The Nation



NBTC to approve Bt170m budget for superboard

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) board is expected to approve Bt170 million for its so-called "superboard" in January, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit said.

The budget for the superboard comes from NBTC's 2014 budget of Bt5.4 billion.

The Senate appointed a five-member superboard in April to evaluate NBTC's performance as per the 2010 Frequency Allocation Law.

Superboard member Prasert Apipunya said next year it would be setting aside Bt110 million for operation plans and another Bt50 million to hire advisers to monitor NBTC's performance in television and radio broadcasting, telecommunications and consumer protection. The superboard will also hold public hearings on each of these issues before issuing reports on the agency's performance.

Prasert said the board would go into full steam next year, adding that this year it was only granted a Bt70-million budget two months ago. He said that about Bt30 million was still left from the budget, which will be returned to the NBTC.

The superboard will submit this year's report on NBTC's performance to the Senate in March.

The power of the superboard lies in Article 22 of the Frequency Allocation Law. While it has no authority to dissolve the 11-member NBTC directly, its evaluation report can be used by the Senate if it wants to remove the NBTC. Article 22 states that a vote by at least two-thirds of the senators is needed to dissolve the NBTC. When considering NBTC's dissolution, the Senate is obliged to consider the evaluation reports of this committee.

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