Amyotha Hluttaw session continues for 19th day
Seven questions answered, two new proposals submitted
23 April 2012
The 19th day third regular session of the First Amyotha Hluttaw continued at Amyotha Hluttaw Hall in Hluttaw Complex here today, attended by Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung Myint and 215 MPs.
First, 22 MPs who have not taken affirmation of office took the affirmation before the Hluttaw Speaker in accord with Article 8 (b) of Amyotha Hluttaw Law.
Next, Deputy Minister for Industry U Myo Aung replied to questions of three MPs. Regarding the question of Dr Myint Kyi from Yangon Region Constituency (8) about if there is any plan to conduct courses on factory-, workshoprelated works to the youth, the deputy minister replied that the Industry Ministry was opening technical training schools in Sinte, Mandalay, Thagara, Pakokku and Magway conducting one-year courses on mechanics and automobile.
Those courses were eligible for youths aged between 18 and 25 with basic education level of middle school. The ministry was planning to open a technical training school in Myingyan to conduct mechanical courses.
In addition, under the aegis of Industrial Supervision and Inspection Department, electrical proficiency course and boiler operation course were opened in Mayangon Township, Yangon for staff under 50 from ministries and outside with basic middle school level basic education and industrial experience. The duration of the courses was six weeks, and the qualified were presented with competency certificates.
The Science and Technology Ministry conducted two-year courses at its technical training schools for the youth who had completed middle school level basic education. Those qualified from those schools could attend B.Tech and B.E courses. The Labour Ministry also was opening fourweek electrical, piping, welding, lathe and other courses eligible for those with middle school level basic education.
The outside organizations were also conducting welding, electrical, and construction special proficiency courses to those with basic industrial proficiency. The duration of the courses was at most six months and those who had completed those courses, based on their expertise had chance to work overseas.
Regarding the question of U Soe Han Linn of Ayeyawady Region Constituency No (1) about if there is any plan to establish cement plant in Gawyingyi Island in Ngayokkaung Sub-township, Ngaputaw Township and Mt. Chaungwa, the deputy minister replied that according to raw material supply measurement for establishment of cement plants in those places, Gawyingyi Island had about 25 million tons of limestone deposit and Mt. Chaungwa about 50 million tons deposit.
Although the raw material, limestone was available other inputs such as iron, quartz, power and energy had to be transported into there from other places. The implementation of factories and workshops had to be based on industrial development plan and investment plan of the State in consideration of its ecological and social impacts. Though the government now had no plan to set up factories there, region government had such plan to do it alone or in cooperation with private businessmen.
Ayeyawady Region government was arranging to submit proposal for establishment of cement plants to the Union government, but now there was only limited power to run such plant.
Regarding the question of Dr Tin Shwe from Yangon Region Constituency No (6) about whether the factories under the Industry Ministry would manufacture such consumer goods which were previously sold by former Ministry of Industry (1) and sold at Win Thuzar shops, and the current condition of domestic automobile production following old cars swap scheme and issuance of permits to purchase automobiles for abroad while industrial zones were manufacturing automobiles for Myanma industrial development , the deputy minister replied that there were a total of 78 Win Thuzar shops in Yangon and other towns. In the time of the incumbent government, the number was decreased to 62, of which 13 were rented to the private businessmen on a yearly basis.
Measures would be taken to let them sell only necessities based on market demand and consumer products liked toothpaste and foodstuffs would be sold by the private businessmen. Especially, pharmaceuticals called for systematic storage to ensure consumer safety so that pharmaceutical products would be sold systematically in only some Win Thuzar shops.
In the market economy, the market sets the price and thus there was no plan to sell such consumer products at a loss. The remaining Win Thuzar shops would be kept on opening so as to make sure people have easy access to essential consumer products.
Regarding the second question, Automobile, Motorcycle manufacturing Development Subcommittee under the Industrial Development Committee allowed manufacturing of light trucks, buses, 20-ton trucks and dumper trucks.
It was allowed for manufacturing of multipurpose vehicles in the past, however, industrial zones could not actually manufacture and pretended to be locally manufacturing importing illegally from abroad. So, it was no longer allowed to produce such vehicles. Now, the domestic automobile makers could manufacture 1-ton and 2-ton light trucks well and those home-made light trucks were found to be contributing much to domestic passenger and commodity transportation.
After issuance of permits to purchase vehicles from abroad, automobiles most imported from abroad were found to be passenger cars. Domestic automobile makers were not allowed to manufacture such cars. The swap scheme had decreased the prices of all kinds of vehicles in local automobile market, but the decline was reasonable one decreasing from rocket high prices.
Even under the current market price of automobiles, domestic automobile makers were still seeking permits to manufacture already-permitted vehicles, so there were still no desired results. So, it could be concluded that the swap scheme had produced less impacts on domestic automobile market.
Next, Deputy Minister for Communications, Posts and Telegraphs U Tint Lwin replied to questions of two MPs. Regarding the question of Dr Myat Nyanna Soe from Yangon Region Constituency (4) about the government’s possible assistance for K 5000-SIM card programme presented by a businessman, whether the government could bring down the highpriced internet charges and plans for speedy internet connection, the deputy minister replied that the Ministry of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs, had been bringing down initial installation charges to ensure the public had access to telecommunication services of international class step by step. In addition, it would extend its mobile phone services to rural regions meeting international norms and the installation charges would be reduced step by step to be level with those of neighbouring countries.
Telecommunications infrastructure for the first year of the mobile phone project took time costing huge amount of cash for initial installation. But in the coming years of the project, the cash capital would be decreased as it only needed to extend the infrastructure on a regular basis. So, phone charges could be reduced to be level with international countries.
The Ministry would work in partnership with communication services companies with experience in international communication sector, strong investment power and advanced technology. There is a lot of local and foreign companies wishing to invest in communication sector. The ministry was holding discussions with some international companies. They said that they can acquire capital, technology and equipment in short period but the classy infrastructural construction would take over one year. Thus, the ministry was committed to seek ways and means to level down the phone charges.
Regarding the second question, the high cost of initial installation, in comparison with neighbours, resulted from costly internet infrastructure. The monthly internet service charge was lesser or level to some countries. Initial installation charges were brought down to half and an increase in number of internet users would lead to decline in initial installation charges, covering the network construction costs. Regarding the slow internet connection, experts from National Computer System (NCS) Co Ltd and Loxley Co Ltd for Thailand were invited to Myanmar for two times in November, and December,2011 to search out the defects from core network of the two ISP in commission to end users, in the ministry’s efforts to upgrade the internet network.
According to the suggestion of those experts, the minister was coordinating with foreign companies concerned to extend such connection links as SEA-ME-WE-4 and SEAME- WE-5 in addition to old SEAN-ME-WE-3 link, inland fiber links, further installation of ISP Oversea POP each in data centres in Singapore and Hong Kong. In addition, the volume of internet bandwith would be extended to 14 Gb. In near future, pay-as-you download system would be introduced in WiMax system, which was hoped to bring down the net surfing charges.
Furthermore, according to the discussions at the 11th ASEAN Telecommunication Information and Information Technology Ministers Meeting hosted by Myanmar in December, 2011, the ministry was preparing to hold National ICT Forum in June 2011 to discuss how to increase ICT application inviting local and foreign experts as part of implementing 2nd ICT Master Plan (2010-2015). The suggestions and discussions of the forum would hopefully bring down the charges, making the connection speedier.
Regarding the question of U Than Myint from Taninthayi Region Constituency (11) about when approximately the reinstallation of collapsed CDMA phone tower in Taninthayi Township would complete, the deputy minister replied that 32-meter-long tower at .1987 microwave station was damaged due to strong wind and reconstruction of tower foundation was started in January completed in the second week of February. Transmission equipment was then installed and finished on 25 March and now the communication was better, said the deputy minister.
Next, Secretary of Bill Committee U San Tun submitted the import, export bill amended by Pyithu Hluttaw, along with the report of the committee to Amyotha Hluttaw for its consideration. Next, the Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker informed the bill amending the 1955 Government House (Expelling) Act, foreign investment bill and social security bill amended and sent back by the Pyithu Hluttaw to the MPs and announced that any MPs wishing to discuss the amendments may register.
U Maung Aye Tun of Rakhine State Constituency (9) proposed that the government should amend the punishments of criminal law articles 417, 426 and 427, which was approved by the Hluttaw for discussion.
U Myo Myint of Mandalay region Constituency (6) urged the government to hire local and international experts and high-level work supervision committee so as to compile repots on economic and engineering development of Myanmar, which was approved by the Hluttaw for discussion. It then announced that MPs wishing to discuss the proposals were to register.
The meeting was adjourned at 12.5 pm and the 20th day third regular session of First Amyotha Hluttaw would be held at 1 pm tomorrow and the 17th day third regular session of the First Pyidaungsu Hluttaw would be held at 10 am tomorrow.
Seven questions were answered, one bill sent back with amendments by the Pyithu Hluttaw submitted, three bills sent back with amendments by Pyithu Hluttaw informed to Amyotha Hluttaw and two new proposals submitted at today’s session.