Pyithu Hluttaw session continues for 11th day
Eight questions replied, two new proposals submitted and discussed, two bills approved
9 March 2012
The 11th day session of Pyithu Hluttaw took place at the Pyithu Hluttaw Hall of Hluttaw Complex here at 10 am today, attended by Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann and 338 MPs. At the session, eight questions were raised, two new proposals submitted and discussed and two bills approved.
In response to the question raised by U Moe Zaw Hein of Katha Constituency about whether there is a plan to open Government Technology High School in Katha, Deputy Minister for Science and Technology Dr Ko Ko Oo said in Sagaing Region, three technological universities, one government technological college, two government technical institutes and four government technical high schools have been opened. Students who have completed middle school education in the townships of Katha District can study not only at government technology high schools in Sagaing Region but also at Government Technology High School (Bhamo). Besides, matriculated students possessing set qualifications can study not only at above universities, colleges and schools in Sagaing Region but also at Technological University (Bhamo) and Government Technological College (Mohnyin). So, there is no plan to open a government technology high school in Katha at the moment. But, there is a possibility of opening one there at a required and opportune time.
Responding to the question U Htan Lein of Mindat Constituency about whether or not Indian Government’s financial assistance has gone to Chin State, Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic Development Dr Kan Zaw said the matter of 4-million US dollar aid by the Indian government to be used in the education and health sectors is still under negotiation. As the money has not been received, it was not drawn in the budget of 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Regarding the discussion of the Indian Government’s aid, like in other states and regions, it is necessary to have government-to-government contact plan.
Deputy Minister for Industry U Myo Aung answered the two questions about industrial sector put by two representatives.
In response to the question asked by U Khin Maung Nyo of Loikaw Constituency about whether the government has a plan to upgrade the industrial ward in Loikaw Township, Kayah State like the upgrading of other industrial zones, the deputy minister said the emergence of an industrial zone requires input forces for good infrastructure such as land area, water, electricity, transport, communication and other energy resources as well as capital. It is necessary to sell products from an industrial zone not only to its own states but also to other states/regions and foreign countries. So, the above plan to establish Loikaw Industrial Zone for regional development and job prospects will be considered depending on infrastructures and feasibility study.
Regarding the question of Daw Win Maw Tun of Yenangyoung Constituency about how the government will reform and shape domestically private industries that are very important for national development, he replied that now Small and Medium Enterprises Development Centre has been opened in Yangon to distribute data, educate the privates industries through media and create incubators in line with the help of institutions of the Science and Technology Ministry and foreign countries.
Moreover, small and medium enterprises development agencies will be established in cooperation with industrial supervision and inspection departments in states and regions, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Myanmar Industrial Producers Association and measures will be taken to encourage development of small and medium enterprises in collaboration with SME actors by providing market information and technology. In addition, Myanma Industrial Development Bank is providing loans for SME development. In the near future, SME development bank will be established with capital derived from the money of MIDB shareholders, the government’s fund and the loans to be provided by SME banks in foreign countries at low interest in order to help SMEs financially.
Then, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation U Ohn Than replied to the queries about the agriculture sector raised by four MPs. U Tin Maung Oo of Shwepyitha Constituency asked whether there are plans to allow farmers to withdraw their savings during the time of farm work, to have interest rates over those savings and to withdraw the interest money together with the savings.
The deputy minister replied that like Myanma Economic Banks, Myanma Agricultural Development Bank will pay back the savings of farmers as they wish. MADB has had procedures already to do so. Over those savings, interest money is being paid according the rate set by the Central Bank of Myanmar. The township bank (branches) calculate annual interest rates and include interest money in the saving book of a saver.
Over the rural savings in 2010-2011 fiscal year, the total interest money MADB paid was K 5085 million. So, the savings will be paid back together with interest money if the farmers want to withdraw their money in times of need.
U Aung Zin of Pazundaung Constituency asked about the practising of industrial farming on a 100,00-acre farmland under the cooperation between industrialists from Special Agricultural Zones (1) & (2) and farmers. The deputy minister replied that for 1085 farmers and 7505 acres of land from the two zones, K 200,00 for one acre totalling K 151 million has been provided. The farm huts and monasteries in the zones have been relocated in urban areas free of charge.
Moreover, with the rates of K 25000, K 40000 or K 50000 for one-acre land, companies have provided K 208.2 million for 4875 acres of land and K 58.6 million for houses, totaling K 266.8 million.
In this summer paddy season, companies are demonstrating the growing of high yield hybrid paddy strains and the production of seeds by establishing a model zone for transforming to industrial farming. The farmers from the region and its nearby areas as well as those from various regions have now been used to operating and maintaining modern equipment and enjoyed more job opportunities. Green Asia Co and Dagon International Co in collaboration with foreign technicians are producing hybrid paddy strains with the use of modern seeding machines and this has benefited not only Yangon Region but also the whole nation for its agricultural development.
The representatives can learn this in the 15-2-2012 issue of Agricultural Economy News Journal. If they conduct field study, they will be able to learn the relentless efforts of the companies for agricultural development of the nation, noted the deputy minister. He continued that high yield paddy strains will contribute a lot to the rice production of the nation and a modern agricultural farming zone will be envisioned soon. The similar questions were answered in the previous sessions of the Hluttaw, he said.
Thura U Aung Ko of Kanpetlet Constituency asked whether there is a plan to reassess and survey reclamation of high land farming in Chin State and the possibility of its usage. The deputy minister replied that in Chin State, from 2003 to date, 2717.4 acres land has been reclaimed by departmental machinery and the farmers by themselves have reclaimed 4366.07 acres. For self-reliant reclamation of farmers, the government provided cash assistance for 861.48 acres.
He pledged that the ministry would help production and dissemination of agricultural knowledge to local people in Chin State to that they can grow tea leaves, coffee and mulberry plants in commercial scale in Chin State. He said that he believed that the assistance of the government, the cooperation of union ministries, management of Chin State government and cooperation of the local farmers would improve the socioeconomy of local farmers.
As part of efforts for successful implementation of the high-land reclamation project in Chin State and for environmental conservation, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Ministry of Home Affairs and Chin State government would work together and review weak and strong points of the project, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and Chin State government would make a field trip to make assessment to the issue related to the question of the representative.
U Khin Maung Yi (a) U Khaing Maung Yi of Ahlon Township constituency asked how Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation could help farmers in an attempt not to disappear crops market and to encourage the market competition with the aids of loans and agricultural technology and assistance of research firms.
The deputy minister replied that still, the State had no plan to lease loans to farmers who produce fruits and vegetables and the government had provided good strains of fruits and vegetables for the farmers. Horticulture Research and Development Centre had carried out horticultural research and produce quality strains of fruits and vegetables which were favourable to the climate in Myanmar. The research had produced hybrid strains of muskmelons, pumpkin and tomatoes, he said.
The cooperation between the departments and businessmen who produced fruits and vegetables had played an important role in making efforts for encouraging horticultural market and market competitions. The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation was providing good agricultural patterns to farmers, encouraging the development public-private-partnership.
In the proposal submission session, Chairman of Pyithu Hluttaw Judiciary and Legal Affairs Committee Thura U Aung Ko submitted a proposal to abolish the code of criminal procedure and panal code. Regarding the proposal, Judge U Mya Thein of the Supreme Court of the Union replied that the bill amended the code of criminal procedure had been drafted in accordance with the constitution and the draft included the proposals submitted by the Pyithu Hluttaw Judiciary and Legal Affairs Committee, he said. The draft would be sent to the Attorney-General’s Office of the Union to be able to promulgate as a law.
He continued to say that the Attorney-General’s Office of the Union had scrutinized the bill amended the panal code sent by the Supreme Court of the Union and sent it back to the Supreme Court of the Union and gave suggestions for preparations.
The bill amended the panal code drafted by the Supreme Court of the Union would be promulgated in accordance with the proposals of the Pyithu Hluttaw Judiciary and Legal Affairs Committee and suggestions of the Attorney-General’s Office of the Union, he said.
Pyithu Hluttaw agreed to approve the proposal of the Pyithu Hluttaw Judiciary and Legal Affairs Committee. Similarly, Secretary of Pyithu Hluttaw Farmers, Workers and Youths Affairs Committee U Htay Oo submitted a proposal to amend, add the Leave and Holidays Act-1951, the Factory Act (1951), the Shops and Establishment Acts (1951), the Payment of Wages Act (1936), the Employment and Training Act (1950) and the Minimum Wages Act (1948).
Regarding the proposal, Union Minister for Labour U Aung Kyi replied that the ministry had a plan to amend add the 1951 Leave and Holidays Act and to amend and add the Factory Act (1951) in accordance with the international regional standards. He said he agreed to amend the Shops and Establishment Act 1951 to meet international norms and its nationwide effect in the entire Myanmar, and rewrite some new facts, to amend the Wage Act 1936 to be up to date with the time. Regarding the Employment and Training Act 1950, the act prescribed that government is soley responsible for conducting training courses.
But, the government alone cannot handle now as there is prominent increase in genres of factories, workshops, departments and works and number of workforce, and there is different standards of competency, calling for the cooperation of the employers and employees together with the government. And thus, the act is being rewritten. With regard to Minimum Wages of Farm Workers 1948 Act, there are two existing laws, namely Minimum Wages of Farm Workers 1948 Law and Minimum Wages Law 1949. Now, the new minimum wage law has been drafted and there is plan to revoke the above-mentioned two minimum wage laws and thus the proposal is acceptable, he said.
The Hluttaw approved the proposal of Farmers, Workers and Youth Affairs Committee as there is no objection. The Hluttaw then approved the amendments made to important commodities and service bill and provision of allowances to disable Tatmadawmen and family members of fallen Tatmadawmen made by the members of Union level organizations, Bill Committee and Hluttaw representatives.
Today’ session came to an end at 4.30 pm and the 12th day session continues at 10 am on 12 March.