Myo Myint, Hmwe Kyu Zin (Myanmar News Agency)
A motion urging the government for systematic extraction and conservations of gems and minerals wealth owned by the country and its nationals for the country’s future as well as future generations was tabled by U Kyaw Aung Lwin of Sedoktara constituency and the Hluttaw decided to approve the motion in Pyithu Hluttaw 5th regular session 51st day meeting held yesterday.
In discussing the motion, Tatmadaw representative Major Myat Ko said due to illegal extraction and mining, weaknesses of the enacted laws and rule of laws, companies not abiding by the rules and laws and weaknesses of the joint field inspection groups, extracted and mined gems and minerals went to black markets while the government is left with incomplete collection of taxes. In the agreements signed with the companies, block types and areas were defined but depth to which the gems and minerals are to be extracted and mined were not specified resulting in deep open pit mines that damages the natural environment and as such the depth of the pit should be determined said Major Myat Ko.
Gems and minerals are non-renewable resources and benefits and profits from extraction and mining of gems and minerals ought to be invested for the future generations’ benefit. Ministry need to work together with states and regions governments in effectively controlling the extraction of gems that are mainly produced in areas where there is no rule of laws. In blocks where extractions are being done legally, responsible personnel should cooperate and work with local people to ensure that rules, laws and agreements were followed and effective action taken for any breaches. Daw Khin Than Nu of Mindon constituency discussed on drawing up firm and exact laws together with locals who are actually working in the extractive industry to properly extract and produce, obtain good market, collect exact taxes due, improve in gem technology and long term conservation for the benefit of future generation. Gem Law ought to have sections and sub-sections that are practical and systematic for business to do extraction works and conduct conservation and restoration of the natural environment. To enable future generations to extract gems and minerals, machinery usage for extraction and mining should be limited.
Similarly Dr. U Khin Maung Thin of Ayadaw constituency, Dr. U Aung Khin of Pyin Oo Lwin constituency, U Win Thein Zaw of Salingyi constituency, U Sai Tun Aye of Mongshu constituency, U Aung Than Sein of Khamti constituency, Daw San San Ei of Mohnyin constituency, U Win Naing of Mogaung constituency, U Chin Pe Lin of Mansi constituency, U Aung Thein of Bhamo constituency, U Lama Naw Aung of Injangyang constituency, U San Khin of Kanpetlet constituency, U Zarni Min of Shwegu constituency, U Aung Naing @ U Naing Kyaw of Mogok constituency and U Win Aung of Momauk constituency discussed the motion.
Responding to the discussions, Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win explained that reserved gems and mineral deposits were systematically designated in order to be extracted and mined in the future for the benefit of the country and future generation and therefore the motion should be approved.