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Economy March 21, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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PWO executive suspended in rice graft scandal

A vice president of the Public Warehouse Organisation has been suspended after being linked to alleged corruption under the rice-pack project.
Meanwhile 12 officials of the organisation in various provinces were put on job rotation, in a bid to prevent being tempted into fraudulent activities after working in one warehouse for too long, PWO president Chanudpakorn Vongseenin said.
He said the investigation into the alleged graft should be concluded by the end of this month.
Global Power secures loans
Global Power Synergy Co has obtained project loans totalling Bt8.6 billion from five banks to expand its investment domestically and overseas, especially in power plants.
Company chairman Surong Bulakul, who is also PTT’s chief financial officer, said the company would increase its power-plant capacity to 6,000 megawatts by 2022, responding to estimates that the country’s demand for electricity will grow by an average of 4 per cent a year.
PTT may delay bond issue
PTT may delay a debenture issue worth Bt20 billion planned for this year over fears that the country’s political turmoil will not be solved for a while yet.
Chief financial officer Surong Bulakul said the company had cash on hand worth Bt70 billion, which was enough for its business expansion, and would also delay applying for listing of its subsidiary Global Power Synergy Co on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.  “We will wait for the country’s political problem to end,” he said.
Home-to-home calls ‘unaffected’ 
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has affirmed that the planned imposition of new network interconnection charges will not affect the call rate between users of home telephone networks, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit said.
He added that the draft of the new rates approved by the NBTC board on Wednesday would apply only to calls between mobile-phone networks, from mobile networks to fixed-line networks, and vice versa. Therefore, the draft will not affect the current call rate between fixed-line home phones, which will be maintained at the present flat rate of Bt3 per call. The NBTC is scheduled to hold a public hearing on this draft on April 10 and the rates are expected to be effective in July.
Asia Green keen on power plants 
Asia Green Energy, a coal importer and distributor, will try to boost coal sales by 50 per cent while also putting a greater focus on power plants, especially biomass-fired plants. It plans to open two or three a year. 
The drop in coal prices should prompt securities houses to cut profit forecasts, managing director Panom Kuansataporn said.
Asia Green expects to sell 4 million tonnes of coal this year, half to the domestic market and half to China and India.