An aerial view of submerged cars at the Honda car factory in Ayutthaya province, Thailand, 18 October 2011. NARONG SANGNAK / EPA

Bangkok, December 11 (DPA) - Thailand's flood disaster has been made worse by government corruption, business leaders have complained, a news report said Sunday.

Thai Chamber of Commerce chairman Pongsak Assakul was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying the flooding was one of the worst crises ever to hit the kingdom.

'And state corruption made it worse,' he said.

The government's Flood Relief Operations Command has been accused of corruption related to its management of donated items and its purchase of relief supplies.

Members of the chamber agreed at a meeting Saturday that they would no longer pay bribes to state officials and they would closely monitor government projects for corrupt practices.

The chamber also declared September 6 as Corruption Suppression Day.

The date commemorates the death on September 6 of Dusit Nontanakorn, who spearheaded several anti-corruption campaigns in recent years.

Overall, Thailand sustained about 21.3 billion dollars in flood damage, according to the World Bank, while 689 people have died in flood-related incidents since July 25.

Flood disaster worsened by corruption, Thai business leaders say

December 8 (Bangkok Post) – The total flood damage to the country is estimated at 1.3 trillion baht, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Thursday, and promised to resurrect the economy with all urgency.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said damage to small and medium enterprises alone amounted to  800 billion baht.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in a speech  on “Roles of the Public and Private Sectors in Maintaining National Security” given to students at the National Defence College of Thailand, said the flood damage is   huge and had severely affected the production sector.

“The government will rapidly move to stimulate the economy in order to restore the confidence of investors and boost economic expansion,” she said.

Ms Yingluck said the government had set up two strategic committees - for rebuilding the country and future development, and for water resources management.

The government would do its best to enable factories to restart production lines as soon as possible.

It would also move to learn more about the new threats from natural disasters in order to timely and accurately forecast and warn people about the dangers, she added.

Operation plans for any emergency situation must be in place, said the prime minister.

In addition, the government will boost economy of all villages through its SML village fund, which would help strengthen the rural communities, she added.

The global situation had been rapidly changing and has negative impact on national security as a result. All sides must join forces in bringing about sustainable and stable peace to the country, said Ms Yingluck.

Sompong Tancharoenpol, vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said the flood damage to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in eight provinces is estimated at more than 800 billion baht.

More than 10,000 small and medium level manufacturers in eight provinces were inundated, affecting over 660,000 workers, he added. […]

Flood damage around B1.3 trillion, says PM



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