The seventh regular session of the second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw held its 10th-day meeting yesterday morning at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw meeting hall in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw building, Nay Pyi Taw.
During the meeting, a discussion and explanation about the union-level organisations on the reports of the two joint committees on the findings and comments of the National Planning Bill and the Union Budget Bill for the six-month period from April to September 2018, as well as a discussion by the Hluttaw representatives on the basic policy, were conducted.
Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin said during the Pyithu Hluttaw meeting on 14 February, the Hluttaw Speaker had instructed the ministry to move forward as much as possible the conversion to regulatory body, as all would be converted to the regulatory body after 2020. Of the five departments operating under the Ministry of Construction — Department of Buildings, Department of Road, Department of Bridge, Department of Urban and Housing Development, and Department of Rural Development — the Department of Building is the easiest to start with, and it will be the first to become a regulatory body, said the deputy minister.
Starting from 1 April 2018, the Department of Rural Development will not conduct any work on its own with the union budget. However, if governments of states/regions request the ministry, the department will continue to work until 30 September 2019, and starting from 1 October 2019, it will become a regulatory body, said the Deputy Minister.
For the Department of Road and Department of Bridge to become a regulatory body, standards and specifications, rules and regulations, laws, standard operation procedures, policies and plans are being drawn up with the help of the Asian Development Bank. Once this is done, the plan is for the two departments to become a regulatory body before December 2020, explained the Deputy Minister.
Once the Department of Building becomes a regulatory body from April 2018, it will no longer construct any building on its own, and the ministries and the relevant chief ministers of states/regions will have to do so under a tender system, and only the required rules, regulations, notifications and guidelines will be issued. Of the departments under the ministry, the Department of Building and the Department of Rural Development will become regulatory bodies on 1 April 2018, and the others will also become regulatory bodies as soon as possible in a step-by-step manner, explained the Deputy Minister.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw explained that the capital fund allocated for projects earmarked to be conducted in the six-month period from April to September 2018 are for projects that can be completed within this period only.
As the period extends over the rainy season and time is short to complete people-centric projects during this period, only the projects that can be completed based on the ground situation have been submitted, said the Deputy Minister.
The Emerald Green Village Project and the rural water supply project will also be conducted in the same manner. The rural electrification project requires an international tender, and the tender will be called during the six-month period between April to September 2018, while the work will be implemented during the 12-month period of the 2018-2019 fiscal year (FY). Based on the ground situation, only projects that can be completed during the six-month period from April to September 2018 have been submitted, and for the 2018-2019 FY, all the project works that can be conducted during the 12-month period will be included, explained the Deputy Minister.
Union ministers and deputy ministers of the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Health and Sports, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Ministry for Transport and Communications, Ministry of Electricity and Energy, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Union Civil Service Board, Nay Pyi Taw Council (including Nay Pyi Taw City Development Committee), Central Bank of Myanmar, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, and Ministry of Planning and Finance also explained similar matters to their respective ministries and organisations.
Regarding the report on the tax collected for the first six months of the 2017-2018 FY, Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win said the initial estimate of the tax collected in the 2017-2018 FY was Ks6.481.008 trillion, of which Ks2.553.685 trillion was planned for the first six months. In reality, Ks3.078.799 trillion was collected and the implementation was 120.56 per cent, said the Deputy Minister.
In future, the government will depend mainly on tax collection for its expenditures. Tax collection and the gross domestic product ratio are still low in Myanmar, and efforts are being made to collect all the taxes that should be collected and expand the tax base.
With the help of foreign experts, the Internal Revenue Department is working towards a tax system reform that includes changing the outlook and views of tax payers, effective usage of the carrot and stick principle, spreading knowledge about tax and ensuring the tax system meets international standards.
Public Account Joint Committee Secretary Dr. Sai Hsai Kyauksan then explained the committee’s report (4/2018) in relation to this matter, after which Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than requested MPs interested in discussing the matter to enrol their names in the list.
Next, the matter of Myanmar signing the UNIDROIT Convention (1995) on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects and the second agreement on the amendment to the ASEAN all-round agreement, sent by the President, were explained by Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko and U Maung Maung Win, after which the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker requested the MPs interested in discussing the matter to enrol their names.
The 11th-day meeting of the seventh regular session of the second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will be held on 28 February.
Aung Ye Thwin,
Aye Aye Thant