as the top priority, and is ready to face the challenges ahead. We will continue to build confidence in the Kingdom, so as to lead the country forward with stability. To this end, we will together build a stronger Thailand.
In addition, Dr. Veerapong Ramangkul, chair of the Strategic Formulation Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development, also delivered remarks. He focused on the building of trust and confidence, particularly of foreign investors, who may be reconsidering their investments in Thailand. Confidence-building entails an enormous effort and focus, and we will be building trust in our economic stability, our efficiency, and that our economic fundamentals remain strong. This also includes the sustainability of our monetary and financial system, and our economic potential and opportunities for new investment. We are also thinking about how this plan would link up with the development needs of our neighboring countries. Our attention is also given to the close communication with the foreign investment community in Thailand, and we will also reach out to potential foreign investors abroad.
The Prime Minister also opened up an opportunity for the Thai and foreign press to ask questions. There were questions on measures prepared to rehabilitate industrial estates, the reaching out to foreign investors, particularly Japan, as well as the compensation for damages to the agricultural industries and labor.