By Aye Aye Thant (MNA)
The second Pyithu Hluttaw’s ninth regular session held its sixth-day meeting at the Pyithu Hluttaw meeting hall yesterday morning. At the meeting, asterisk-marked questions were answered by Union Minister for Industry U Khin Maung Cho and Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin. The Pyithu Hluttaw also decided on Condominium Rule, discussed and agreed to a motion urging the government to control and manage Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) agreements conducted all over the country for constructing roads under a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) system.
Asterisk-marked questions raised by U Khin Maung Latt of Myanaung constituency, U Pe Than of Myebon constituency ,U Ne Lin Aung of Mindat constituency, U Myo Zaw Aung of Kawlin constituency, U Kyaw Myint of Taikkyi constituency and U Aung Theik of Seikpyu constituency were answered by Union Minister for Industry U Khin Maung Cho and Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin.
Decision of the Hluttaw on Condominium Rule
Next, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat informed the Hluttaw about the Condominium Rule, returned by Amyotha Hluttaw with amendments, and obtained the decision of the Hluttaw.
A bill committee member tabled a motion to submit the rule to Pyidaungsu Hluttaw for its decision, as the two Hluttaws were in disagreement on it, and the Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker announced to submit the bill to Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and to proceed further on it.
Discussion and agreeing to a motion on BOT
A motion urging the government to control and manage BOT agreements conducted all over the country for constructing roads under a PPP system tabled by U Kyaw Swe Win of Kawhmu constituency was then discussed by Tatmadaw representative Maj Ye Soe, U Win Win of Minbu constituency, U Aung Htoo Myint of Aunglan constituency, U Zaw Min Thein of Laymyethna constituency, Dr. U Khin Maung Maung of Dagon Myothit (North) constituency, U Sai Oo Kham of Hsenwi constituency, U Sai Aung Kyaw of Kehsi constituency, Dr. U Zaw Win Myint of Singu constituency, U Myint Lwin of Twante constituency, Tatmadaw representative Maj. Swe Myint Oo, U Zarni Min of Shwegu constituency, Daw Yin Min Hlaing of Gangaw constituency, U Nyunt Aung of Monywa constituency, U Win Myint Aung of Tabayin constituency, U Bo Gyi of Chauk constituency, U Ba Shein of Kyaukpyu constituency and Dr. Daw Khin Nyo of Dedaye constituency. In his discussion on the motion, Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin said that during the ten-year period from 2006 to 2016, 23 companies, constructing 32 road sections, were rescinded from constructing the roads because they were not following the contract agreement. This was done under the sole authority of the ministry, after the decision made at the management committee meeting, because these companies were unable to fulfill the contract at the initial construction stage.
However, if the company conducting work under the BOT system was able to complete assigned works during the designated time, with the recommendation of the respective state and region government, the companies receive permission from Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) to collect road-use tolls. Once MIC had issued the permission, the Ministry of Construction could not take any direct action against the company. As Myanmar Investment Law protects the investment, the ministry needs to submit first to MIC to take any action. MIC will check with the relevant company and depending upon the explanation of the company, the ministry will have to wait for a reply from MIC. If there is any disagreement, it will have to be resolved in an arbitration court and this will take some considerable time to reach to a conclusion.
The ministry had conducted workshops on road/bridge BOT system and confirmed and approved drawing up new policies, rules, laws and procedures on BOT agreements. A decision was also made to obtain the agreement of the Union Attorney General office on these matters before PPP Law could be drawn up and to submit it to the Union government meeting and implement it.
There were weaknesses in the earlier BOT agreements and the ministry will conduct matters according to the workshop outcome. The ministry had formed BOT Task Force to oversee
and manage the BOT works, and for the future development and success of these BOT works, Hluttaw representatives will be coordinated. As such the Pyithu Hluttaw is requested to approve the motion explained by the Deputy Minister.
An announcement was then made of the Hluttaw’s agreement to the motion after the Hluttaw decided to approve the motion.
The seventh-day meeting of the second Pyithu Hluttaw’s ninth regular session will be held on 8 August, it is learnt.