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Two-months-after-coup report

Improvement on many fronts after two months : NCPO

The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday summarised its performance after two months, saying all tasks undertaken had resulted in positive trends - the political divide showed signs of reconciliation, the economy improved and foreign countries had got a better grasp of developments here.

In regard to security, the junta boosted cooperation and work with all agencies to strengthen national security, as well as explaining to the international community about the need for its work, spokesperson Sirichan Ngathong said.

Representatives of foreign governments had met with military leaders many times to show their understanding and support, she said, and the foreign media began to report about Thailand in a positive way.

The NCPO had dealt with many problems over recent months such as crime, narcotics, smuggling, trafficking, management of migrant workers, plus economic issues, she said.

In regard to economic affairs, major resolutions included easing people's living costs, financial support for rice production, and approving project applications for tax privileges worth some Bt200 billion in total. The junta also agreed to extend the value-added tax (VAT) rate of 7 per cent by one year until September 30, 2015.

Meanwhile, the nationwide rice audit ordered by the junta is drawing to a close this week as scheduled, raising hopes that the state's mounting rice stockpiles can start to be released and the nightmare is end soon.

Since the NCPO initiated the inspection early this month, 18 million tonnes of pledged rice in 1,787 granaries around the country have been checked by troops against records for both quantity and quality.

The headaches of those involved will soon be gone, said ML Panadda Diskul, permanent secretary of the Prime Minister's Office and head of the committee for examining the state's rice inventory.

He said on Facebook that many owners of warehouses storing state rice under the rice-pledging project were tired of the surveys and the problem-plagued scheme, tired of being pushed into the "spotlight" and tired of the doubts of society as to whether they were involved with the project.

"They would like the bad dreams to end. Whatever the outcome will be, they will be a loser one way or the other," he said.

There was also a big problem related to the rice-pledging scheme that many people overlooked - expediting the launch of that populist policy without concern about the reputation of Thai rice.

"So, this matter has turned into a defect in the country's strategy implementation [for rice] until it turned into a fiasco," he wrote.

However, inspections in 14 eastern provinces found few flaws. There were 429.8 tonnes of rice missing or 0.018 per cent of the 2.32 million tonnes in total on the lists, the Second Army Area spokesman said yesterday.


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