Tuesday, 8 May 2007

TOT Thailand : state-owned telecommunications company

TOT (Thailand)
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TOT Public Company Limited is a Thai state-owned telecommunications company. Originally established in 1954 and corporatized in 2002, TOT used to be known as the Telephone Organization of Thailand and TOT Corporation Public Company Limited. TOT's main line of business is fixed line telephony, although it has several other businesses, including mobile telephony. Its current Chairman of the Board of Directors is General Saprang Kalayanamitr.

Contents [hide]
1 Early history
2 Corporatization and the aftermath of the 2006 coup
3 References
4 External links

[edit] Early history
The Telephone Organization of Thailand was founded by the Thai government in 24 February 1954. A state enterprise under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, it incorporated the Telephone Technician Unit under The Post and Telegraph Department. It originally had 732 staff members and a budget of 50 million Baht. The TOT provided telephone services in Bangkok Metropolis, which included Wat Lieb, Bangrak, Ploenchit and Samsaen Exchanges.[1]

[edit] Corporatization and the aftermath of the 2006 coup
Under the deposed government of Thaksin Shinawatra (2001-2006), the TOT was corporatized and plans were under way to privatize a portion of the state enterprise through an IPO in the Stock Exchange of Thailand. These plans were cancelled after the Thaksin-government was overthrown by a coup in 19 September 2006. Soon after the coup, the junta of General Surayud Chulanont announced plans to merge TOT with rival state telecom enterprise CAT Telecom (formerly the Communications Authority of Thailand).[2]

The junta also appointed junta Assistant Secretary-General General Saprang Kalayanamitr to become the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of TOT. General Saprang's first move as TOT Chairman was to hand-pick three Army colonels and controversial Thaksin-critic Vuthiphong Priebjrivat to sit on the state enterprise's Board of Directors.[3]

The junta also cancelled the Thaksin government's telecom excise tax policy. The Thaksin government imposed an excise tax on privately offered fixed and cellular services, and then allowed telecom companies to deduct the amount they paid in excise tax from concession fees they had to pay to state concession owners TOT and CAT Telecom. The total amount paid by the private telecom firms did not change. The Surayud government's excise tax cancellation meant that TOT and CAT Telecom would receive their full concession payments. However, TOT and CAT were then forced to increase their dividends to the Ministry of Finance to account for their increased income.[4]

[edit] References
^ TOT, About TOT
^ The Nation, Call for end to policy corruption, 16 October 2006
^ Bangkok Post, THAILAND: New TOT board may order cleanup 31 January 2007
^ The Nation, Telecom excise tax revoked, 24 January 2007

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