Sepo expects more directors of state enterprises to step down

Economy June 17, 2014 00:00

By Suphannee Pootpisut,
Suchat S

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Paving the way for replacements by junta appointees

More state-enterprise directors are expected to step down to create vacancies for appointees of the country’s new ruling junta, according to Prasong Poontaneat, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo).
He said he had been informed about the resignation of Krungthai Bank chairman Voravidh Champeeratana. 
Earlier, four board directors of state enterprises, Airports of Thailand chairman Sita Divari, PTT chairman Panpree Bahiddha-Nukara, Government Lottery Office director-general Pol Maj-General Attagrit Tharechat, and Government Housing Bank director Thanin Angsuwarangsi, tendered their resignations. 
After the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) expressed concern about the generous remuneration and benefits enjoyed by the members of state enterprise boards, Sepo is considering restructuring such policies, and its proposals for a revamp will be forwarded to the junta later, he said. 
Prasong said remuneration for some board members, though appearing to be high, might be proper, as it was determined in regard to their expenses and performance.
Yesterday junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha told the NCPO unit in charge of the economy to seek ways to improve the performance of state agencies and their boards. 
He also told the Sepo to examine performance of all 56 state-enterprise boards, focusing on benefits such as bonuses and meeting fees.
In a related matter, Thai Airways International is expected to hold a board meeting this week to discuss the NCPO’s plan to scale back privileges for current and past board members.
The junta yesterday said it would go further to cut expenses and bonuses given to staff at all state-owned enterprises, including THAI and Airports of Thailand (AOT). The move is aimed at stanching the bleeding at the national carrier, which logged a net loss of Bt2.6 billion last quarter. 
The NCPO said it could save Bt10 billion by slashing overhead.
Each THAI board member enjoys lavish benefits including 20 free air tickets per year and generous monthly and meeting allowances. Retired directors also get lifetime discounts on air tickets.
According to the NPCO, AOT faces harsh criticism for paying annual bonuses of up to 11 months while giving special privileges to its board members. 

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