New banknotes and coins to be issued April 6
The first coins marking the reign of King Rama X will be issued on April 6 and will replace the old coins which will not be put back into circulation. The Finance Minister said it would take about 4 -5 years to replace all the old coins with the new ones. The coins, which are the same size and weight as current coins, bear the portrait of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun will be in nine denominations: 10, 5, 2 and 1 baht as well as 50 and 25 satang. New banknotes bearing HM the King’s image will also be launched on April 6.
The Cabinet last week approved the 200 billion baht high-speed train project that will connect three international airports; Suvarnabhumi and Don Meuang in Bangkok and U-Tapao in Rayong. Investment in the project will be public-private-partnership (PPP), with the private sector investing in the engineering work, railway system, train carriages, land development to support train services, management of train service and maintenance as well as revenue collection from development of land under the project while the government’s investment would total 119,425 million baht to be paid in instalments within ten years.
The Cabinet also decided to incorporate land on both sides of the train routes from Don Meuang to Suvarnabhumi airports as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor project, the train project is predicted to add economic benefits to the country by adding value to U-Tapao airport, reducing fuel costs and pollution, increasing employment and tax collection, and development of areas around train stations. A public auction will be held to select the builder of the project.
Last week the Cabinet approved a 15 percent withholding tax on transactions involving cryptocurrencies, including digital tokens. The 15 percent tax includes the value-added tax (VAT) that would be collected on digital-currency transactions. If no profit is generated in a digital-currency exchange then only the VAT would be levied.
Thai AirAsia has begun daily flights to Chumphon province in the South. The airline will begin offering an island transfer to Koh Tao in April. Koh Tao is a popular tourist destination famed for diving. There will also be discounted fares on the shuttle transfer until the end of May. Bangkok Airways started the direct Chiang Mai – Hanoi flight on March 25, the airline flies to the Vietnamese capital city daily. The Director – General of the Harbour Department announced that the department will build a new pier near Phuket airport and open five ferry routes linking Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga. The first route will link Ao Por pier in Phuket to Chong Lad pier on Koh Yao Yai in Phang Nga and to the Tha Lane pier in Krabi. The second route will link Chong Lad pier to Manoh Pier of Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga while the third route will link Ban Hua Hin pier in Tambon Koh Klang of Koh Lanta in Krabi to Klong Mad pier in Tambon Koh Lanta Noi in Koh Lanta district. Ferryboats will travel from Ao Thong Lang pier on Koh Lanta to Koh Jum in Krabi for the fourth route and the fifth route will link Koh Lanta Yai to Koh Por in Krabi. The new boat services are expected to start later this year.