By Aye Aye Thant (MNA)
The 15th-day meeting of Second Pyithu Hluttaw’s tenth regular session was held at the Pyithu Hluttaw meeting hall of the Hluttaw Building in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. At the meeting, asterisk-mark questions were raised and answered; Hluttaw committee reports read, discussed and confirmed, bills received and approved; and a motion discussed and decided.
Question and Answer session
The day’s meeting starts off with the question and answer session where U Myint Lwin of Twantay constituency raised the first question on details about remittance from Myanmar citizens working abroad. Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win replied that compared to the numbers of citizens working abroad, the remittance is very low. While Myanmar was under economic sanction, it was difficult for Myanmar citizens working abroad to remit money back to Myanmar. This was taken advantage of by the informal money transfer Hundi system to remit money of Myanmar citizens working abroad to remit money back to their families.
The Hundi system prevents the government from obtaining tax while there was no proper official record of the amount being remitted. There were even instances of some Hundi operators embezzling the remitted money. Thus, after economic sanctions were lifted emphasis was placed toward remittance to be conducted through the official channels. According to 2018 Union Tax Law, salaries of Myanmar citizens working abroad were tax exempted so no tax was collected on it, explained the Deputy Minister.
Dr. U Sein Mya Aye of Dala constituency next raised a question on whether there is a plan to open Myanmar Economic Bank (MEB) in Dala Township. Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win replied that Myanmar Economic Bank management had recommended the opening of a bank in Dala Township already and fund was requested in fiscal year 2018-2019. K 60 million had been allocated for it. Fund for a bank vault to be constructed in a police station compound was also requested but this was deducted and not included in the same fiscal year. Fund for the bank vault will be requested in fiscal year 2018-2019 addition fund and once the bank and the vault is constructed, MEB bank services will be available, replied the Deputy Minister.
U Khin Cho of Hlaingbwe constituency on the other hand raised a question on status of snake bites in the nearest five year period and the arrangements and export of anti-snake venoms. Union Minister for Industry U Khin Maung Cho replied that in Myanmar 90 per cent of snake bites were caused by Russel’s viper, 6 per cent by cobra and 4 per cent by other snakes. Therefore 90 per cent of anti-snake venoms produced by Pharmaceutical factory (Insein) were for viper bites while 10 per cent is for cobra bites.
During the five year period from FY 2013-2014 to FY 2017-2018, 416,214 anti-snake venoms were produced. Bivalent anti-snake venom effective for both viper and cobra bites were also produced for snake-bite victims who were unable to identify the identity of the snake.
On export of anti-snake venoms, 500 were exported as a trial to Cambodia and Laos in FY 2017-2018 and the plan is to export 5000 in FY 2018-2019. Anti-snake venoms from neighboring countries were also imported to Myanmar but comparing the cost and effectiveness anti-snake venoms produced in Myanmar are found to be more effective and cheaper said the Union Ministers.
Although anti-snake venoms were sold to Ministry of Health and Sports, arrangements were already made for individuals or organizations/entities to purchase it easily at the factory. Starting from FY 2016-2017 100,000 anti-snake venoms was produced annually and starting from FY 2017-2018, dried anti-snake venoms that can be stored at room temperature were produced. Depending upon local and export requirement, arrangements are made to produce between 200,000 to 300,000 anti-snake venoms annually explained the Union Minister.
Questions raised by U Than Aung of Ngaputaw constituency, U Sai Tun Aye of Mongshu constituency, U Bo Bo Oo of Sangyaung constituency, U Saw Thalay Saw of Shwegyin constituency were also answered by Union Minister for Industry U Khin Maung Cho and Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy Dr. Tun Naing.
Pyithu Hluttaw Committee reports read, discussed and approved
Following the question and answer session Pyithu Hluttaw International Relations Committee report and Pyithu Hluttaw Banks and Financial Development Committee report were read by committee members Daw Nan Moe and U Nay Soe Aung. After each report was read, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat announced for Hluttaw representatives who want to discuss the report to register their names.
Pyithu Hluttaw Ethnic Affairs and Internal Peace Implementation Committee report was then discussed by U Sai Tun Aye of Mongshu constituency, U Myat Lay Oo of Htilin constituency, U Pe Than of Myebon constituency and U Lone Jone San Mai of Sumprabum constituency and Committee Chairman U Khun Maung Thaung provided explanations to the discussions made.
Committee member Dr Sai Hla Thein then table a motion to accept the report and Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker announced the Hluttaw’s agreement after obtaining the decision of the Hluttaw.
Receipt of a bill and approval of another bill
Next, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker announced the receipt of 2018 Gambling Bill sent with amendments by Amyotha Hluttaw and announced further for Hluttaw representatives who want to table an amendment motion to register their names.
Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker then obtained the decision and announced the Hluttaw’s agreement on the Industrial Copyright Design Bill confirmed and sent with amendment by Amyotha Hluttaw.
Motion to expand and reorganize the Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division into a Department discussed
Finally a motion urging the Union Government to expand and reorganize the Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division under the Forest Department into a full separate department in order to conserve world and Asia natural heritage sites as well as natural reserve areas around the country, rare wild animals and species without affecting the rights of the local people tabled by U Aye Naing of Dagon Myothit (South) constituency was discussed by U Min Naung of Pinlebu constituency, U Win Myint Oo @ U Nay Myo of Nyaungshwe constituency, U Thet Naung of Lahe constituency, U Myo Zaw Aung of Kawlin constituency, U Aung Naing @ U Naing Kyaw of Mogok constituency, U Kyaw Aung Lwin of Sedoktara constituency, U Yi Mon @ U Maung Tin Thit of Pobbathiri constituency, U Mahn Nyunt Thein, Pantanaw constituency, U Lar Mar Lay of Hsawlaw constituency, Daw Nan Khin Saw of Kunhing constituency and U Win Naing of Mogaung constituency.
In his discussion on the motion Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Dr. Ye Myint Swe said the matter would require additional staff and funding as well as amending a law enacted in 21 May 2018. As time is required to do all these, the Deputy Minister explained to put the motion on record and keep the matter under observation.
U Aye Naing responded to a request for comment from the Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker and said the motion should be kept on record and the matter kept under observation and will press again if no further follow up action is made.
Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker then announced the motion to be kept on record and keep the matter under observation after obtaining the decision of the Hluttaw.
The 16th-day meeting of the Second Pyithu Hluttaw’s tenth regular session will be held on 19 December it is learnt.