The deadline for switching from magnetic ATM cards to chip cards is coming closer and after January 15, all magnetic cards will become invalid, Siritida Panomwon na, assistant governor of Ayudhya, Bank of Thailand said. The new cards are also notable for
requiring a 6 digit rather than the usual 4 digit PIN.
The switch was expected to be completed by the end of 2019, as 47 million magnetic cards had already been converted to chip cards, leaving some 20 million magnetic cards nationwide.
Magnetic cards holders can change their cards at any branch of their respective banks or financial institutions free of charge. Required documents are ID card, existing magnetic card and bank passbook, said the assistant governor.
After January 15, magnetic cards will be unusable at ATMs and credit card machines at retail shops. However, card owners can still make a cash withdrawal or transfer money at bank's tellers, via mobile banking and internet banking as alternatives.
It could be the worst seasonal drought for four decades according to the Office of National Water Resources.
Speaking to the Bangkok Post, ONWR secretary-general Somkiat Prajamwong recalled that during the severe drought in 2015 (when Thailand was
under military rule), soldiers were sent to protect wells from indiscriminate pumping by local villagers irrigating their farms.
The ONWR was created two years ago to address the country's water issues and challenges, and is in charge of water
resource management and coordinating policies and goals across 20 state agencies.
Thailand's dry season started in November and usually lasts through April, although this year authorities say it could go on through June. Thailand's Central region is
predicted to be the hardest hit by the looming drought, focussed on the 22 provinces along the Chao Phraya River. Somkiat also predicts farmland will be affected because the amount of land for farming has risen by 3 million rai in recent years.
week, Bangkok's water authority said the capital's tap water was becoming saline as seawater pushed up the depleted Chao Phraya river, a source of much of central Thailand's water.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday urged people to turn
off taps and shower less to cope with a drought afflicting northern and central Thailand.
Most national retailers in Thailand have just stopped handing out free plastic carrier bags to shoppers on January 1st
In the run up to the big day Thai TV added plastic bags to their list of social vices that must be optically censored, previously
guns, alcoholic drinks, and cigarettes.
Perhaps the TV companies would have more of an effect blurring out cars, motorbikes, airplanes, air conditioners and meat.
Anyway the censorship has caused much derision on social media and the Thai
environment minister stepped in to support the censorship.
National Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said it was easy for the online community to criticise this act of self-censorship by TV stations. He defended the
broadcasters' "well intentioned" efforts by comparing it to the censorship of alcohol and cigarettes.