2nd Amyotha Hluttaw 5th regular session 23rd day meeting was held yesterday morning in Amyotha Hluttaw meeting hall where five questions were answered and two bills were submitted.
Of the farmers who had their lands confiscated when Myanmar Wanbao Mining Copper Limited fenced off the project area of Letpadaungtaung Copper Mine Project, some farmers were refusing to accept land and crop compensation and U Ye Htut of Sagaing Region constituency 5 asked whether there is a plan to pay land and crop compensation to these farmers.
Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win said compensation for land and crop for these farmers will continue to be paid by an Implementation Committee based on Letpadaungtaung Copper Mine Project Investigation Committee Report. The Implementation Committee includes Sagaing Region government members, officials of No. 1 Mining Enterprise, Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited and Myanmar Wanbao Mining Copper Limited.
In accordance with the suggestion included in the report Wanbao Company had paid land and crop compensation totaling Ks 4,950.177 million for 4,817.47 acres of land from 16 March 2013 to 31 March 2017. 1,810.06 acres of land remains to pay land and crop compensation. As per the guidance of the Implementation Committee, an additional support of Ks 3,205.015 million for 4738.12 acre of land from 3 February 2014 to 31 March 2017 was paid leaving 1,889.41 acres that were not provided with additional support.
According to a Contribution Plan for those who had lost land while they wait for employment, 902 farmers were provided with Ks. 3,478.712 million as of 31 May 2017.
Therefore, when Sagaing Region government compile a list of farmers who had not accepted land and crop compensation and send it to Wanbao company, the ministry will closely monitor and insist the company to pay the compensation for land and crop, additional support and payment according to the Contribution Plan in the same rate paid to the farmers who already accepted it answered the Union Minister.
Responding to the question by U Saw Moe Myint @ Samuel of Kayin State constituency 1 on whether projects (Letpadaung Copper, Tagaung Nickel, offshore natural gas, Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port) implemented with foreign investors under production sharing contracts (agreements) were employing local experts according to ratio agreed in the agreements and income tax is collected from foreigners working in the projects, Union Minister U Ohn Win said Letpadaungtaung Copper Project, Sabeitaung, Sabeitaung (south), Kyesintaung copper projects and Tagaungtaung Nickel Project conducted under foreign investment law were employing local and foreign experts according to the agreement and even though Letpadaungtaung Copper Project is starting commercial production, due to remaining construction works, foreign experts are more in number than the local experts.
In the joint management committee meetings with these companies, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation is always insisting and pressing to train Myanmar staff, increase the employment of Myanmar experts and reduce the number of foreign experts said the Union Minister. The Union Minister also said foreigners working in these projects are paying income tax according to existing law.
The Union Minister also replied to questions asked by U Tin Aung Tun of Magway Region constituency 5, U Ko Ko Naing of Sagaing Region constituency 8 and Dr. Kyaw Than Tun (Canton) of Mandalay Region constituency 3.
Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than then announced interested Hluttaw representatives to register their names to discuss a bill to repeal the oversight of people’s auditor act that was sent back by Pyithu Hluttaw with amendments.
Afterward Daw Ohn Kyi of Mandalay Region constituency 4 supported a motion for Amyotha Hluttaw to discuss a third bill amending Anti-Corruption Law submitted by U Zaw Min of Sagaing Region constituency 6 and hluttaw announced its agreement to discuss the bill.
2nd Amyotha Hluttaw 5th regular session 24th day meeting is scheduled to be held on 3 July.
Thura Zaw (MNA)