Finger salute on banknotes stirs ire

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has called on people not to write on or mark banknotes.

The central bank's appeal came after images of banknotes bearing the anti-coup three-finger salute spread online.

In an announcement issued yesterday, the BoT urged people to use banknotes correctly to extend the banknotes' lifetime and save the country's resources.

Each year, billions of new banknotes are printed and 80% of them replace degraded banknotes, the central bank said.

It advised people who possess banknotes with marks to exchange them for new ones at the Government Savings Bank and commercial banks.

BoT spokeswoman Rung Mallikamas said there was no punishment for people who mark or write anything on banknotes. However, the central bank wants to use this opportunity to seek cooperation from the public to use banknotes correctly, she said.

Meanwhile, the Government Lottery Office (GLO) board plans to invite lottery ticket wholesalers and agents to solve the long-standing problem of overpricing.

The GLO board's move follows the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) directive for it to look into overpriced lottery tickets.

Customs Department chief Rakop Srisupaat, in his capacity as GLO chairman, yesterday said he has asked executives of the state-run GLO to come up with measures to solve the problem of lottery tickets that are sold higher than the fixed price of 40 baht a ticket or 80 baht a pair. The measures will be forwarded to the junta by the end of this month.

The board has come up with three ways to solve overpricing and will discuss them this month, Mr Rakop said.

Online lottery tickets would firstly be available from ticket vending machines. The second measure is that the number of lottery digits will be increased from six to seven. Thirdly, wholesalers and lottery ticket agents will be invited for talks with the board to discuss lowering the retail price of tickets back to the set price of 80 baht a pair or 40 baht a ticket. The tickets are currently sold at 110-120 baht a pair.

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