The third-day meeting of the 17th regular session of the Second Amyotha Hluttaw was held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. In the Q&A session, MP U Myint Naing of Rakhine State constituency 5 asked whether there were plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Kyauktaw Township and provide basic necessities to people fleeing from conflict. Deputy Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement U Soe Aung replied that the Disaster Management Department has provided bars of soap, surgical masks and cloth masks, thermal sensors, hand gel, hand speakers, memory sticks, wash basins, limestone powder and vinyls with information on the disease to 2,824 families, equal to about 11,000 people, in Kyauktaw Township within the months of May and June and will continue providing assistance in the future as well.
As of 11 June 2020, the department has provided financial assistance of over K271 million for food and medical treatment of displaced persons in Kyauktaw Township since December 2018. They have also collaborated with ICRC, WFP, UN and other INGOs and NGOs to provide humanitarian assistance. The Deputy Minister said the department has also been allotted K2.1 billion by the National Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 to purchase the necessary hand sanitizers, infrared thermometers and other items to combat the disease and for constructing temporary shelters in IDP camps. The Rakhine State government is also planning to use K88.72 million to construct 4 rows of housing and 16 toilet units for additional people coming into Kyauktaw.
Next, MP U Kyaw Than of Rakhine State constituency 10 asked about the unfinished construction of 3 bridges along Pyinshay-Kalaba inter-village road in Kyaukpyu Township which were not completed in their designated budget year. Deputy Minister for Construction Dr Kyaw Linn replied that the 30ft bridge along the Pyinshay-Kalaba inter-village road has been completed while the other two bridges remained incomplete because they did not receive the full allotted funds. However, they have now received supplementary funds that will allow construction of both bridges to be complete by September this year. Next, MP U Larl Min Htan of Chin State constituency 10 asked whether road expansion for the remaining 16/3 mile of Mindat-Matupi district highway in Chin State will be completed in 2020-2021 financial year. Deputy Minister Dr Kyaw Linn replied that it will depend on when and how much of their proposed budget of K4,648 million will be allotted.
Next, MP U Hla Oo of Sagaing Region constituency 4 asked whether the 9.4 mile section of the Monywa-Ayadaw-Shwebo highway from Ma Gyi Sauk village to Sindale village in Monywa District will be upgraded within 2020-2021 financial year. Deputy Minister Dr Kyaw Linn replied that further action will be decided on when the Sagaing Region government’s budget proposal will be allotted.
Next, MP U Ye Myint Soe of Yangon Region constituency 7 asked whether private businesses will be allowed to set up incinerators in order to solve the issue of limited land for dumping garbage in heavily populated cities like Yangon and Mandalay. Nay Pyi Taw Council member U Nyi Tun replied that Yangon has a 20-tonne incinerator in Htein Bin landfill, Hlinethaya Township, but there is currently no policy to outfit individual incinerators at all the hospitals and factories. Additionally, there is no similar policy in process in Nay Pyi Taw and its daily waste will continue to be sorted and disposed of in landfills. U Nyi Tun said they have acquired a loan of US$ 8.6 million from the Asian Development Bank to upgrade the waste disposal system in Hpa-an, Kayin State, and a loan of US$7.6 million for Myawady and will begin constructing incinerators in 2020-2021 financial year. They are also working together with Mitsubishi Research Institute and Fujita Corporation to construct a factory for incinerating waste in Monywa.
He said Yangon-based Shwe Pyi company and England-based Organic Asia Co. Ltd have signed an agreement to construct an incinerator that produces energy from the waste it burns. He said there are currently no plans to work with private companies to set up incinerators but will be willing to cooperate if private companies contacted with proposals. Afterwards, Amyotha Hluttaw Bill Committee member U Aung Kyi Nyunt submitted to the assembly the bill amending the Law Protecting the Privacy and Security of Citizens, sent back with amendments from the Pyithu Hluttaw. Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than gathered the agreement of the Hluttaw before approving it.
Next, Tatmadaw Amyotha Hluttaw representative Lt-Col Aung Tun Lin tabled a motion for the Amyotha Hluttaw to debate a bill amending the 1959 Defence Services Act. MP U Pe Chit of Yangon Region constituency 9 seconded the motion. The Speaker gathered the deliberation of the Hluttaw, received no opposition, and announced the assembly will debate the bill and handed the matter over to the bill committee. The fourth-day meeting of the 17th regular session of the Second Amyotha Hluttaw will convene 21 July.—Aung Ye Thwin (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)