Central Bank of Myanmar board members, the Christian Marriage Act and the building of a new broadcast media centre were among the issues discussed yesterday at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw meeting in Nay Pyi Taw.
The appointment of members of the board of directors for the Central Bank of Myanmar sent from the President was put on record, followed by the announcement that Hluttaw representatives who would like to discuss the bill on the amendment of the Christian Marriage Act that was sent back from the President with conclusion notes attached should submit their names. U Kyaw Soe Lin, the joint secretary, read out the report of the findings and conclusions of the bill committee. Dr Pe Myint, Union Minister for Information, spoke on the construction of a new broadcast media centre that would transmit programming from state-owned television stations.
“The project to transfer the Yay Ku Broadcasting Station was attributed to population density in the surrounding area of the existing station and the potential health risks due to frequency radiation, which is emitted from the medium wave and short wave transmissions at high power, causing a hindrance to broadcast coverage due to the buildings in modern urbanisation. So a project was drawn up to build a bigger and better broadcasting enterprise, with the assumption that it should be moved to a broader and open location. According to the suggestions of international professionals, the existing Yay Ku Broadcasting Station must be moved in order to have technical equipment installed for the people from the whole country to clearly watch TVs.
“After transferring the Yay Ku broadcasting station, the Yay Ku region is targeted to be developed as a media zone. It is designed for new and modern equipment including transmitting machines and antennas, (the currents versions of which) are out of date, to extend the areas which all MRTV programmes cover, to change the design of antennas and machines which can receive images in various regions, to prepare for a digital broadcasting system, to build up a media zone that will include studios, a media training school, a public recreation centre, a playground and to acquire infrastructure needed for the future development of MRTV. Tender bids were invited in the State-owned newspapers, in accord with the procedures, after drawing up tender restrictions consisting of 17 facts. At the deadline, there were only six companies which submitted tender forms. The project is so important that the tender deadline set previously was extended for another one-month period so that companies can take time to compile the necessary documents for the tender bidding.” Dr Pe Myint said bids received were incomplete. “Shwe Than Lwin Company and Myanmar Media United bid tender proposals. According to preliminary assessments to the two tender bids, the tenders were not successful as the two did not comply with fundamental necessities designated by the Ministry of Information, so tender invitations were suspended through announcements in State-owned newspapers. If the project can be successfully implemented, the development of the media sector can be implemented in the country. Moreover, in places of economical housing estates there can be a media zone with media-related businesses in which public places will emerge. Tender winners will have no rights to sell the land or its premises. The Yay Ku Broadcasting Station compound is located in an area that borders three townships — South Okkalapa, North Okkalapa and Dagon Myothit (North), on a plot of land measuring 90 acres. So, it should be maintained as the area to implement profitable projects for the long-lasting interest of the nation and the people.”
In other issues discussed yesterday, Union Minister for Industry U Khin Maung Cho said the No. 1 Steel Factory (Myingyan) is producing steel billets that are not of finished product quality and thus losses are being incurred. As steel usage in Myanmar is increasing, the management system of No. 1 Steel Factory (Myingyan) should be changed in order for its production to become economical. The No. 1 Steel Factory (Myingyan) extension project is implemented by loans and the project should be completed within the five-year grace period of the loan. Of the loan amount, 39.551 million euros are still left to be used.
The project is currently suspended for review and planning and coordination is underway to restart and implement it for the best benefit of the country. As there are market opportunities, there is a requirement to implement the steel project quickly. A combined group will transparently manage it to prevent losses to the country’s finances.
Additionally, a caustic soda factory is now being converted into an industrial zone (Thaton), where a garment factory and solar, tidal and small-scale hydroelectric plants were started. When the Kyangin Cement Factory operation was suspended, there was an order from the Irrigation and Water Utilisation ManagementDepartment and Department of Hydropower for 50,000 tons of cement that is now being planned to be produced under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme. Detailed discussions were conducted with private companies and a study group was being formed to restart production in the factory as a priority. For private sector development, the Ministry of Industry is working together with private garment companies in 20 State-owned enterprise (SOE) factories and 13 were already operating and exporting garments, the Union Minister said.
Union Minister for Construction U Win Khaing then said Built Operate Transfer (B.O.T.) road sections issues raised and discussed by Pyithu Hluttaw representative from Pale constituency is noted and will conduct future works as suggested. A task force had been formed to inspect and control all B.O.T. groups. The Union Minister added that there were companies who conducted works according to agreement while actions were taken against companies who didn’t.
Similarly, explanations were provided by Union Ministers, the Union Auditor General, Deputy Ministers and Nay Pyi Taw Council member from Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Ministry of Electricity and Energy, Ministry of Health and Sports, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Border Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Planning and Finance, Nay Pyi Taw Development Committee and Union Auditor General’s office.
The Joint Public Accounts Committee then tabled a motion for the Hluttaw to agree and accept the report and the hluttaw decided to approve and put it on record.
Myo Myint, Aye Aye Thant
(Myanmar News Agency)