The press conference on the third-year journey of the Union-level entities was continued yesterday. The Ministry of Construction, the Central Bank of Myanmar, and the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government answered to reporters in the Ministry of Information’s meeting hall in Nay Pyi Taw.
U Kyaw Lin (Deputy Minister for Construction)
The Deputy Minister explained the work undertaken by each of the departments under the Ministry of Construction in the third year of the civilian government administration.
The Department of Buildings, and mainly the Construction Assessment Committee under it, reviewed and approved 2,991 construction projects of 25 Union ministries for the six-month period of the 2018 FY.
He said the department constructed 43 assemble board houses in four villages in Maungtaw District, Rakhine State, to accept the return of displaced people. He said the department handled 384 projects for constructing high courts, hospitals and colleges/universities in the 6-month period of 2018 FY and 319 projects in 2018-2019 FY.
The Department of Highways paved or upgraded roads and constructed retaining walls, box culverts and other additions to roads in all the states and regions with loans from JICA, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank in the 2018-2019 FY.
The Department of Bridges has constructed and upgraded numerous bridges across the country and is handling bridge projects that are nearing completion.
These projects include Tiyanzup Bridge and Drukha Bridge in Kachin State; Chindwin Bridges Khamti and Homalin in Sagaing Region; Thamote Lut Lut Bridge, Pu Lone Tone Tone Bridge and Taninthayi Bridge in Taninthayi Region; Sittaung Bridges Yedashe, Otpyat and Myo Soe and Shwe Kyin Bridge in Bago Region; Myitha Bridge (Gangaw), Mone Chaung Bridge (Pwintpyu) and Yaw (Kantwin) Bridge in Magway Region; Sintewa Bridge in Mandalay Region; Attayan Bridge (Sabel Gu) in Mon State; Dar Lat Chaung Bridge, Thein Nyo Bridge, Kyap Sin Bridge, Sett Yoe Bridge, Kin Chaung Bridge and Ramaung Bridge in Rakhine State; Dawbon (Thakayta) Bridge, Myanmar -Korea (Dala) Friendship Bridge and Bago Bridge (Thanlyin Bridge No. 3) in Yangon Region; Laylu Bridge, Takaw Bridge and Thanlyin Bridge (Tarsan) in Northern Shan State; and Shwe Taung Yan Bridge (MaGyi Chaung), Nga Wun Bridge (Laymyethna), Myaungmya Bridge, Sawke Bridge, Kyun Byatet Bridge, Kyun Gon Bridge, Pathein Bridge, Shwe Laung Bridge, Wakema Bridge and Labutta Bridge in Ayeyawady Region.
In the housing development sector, the Ministry of Construction has constructed 3,322 rooms of low-cost housing in Yangon Region, 676 rooms of Ommar Dhanti Housing and 96 rooms of Pyi Taw Tar Housing in Pathein, Ayeyawady Region, and 48 rooms of Kyar Inn Taung Housing in Hpa-an, Kayin State.
The Construction, Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank (CHIDB) handles 25,109 accounts in its housing mortgage system which has saved K23.53 billion and has given out K35.17 billion for 2,720 house purchases. Cooperating with JICA, CHIDB is working to give out 15-year loans at a reduced 8.5 per cent interest rate.
U Soe Thein (Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Myanmar)
U Soe Thein said they handle Myanmar’s inflation rate through the Reserve Money Targeting Monetary Policy Framework, and aims to meet its reserve money target by calculating on the country’s GDP, inflation, velocity and money multiplier.
He said the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) is working towards the national objective for keeping the GDP at 7.6 per cent within an inflation rate of 5.5 per cent in 2018-2019 FY by trying to keep the reserve money rate at 11 per cent and the total money rate at 21 per cent.
U Soe Thein said CBM has called 25 deposit auctions within the 12 months between April 2018 to March 2019, and managed to seize approximately K281 billion in excess money from the market in each auction. He said the interest rates of the auction winners was roughly 2.94 per cent at the lowest and 7.13 per cent at the highest.
U Soe Thein said 5 additional directives to the 2016 Financial Institutions Law were issued on 3 May 2018 and intend to improve the governance of all banks.
He said they will implement Phase II of CBN-NET as signed with JICA on 8 August 2018. He said this phase will include linking CBM’s system with commercial banks, setting messaging standards to ISO 20022 Adoption, providing liquidity saving facility, ACH, cheque truncation, alert and dashboard function, DR site and data redundancy, user authentication, and automatic data linkage (such as with YSX, auction system).
CBM and the Internal Revenue Department collaborated on the CBN-NET system customer credit transfer function that allows people to pay their taxes online starting from February 2019, said U Soe Thein.
He said they have currently permitted 13 foreign banks to open branches in Myanmar and have plans to permit more in the future. He added that they are also permitting subsidiaries to open up as well.
U Soe Thein said CBM has allowed domestic private banks to have up to 35 per cent of their capital from foreign investments as of 29 January 2019. He said they have allowed domestic corporate banks to give out loans in both foreign and domestic currency since 8 November last year.
He said CBM is the supervisory authority of all banks and financial institutions in Myanmar and has conducted risk management trainings and awareness campaigns on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT) in addition to monitoring their progress in adhering to it.
As of March 2019, 27 private banks have opened 1,844 branches throughout Myanmar, said U Soe Thein, adding that they have allowed 25 non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) to open up. He said 10 private banks are currently offering mobile banking services since CBM gave the green light. He said there is one NBFI partnering and three mobile network operators providing mobile financial services and they are scrutinizing another mobile operator for permitting mobile-enabled financial services.
U Myint Than (Director-General, General Administration Department)
U Myint Than first highlighted the fact that the General Administration Department (GAD) was moved from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government during the third year of the civilian government administration. He said they continue to uphold the same four objectives the have always held to support the socioeconomic development of the people.
He said they have issued 127 religious grants, 53 Buddhist orientation hall grants, 42 grazing land grants, 123 grants for land above 5 acres, 15,299 grants for land under 5 acres, and 500 village grants throughout the entire country in the third year of governance.
U Myint Than said they have arrested 5,202 illegal alcohol dealers in the third year and have opened a total of 754 cases to 575 people who have violated the alcohol distribution license.
He said the GAD used to levy tax on alcohol under a single standard value but since being transferred to the respective region and state governments, the rates have been decided by the state and regional Hluttaws that best reflect the economic situation of their area.
The Director-General said they had estimated levying K18,101.646 million for the
four alcohol taxes in April-September 2018 but exceeded the mark at 112.68 per cent after having levied K20,396.741 million instead.
He said the Union Government has allotted K284.50 million to implement 98 rural development projects in 2018-2019 FY.
He said 211 domestic organizations and 28 international organizations had registered in the incumbent government’s third year in office. He added that they have provided 1,411,456 services throughout Myanmar in the this third year.
He said a workshop was held in Nay Pyi Taw consisting of current and former GAD staff from 26 to 28 February 2019 and the results from that workshop were combined with recommendations from ministry officials and the advisory team to produce the GAD’s vision and mission statements.
Afterwards, the officials replied to questions from the media. —Myo Tun, Nandar Han (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)