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Industry urges drought measures

BANGKOK: The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) plans to ask Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to brace for drought and possible water shortages that will affect businesses, causing them to increase the prices of goods again.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 4 May 2023, 03:36PM

The dried up Yom River in Phichit province in March 2022. Drought remains a chronic problem in the country and climate change is expected to worsen the situation. Photo: Bangkok Post

The dried up Yom River in Phichit province in March 2022. Drought remains a chronic problem in the country and climate change is expected to worsen the situation. Photo: Bangkok Post

The Russia-Ukraine war, which led to a surge in global oil prices, caused some entrepreneurs to adjust their prices last year as they were unable to bear higher energy fees without passing along the cost, reports the Bangkok Post.

When the government increased electricity bills as the fuels to produce power became more pricey, many businesses raised product prices again to relieve the financial burden.

With drought likely to hit Thailand this year, entrepreneurs face fresh concerns that their production efficiency and competitiveness will be affected, said Kriengkrai Thiennukul, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, a core member of the JSCCIB.

“Drought brought by climate change is expected to last 3-5 years, dealing a particular blow to the agricultural and industrial sectors,” he said.

“If the government does not prepare the appropriate measures to deal with the problem, people will see their cost of living increase.”

The JSCCIB said yesterday (May 3) it is preparing to send a letter to Gen Prayut as soon as possible because drought is an urgent issue.

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Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, another member of the JSCCIB, expects drought to decrease food production and increase food prices.

“This will eventually hurt food exports if the government does not develop a plan on water supply. But the JSCCIB believes there will not be any food shortages in Thailand,” he said.

Phacharaphot Nuntramas, executive vice-president and chief economist of Krungthai Bank, said the committee is particularly concerned about drought in eastern Thailand because the region does not have abundant water sources.

Drought is a chronic problem in this region and there are fears that climate change could worsen the situation, he said.

Roongrote Rangsiyopash, president and chief executive of Siam Cement Group, Thailand’s largest industrial conglomerate, earlier voiced concerns over drought as a risk factor hampering economic recovery this year. He said drought, expected as a result of El Niño weather patterns, would cause a scarcity of water, affecting the agricultural sector and eventually weakening purchasing power among farmers.

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christysweet | 07 May 2023 - 11:18:23

Recently I complained about raw sewage from several worker camps on my street, 1 k from Layan bay. The solution was to dig out the ditches  so the sewage could  run faster into the ocean. 

Kurt | 07 May 2023 - 08:29:36

The passivity of how Officialdom 'works' on Phuket water sustainability is strange. Pass times showed that they start to relay on 'private' water when reservoirs become critical. Is here a sort of cartel between Officials and private water owners? A great side pocket filling? The idea that a  private person can own water resources on a island as Phuket. The idea is too idiotic.

Old guy | 06 May 2023 - 18:03:16

@Pete. What makes you think and believe the Thai government gave any money? 
It takes a lot of money to operate that Eagle's Nest facility in Germany. 

Old guy | 06 May 2023 - 17:56:39

It's not tourism that will destroy Phuket's ambiance. It's the ignorance leaders who take what they can while they can and no one cares. 

Kamala Pete | 06 May 2023 - 12:09:14

The original report in TPN of the cabinet approval for the pipeline project was on Wednesday 18 September 2019, 05:28PM. Somewhat more than 2 billion approved. 

Kamala Pete | 06 May 2023 - 11:52:03

I'd still like to know what happened to the two billion baht gifted by the Bangkok government several years ago expressly for pumping stations and the pipeline to bring water from a large reservoir in Phang Nga onto the island ???

Capricornball | 06 May 2023 - 11:34:21

Just a matter of months ago, historic rains filled every reservoir to the top, with major flooding. Now, here we are, coming off the gorge of tourist dollars, and getting that age old reminder that unbridled tourism is unsustainable. Out of water, trash explosion, filth water at all beaches, and the same incompetent officials sitting back counting their baht, the only thing that matters.

Kurt | 06 May 2023 - 09:27:33

Hope that the Phuket Governors and water Officials read this articel and think/act accordonly in order to keep up with Phuket water supply coming years.


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