Dialogue titled “Nation Building through Ease of Doing Business”
- By Shin Min
Photo: Aye Than
(Continued from previous article convered on 6 November)
Myanma Radio and Television presents the dialogue under the title “Nation Building through Ease of Doing Business” in which Deputy Minister for Commerce U Aung Htoo, Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation General Manager U Tin Aung, Yangon City Development Committee Secretary Daw Hlaing Maw Oo and Executive U Zeya Thura Mon of Myanmar Chambers of Commerce and Industry are participating in the talk show.
Facilitator: Please explain what the role Yangon City Development Committee is taking in Ease of Doing Business Index.
Daw Hlaing Maw Oo: Yangon City Development Committee is participating in the process called “Dealing with Construction Permits.” It is to deal with the construction permit in the most populous metropolis. In Myanmar, Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw are metropolises. Among the three cities, Yangon is the most populous and thus it measures what is the ranking in dealing with construction permit.
Facilitator: Regarding Dealing with Construction Permit carried out by YCDC, what is the rank of Myanmar set by International Financial Corporation (IFC)?
Daw Hlaing Maw Oo: Since Myanmar’s participation in the process of Ease of Doing Business Index in 2014, Dealing with Construction Permit has been in the process. At that time Myanmar’s ranking was 134 in Dealing with Construction Permit. In 2015 she was ranked 130; 74 in 2016; 66 in 2017 and in 2018 her rank is 73. Therefore, it is safe to say that she passed 61 ranks from 2014 to reach the current ranking. Preparations have also been made this year.
Facilitator: Please explain what efforts are being made to improve Getting Electricity Indicator.
U Tin Aung: As explained by the deputy minister, electricity includes in the ten indexes. Getting Electricity in Ease of Doing Business Index is of direct concern to us. Depending on four points they measure Getting Electricity. The main point is how electricity cis delivered to consumers easily.
How they rank is that first, what steps are to be taken from the start of the process to the end by a person who want to get electricity. Secondly, how much time it will take to complete all the processes.
Thirdly, how much it will cost to get electricity. This is measured by calculating per capita income. Finally, how much of the available electricity is reliable and safe. Then, the ranking made through these four steps contributes to Getting Electricity Index. Our department uses four yardsticks to measure getting electricity. First, steps: Is there many steps or less to enjoy electricity? Second, duration: Does it take too long to get electricity or not? How long it will take? Third, cost: Is the cost too high or normal or low against per capita income? Fourth, the reliability of the available electricity: Is there frequent power outage? Duration of the outage and frequency.
In getting electricity, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy is engaged in production, supply and distribution of power. Getting electricity includes power supply.
Categorically, about supply, there is three departments – Electric Supply Enterprise, Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation and Mandalay Electricity Supply Corporation. The three departments take responsibility for distributing electricity to the whole country. They are also playing a key role in Getting Electricity Indicator.
Under the supervision of Ko Aung Thu of World Bank the indexes are developed. Currently, they are doing their surveys in Yangon area. Therefore, I have to participate in the talks.
Facilitator: Another topic is Green Business Reform. U Zeya Thura Mon, please identify your role in the reform being undertaken for emerging better economic environment.
U Zeya Thura Mon: As I am one of the Executives in the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), we are invited to attend national level meeting if a project is to be involved by UMFCCI. When we are invited we attend the meeting randomly or the one who is assigned or available to attend the meeting will be present at. I noticed an important fact at my first ever experience at the meeting that if we attend the meeting randomly it will not work for a big project. Then I decided to participate in Doing Business sector although I have been participating in many sectors including SMEs in UMFCCI’s process. I’ve been engaging in the Doing Business for about over one year. Meetings led by the deputy minister and participated by indicator member and those from World Bank have been held once in every two weeks.
There is a reason why I decided to prioritize this. I have had an experience that our business value is measured by the doing business ranking. No matter what we are doing – joint venture or sale of business unit or assessment of property – but if our ranking in Doing Business is low, the customer will pay only 75 K or 50 K for 100 K worth goods. If the ranking is high the price may become high, may be 100 K worth goods will get 120 K or 130 K. There is also the Future Value. I make calculation on it.
As far as I’m concerned regarding calculation, I’ve found out that if there is a gap of just one point, there will be a 10 percent gap in value different. As I’ve come to realize this situation and with a real sense of commitment to this job I’ve participated in it, not for the time being, not only for this year or the next year but as much as I can. I’ve decided to participate in this process in the coming years.
We are weak in information and data check. Because of that World Bank found missing information in our data. For example, at the meeting with the secretary, for the question of from which authority the permission is received to dig a well, WB recorded that the permission is received from Metropolitan Waterworks Authority.
Then, the secretary pointed out that there is no such authority in Myanmar. As the recorded data do not exist in the country, we received low score.
The first step we need to take is to put a true reflection into the Data Record of WB. Secondly, remedial actions must be taken as a Quick Fix.
In some cases, there is a need to conduct Continuous Improvement. For example, if some can be remedied only through law amendment we are going to take action to amend the law. Some businesses need permission from the President or a certain ministry. In such a case, it needs time.
Regarding Credit Bureau mentioned in the talks of the deputy minister, the matter has been submitted since long. The deputy minister with the consultation of WB say it is important, the President promised to issue permission within a month, and it happened as he said.
(To be continued)
(Translated by Wallace)