Kyaw Thu Htet (MNA)
Water scarcity in Ngapudaw, a sluice gate in Dagon Myothit (South) and agriculture loans for farmers in reserved forest areas were among the issues discussed at yesterday’s Pyithu Hluttaw meeting.
A total of four questions were answered, one report read, one bill confirmed and a motion debated at the 2nd Pyithu Hluttaw 5th Regular Session 17th Day Meeting yesterday.
U Than Aung of Ngapudaw constituency asked whether there is any plan for constructing rain water storage ponds, water storage dams and tube wells to alleviate severe water scarcity in Ngapudaw township. U Hla Kyaw, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, said a pre-feasibility study is underway to construct a water storage dam at the confluence of Mekaye Creek near Ngapyayma village, Ngapudaw Township and if found feasible a design will be submitted. He added further that the Irrigation and Water Utilisation Management Department currently have no plans to construct a water storage dam in Ngapudaw Township.
In response to a question by U Aye Naing of Dagon Myothit (South) Township on any plan in existence to construct a new sluice gate near sluice gate 9 on Thanekyaung Creek near Thitsate camp in Dagon Myothit (South) Township that is not properly discharging water, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw said the sluice gate is no longer sturdy and Yangon Region government had not included funds to construct a new sluice gate nearby in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The region government said it would include it in the next fiscal year and will construct it if funds are allocated, said the Deputy Minister.
U Myint Thein of Wetlet constituency asked about a plan to provide agricultural loans to farmers farming in forest reserved areas and protected forest outside of forest reserved areas. Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw said the procedure to provide agriculture loans stipulates that loans can be provided only to those who are in possession of form-7 that shows the right to farm on a land, issued by the Settlement and Land Record Department. Forest reserved areas and protected forest outside of forest reserved areas are not recognised as farmland by the Settlement and Land Record Department and therefore, agriculture loans could not be provided, answered the Deputy Minister.
Replying to a question by U Maung Maung of Htigyaing constituency on returning 42.06 acre of farm land taken over by Great Wall Company to build a sugar plant to 28 farmers from Aungthaya village, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw said the land was not confiscated by any government department and Great Wall Company bought the land from farmers at a mutually agreed-upon market rate of Ks135,000 to Ks150,000 an acre, and then applied for LaNa 39 to construct the sugar plant.
At the request of locals, Great Wall Company donated 2 acre of the 42.06 acre in 2012 to construct a school. On the remaining 40.06 acres of land proposed to construct a sugar plant, the company constructed a 120 feet x 24 feet building for storage and staff quarters using only 0.066 acres, resulting in 39.99 acres that were not used yet, the Deputy Minister said.
Even though this is a case of farmland being permitted for use for other purposes prior to the enactment of the 2012 farmland law, as the land was not used as permitted, it will be determined in accordance to article 90, 91, 92 and 93 of the 2012 farmland law and the committee to assess cases of confiscated farmlands and other lands, the Deputy Minister said.
A motion by U Myo Zaw Oo of Lewe constituency urging the government to quickly implement a crop insurance programme for losses through natural disasters and pests was then debated by U Min Naung of Pinlebu constituency, U Saw Thalay Saw of Shwegyin Constituency and U Thein Tun of Kyaunggon constituency.
Continuation of the debate on the motion by Hluttaw representatives, response by relevant union level department and decision by the Hluttaw will be made at the Hluttaw meeting of 21 June, it is learnt.
Also during yesterday’s meeting, the hluttaw conducted the reading of an annual report by the Pyithu Hluttaw banking and financial development committee, submitted for decision a bill on amending conservation of water resources and maintaining river law that was sent back with amendments by the Amyotha Hluttaw. The Amyotha Hluttaw and Pyithu Hluttaw disagree on eight points of the bill on amending conservation of water resources and maintaining river law, and it will be submitted to Pyidaungsu Hluttaw for a decision.
The 2nd Pyithu Hluttaw 5th Regular Session 18th day meeting is scheduled on 21 June.