The 13th-day meeting of the 11th Regular Session of the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw was held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
UEC member appointments confirmed
Firstly, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat announced that the Hluttaw has raised no objections to the President’s appointment of U Nyunt Sein, U Thet Tun, U Myint Aung, U Saw Daniel Kyi, U Aung Soe Win, U Than Aung, U Min Swe, and U Swe Tint Lwin as members of the Union Election Commission, and thus, the Hluttaw has approved the appointment of these eight individuals.
Council of ASEAN Chief Justices
The Chief Justice of the Union, U Htun Htun Oo, then explained to the Hluttaw the matter sent by the President on validating and then signing the agreement of the Council of ASEAN Chief Justices. He said if Myanmar signs the agreement, it will receive opportunities to develop its judicial sector by sharing experiences with other ASEAN countries, cooperate on capacity building trainings for Myanmar’s judges and justices, support economic development and rule of law in the ASEAN region, and gain other benefits from strengthening collaboration between the ASEAN region’s judiciaries.
U Htun Htun Oo said the Union Government has agreed for the Chief Justice of the Union to sign the agreement during their Meeting No. 4/2019, and as such, he requested the Hluttaw Speaker to deliberate the decision of the Hluttaw. The Speaker then announced for MPs interested in discussing the matter to enrol their names.
Three bills discussed, report read
The Speaker announced that the Hluttaw has put on record the matter of reforming and expanding of villages and districts in Sagaing Region and Shan State.
Next, Dr. Myat Nyana Soe, secretary of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Joint Bill Committee, submitted a proposal on the joint committee’s additional amendments to subsections (a) and (b) of Section 27 of The Gambling Bill for the Hluttaw to consider for approval.
The Speaker called for the deliberation of the Hluttaw and received no objections. He then announced the motion as approved and further procedures to be conducted in accordance with the laws and bylaws of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
Next, Dr. Myat Nyana Soe submitted the Intellectual Property Bill to the Hluttaw, sent back with amendments from the President, and read each section of the bill for the Hluttaw to deliberate on.
Following this, Dr. Myat Nyana Soe also submitted the Occupational Safety and Health Bill to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, which is disputed by the Pyithu and Amyotha Hluttaws, and read each section of the bill for the Hluttaw to deliberate on. MPs discussed the bill and the Hluttaw gave its approval.
Next, U Aung Min, Vice Chairperson of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Joint Public Accounts Committee, read the committee’s findings and remarks in its Report No. 5/2019 concerning the complaint letter on tax payments of private companies in Mandalay holding the raw jade exhibitions. The Speaker called for MPs interested in discussing the report to enrol their names.
MPs debate government’s fiscal deficit
MPs then discussed the matter sent by the President concerning acquiring appropriate loan(s) from the Central Bank of Myanmar for closing the deficit in the Union Government’s deposit for 2018-2019 FY.
Dr. U Kywe Kywe of Mandalay Region constituency 6 advised the Union Government to consider more suitable alternatives to fixing the fiscal deficit. He said Myanmar’s tax revenue and GDP ratio are the lowest in Southeast Asian countries and thus, taking measures to collect the actual taxes to be levied will fill in the government’s deficit. He said the government can also consider auctioning off state-owned factories and workshops showing losses to supplement the national budget.
Dr. U Kywe Kywe also suggested privatizing state-owned businesses that may not stand up to competition in future market economies and selling their shares. He said this will not only fill in the government’s deficit but will also pave way for a proper market economy system that will enable reforms in line with a democratic political system.
The matter was further discussed by U Bo Gyi of Chauk constituency, U Khin Cho of Hlaingbwe constituency, and U Than Soe (a) Than Soe (economics) of Yangon Region constituency 4.
MPs discuss report on second bill amending the Constitution
MPs then discussed the report from the Joint Committee on Scrutinizing the Bill Making Second Amendments to the Constitution.
Dr. Khun Win Thaung of Kachin State constituency 11 said the word ‘elected’ should be added to the phrase ‘A suitable candidate with the necessary skills from among the respective State and Region Hluttaw will be chosen…’ in subsection (b) (1) of Section 261 of the Constitution. He also said the line ‘An MP elected to represent their State or Region’ should be added as point no.5 to subsection (a) of Section 261 as well. He said this will ensure the emergence of a genuine multiparty democratic system.
Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Lt-Col Tin Tun Aung said the joint committee’s findings and remarks do not correspond with the Constitution’s Section 433 and 435, nor with Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Bylaw 133 to 139. He said he objects to the committee’s reports as a table on the amendments made to the Constitution’s Section 261, subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e) were not distributed to the Hluttaw representatives as is the standard procedure.
He urged the joint committee to reconduct its processes in line with Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Bylaws 133, 135 to 139, 142, and 143.
The report was further discussed by Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Major Pyae Phyo Hein, Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Major Kyaw Soe Oo, U Maung Myint of Mingin constituency, Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Colonel Nyunt Win Aung, Daw Khin Saw Wai of Yathedaung constituency, U Win Win of Minbu constituency, U Soe Thein of Kayah State constituency 9, U Kan Oo of Salin constituency, Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Lt-Col Thant Swe, U Sai Tun Aye of Mongshu constituency, Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Colonel Kyaw Kyaw, Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Major Tin Aung Hein, Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Colonel Khin Maung Naing, and Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Colonel Zaw Lwin.
The 14th-day meeting of the 11th Regular Session of the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will convene on 12 March.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)