Third regular session of first Pyithu Hluttaw continues for 12th day
Eight questions raised, one report submitted
12 March 2012
Pyithu Hluttaw regular session continued for 12th day at Pyithu Hluttaw Hall of Hluttaw Building here at 10.20 am today. It was attended by Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann and 347 Pyithu Hluttaw representatives. Eight questions were raised and one report was submitted at today’s session.
U Ngun Moung of Haka Constituency asked whether there are restrictions on tourists’ travel to Chin State; by which department or on which date or for which reason the restraint order, if any, is issued; if the recommendation is needed, which department can recommend or in how many days it can be issued. Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Tint Hsan answered: There are restrictions on tourists’ travel to Chin State. There are also restrictions for other regions and states. The designation of existing restricted area, routes and vehicles was made in the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 10-4-1996 to contain travel of foreigners. It was issued as it was found some foreigners arriving in Myanmar illegally often crossed borders, smuggled precious things from Myanmar and undermined economy, social affairs and security of the country. The travel of tourists to Chin State was restricted under this order.
If they want to travel beyond the area limited for the travel, they are allowed by the superior department with the assurance of respective Union ministries depending on road transportation and security of the region. Both package tour groups and foreign independent travelers are allowed to visit Kanpetlet, Natmataung, Mindat, Ayeywa station, Ramsi station, 8-mile station, Kennedy mountain, Haka and Falam under the programmes of tour companies.
Myanmar Police Force allows foreigners to enter Myanmar through Yangon and Mandalay International Airports. The intelligence corps checked whether the foreigner is blacklisted by the government. Those who are not blacklisted are issued designated visa and allow entering, traveling and observing the country. Respective local police closely attend to the tourists for their security without restriction or prohibition.
Chin State government has issued directive to eject the foreigners who do not have the permission of the superior departments and only have social visa as there is no specific directive for it after scrutinizing entrance of foreigners and neutralized Chin nationals to Chin State by Immigration and National Registration Department and other departments.
The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is trying to issue permission within a few days under the existing laws. The branches in Muse, Tachilek and Kawthoung border gates have been equipped with email and internet to grant the permission within the short range of time. In accord with the changing policies of the new Union government, restrictions on travel to Chin State will soon be relaxed.
Dr Nay Lin of Seikkan Constituency asked whether there is plant to handle improvement in treatment provided by private specialist hospitals and clinics officially permitted by the Ministry of Health in accord with Private Health Industry Law. Union Minister for Health Dr Pe Thet Khin answered: In accord with health policy of the government, the development of private health industry is being implemented under Private Health Industry Law prescribed with a view to developing private health industry, encouraging private health industry to fulfill their quota in national health system, using resources of private sector effectively in providing healthcare to the public, offering the public with more options for healthcare, providing high-quality healthcare to the public at reasonable price and ensuring accountability.
It is being encouraged to the private hospitals to employ more doctors/specialists, to improve the capacity of nurses, to appoint diploma holder/graduate nurses and to not assign nurse aids as nurses.
The ministry is encouraging the emergence of private health entrepreneurs’ association to form united public healthcare system and help each others. General plenary meeting for formation of Myanmar private hospitals association was held on 2-3-2012 and the ministry has assigned works to be continuously implemented by the association. In addition to above-mentioned efforts, others will also be included in the draft of Private Health Industry Bylaw and Rules and Regulations which will meet international standards.
U Thein Tun Oo of Amarapura Constituency asked whether there is plan to organize workshop with respective scholars for effectively learning English. Union Minister for Education Dr Mya Aye answered: Basic Education Primary and Middle School Level English and Mathematics Skills Contests held annually since 2008-2009 academic year. One week day is designated as English speaking day in schools on which students are required to speak in English.
Training teachers at education colleges and basic education schools with native speakers in cooperation with international organizations and non-governmental organizations and they will be handed scholarships for English offered by foreign education centres.
English test is included in entrance exam for post-graduate, master and doctorate courses. English departments of Yangon University, Yangon University of Economics, Yangon Institute of Education and Yangon University of Foreign Languages are compiling international-standard English curricula for each year.
Upskilling Programme for Freshly Appointed Tutors of English, English Language Course for Higher Education Teachers, English proficiency course of students of Ph.D courses, summer English refresher course for English teachers, Global English courses and SEAMEO English course are being opened.
A total of 548 trainees completed 13 English courses at Myanmar-India English Language Training Centre from December, 2009, to December, 2011. Staff under the ministry are also sent to English proficiency courses conducted by Myanmar-Singapore Training School.
A workshop on education promotion was held from 24 to 27 May 2011. Eleven academicians for higher education sector and eight for basic education sector discussed English proficiency in groups. For promoting English language skills of students, ongoing tasks and other measures to be taken for English language development according to the results from the workshop will continue. So, regarding that matter, there is no plan at the moment to hold a separate workshop.
In response to the question of U Tun Thein (a) U Tun Tun of Mansi Constituency about whether the government has any plan to carry out reconstruction work for the resettlement of local people who fled their region due to clashes in Kachin State, Deputy Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement U Phone Swe said the number of people who have moved temporarily to 65 rescue camps in 12 townships for security reasons is 19103. They are now being rendered assistance by government departments, the Kachin State government, public wellwishers, UN agencies and INGOs.
Up to 6 March 2012, cash and aids worth K 2652.689 million were provided. Measures were taken for the education and healthcare of the children of those families. When peace prevails, those who want to resettle in their native places will be allowed to do so with reestablishment of their businesses. And new projects will be undertaken for those who want to settle in new places. In the second week of February, a group led by the deputy minister for border affairs and deputy minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement made a field trip and carried out resettlement and rehabilitation tasks for those people who fled their regions due to regional security. In so doing, the Union government and the state government as well as UN agencies, NGOs, INGOs and public wellwishers are cooperating with each other.
Next, Deputy Minister for Energy U Soe Aung answered the two questions about the energy sector raised by two MPs. Regarding the question by Dr Than Win of North Okkalapa Constituency about whether the State can reconsider any amendment concernging the increased electricity bills and fuel prices as that can have impact on low-income people, the deputy minister said that diesel is mainly used in public transport sector. As diesel price does not change, commodity flow will not be affected and the economy of the people will not be affected either. Increased petrol prices are cheaper compared with the neighbouring nations. As a result, public burden can be reduced, the Ministry of Energy’s spending of money from the fund of the Union Government can also be reduced. Thus, the government can spend more on other sectors such as public health, education and social sectors.
The Union government has directed the ministries to operate themselves in a businesslike manner. So, the ministries need to stand on their own income and it is a must in the market economy system. Electric bills did not increase tremendously and such measures had to be taken so as not to cause public burden and to reduce the spending of the government’s fund.
Regarding the question of U Thaung Han of Yinmabin Constituency on “there is any plan to implement Urea Fertilizer Plant project on the river bank of Salingyi, Yinmabin and Kani Townships on the west bank of Chindwin River in Monywa District with the use of gas from gas reserve in Mahutaung Region, Pale township” Monywa District, the Deputy Minister replied: Thingadon region of Pale Township, Monywa District sees decrease in amount of oil and natural gas less than estimated. So, Padaukkone well No.3 and Yargyi well No.1 were stopped, which would be done in Mahutaung region. At the same time, gas and oil exploration and drilling in Thingadon region were temporarily stopped.
Detailed survey on findings is being conducted. Development programme for gas exploration can be drafted only after gas reserve in Thingadon Region is known. Then, gas exploration can be carried out on a commercial scale in Mahutaung Region. It would take six or seven years for gas production.
Construction of a new fertilizer plant needs enough gas as raw materials and fuel, gas with quality chemicals, enough investment, time and technology for running of the plant. The project can be implemented only after detailed survey regarding the aforesaid factors is conducted.
Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lwin replied the questions raised by two representatives. With respect to the question of Daw Nan Say Owar of Hpa-an Constituency on “there is any plan to reduce closing time of Thanlwin Bridge in Kayin State or to make arrangement for 24 hours use,” the deputy minister said that: Kayin State is sharing border with the other country where Thanlwin Bridge crosses. There was no peace and stability when Thanlwin Bridge was opened. So, security forces designate crossing time for security measure of the Bridge. Officials concerned gradually reduce the closing time based on Kayin State’s peace and stability.
People can use the Bridge from 4 am to 10 pm, starting 8-2-2012. Security forces allow the use of Bridge on emergency basis. There is a plan to reduce the closing times of the bridge in coordination with Kayin State government if the region sees more peace and stability.
With respect to question of U Aung Kyaw Khin of Kyauktan Constituency on “Why are respective departments carrying out survey and taking photos and videos of farmlands and huts in villages in 11 villagetracts on the other bank of Hmawwon Creek and in Kamakaloke Station in Kyauktan Township” the deputy minister replied: with the aims of ensuring the State’s economic development, technology transfer and creating more job opportunities in the region, confiscation of farm lands was carried out for construction of industrial zone in Thanlyin-Kyauktan region development area.
Human Settlement and Housing Development Department is collecting data and taking photo and video records in cooperation with General Administration Departments in Thanlyin Township and Kyauktan Township and Settlement and Land Records Department so as to know the implementation of special economic zones in industrial zones area and its related areas. Doing so is meant to know actual conditions there if the State has plan to implement special economic zones in that region.
At the report-submitting session, Chairman of Bill Committee U T Khun Myat submitted the committee’s report regarding the foreign investment bill sent by Amyotha Hluttaw.
The Hluttaw has proposed to discuss the Bill on 16 March. Those representatives who want to submit the amended proposal are to register their names not later than 14 March, along with detailed description of paragraph, subparagraph and particulars. The meeting came to an end at 1.35 pm and will go on at 10 am tomorrow.