Members of parliament discuss Wildlife protection bill, approves ADB loan, 4.5-billion Thai baht loan

1By Thuya Zaw, Aye Aye Thant

the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw confirmed clause by clause the bill on the protection of wildlife and the conservation of natural areas, in which two Hluttaws were in disagreement and the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker announced that follow-up action will be taken, according to Pyidaungsu Hluttaw law and rules.
Later, Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin commented on the discussions and suggestions of the MPs on the $360-million loan from ADB and ASEAN Infrastructure Fund for the Ministry of Construction to develop roads in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region sent by the President.
The Deputy Minister said that of the three road projects, the Yangon-Pathein road was conducted under a BOT system by the Oriental Highway Company, with the permission of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC). The Ministry of Construction had coordinated with MIC to transfer this project back (to the ministry) by the step in/step out method and the agreement (for the project) will be as confirmed by the Union Attorney General’s office.
Another road project to be conducted under the ADB loan is the Yangon-Mandalay expressway, and the 40 miles Yangon-Bawnetkyi road section of this project is a portion that is to be implemented in relation to the Hanthawaddy International Airport project. By connecting the Yangon Inner Ring Road with the Yangon-Mandalay expressway, cars can reach Hanthawaddy International Airport from downtown Yangon in a short time. With the Yangon Inner Ring Road, traffic congestion in the city is expected to reduce.
According to the Yangon city development project, the development of Yangon is to be expanded northward. Korea is also planning an industrial zone and a green city in the vicinity of the Yangon-Bawnetkyi road. Thaton-Hpa An-Myawady can be assessed through the Yangon-Bawnetkyi road. Therefore, the Yangon-Bawnetkyi road section is definitely becoming part of the east-west economic corridor and this 40-mile road section should be a fully owned concession of the nation. That is why the upgrade of this road section using the ADB loan was explained by the Deputy Minister.
The Bago-Thanlyin road to be constructed with the ADB loan is also connected to the east-west economic corridor that will ease travel by road to Thilawa Economic Zone via Bago and will support the transport connection between Thilawa Economic Zone and the Greater Mekong Region countries.
Myanmar will participate in the development of east-west economic corridors of the Greater Mekong Region countries and by implementing the Cross Border Transport Agreement, the development of the country’s social, economic and transport sectors will be substantial and thus, the Deputy Minister requested the Hluttaw to approve the $360-million loan from ADB and the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund.
The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker then announced the approval of the Hluttaw on the matter of the $360-million loan.
Following this, Dawei Special Economic Zone management committee chairman Deputy Minister Dr. Tun Naing, Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin, Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win and Myanmar Special Economic Zone central management committee chairman Union Minister Dr. Than Myint discussed and explained discussions by MPs on the 4.5-billion Thai baht loan by Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) of Thailand sent by the President.
Dawei Special Economic Zone management committee chairman Deputy Minister Dr. Tun Naing explained that the loan is a government-to-government loan and Italian-Thai (Company Group) could not accept this loan. Only the Myanmar government can obtain this special (low) interest rate loan.
As per the loan term, the Ministry of Construction is responsible to implement the two-lane road work and the Dawei Special Economic Zone management committee will systematically amend the concession agreement signed with the Italian-Thai Company Group and re-sign it with the Ministry of Construction. This road is outside Dawei Special Economic Zone and is included in it as related work. With the Ministry of Construction taking over the responsibility of constructing this road, it will be a government-owned road that the public can use at a fair rate.
Deputy Minister Dr. Tun Naing further added that by implementing this road project quickly, it will support the development of other projects and related regions, Dawei Special Economic Zone, Taninthayi Region, the country’s economy and the image of the government.
In his explanation, Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win said the interest on the loan, including the management fee, is some 0.105 per cent per annum and the grant element calculation for the loan shows that it is a cheap loan.
An announcement was then made by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker about the Hluttaw approving the 4.5-billion Thai baht loan.
The Public Accounts Joint Committee Report (5/2018) on the committee’s findings and comments on the Union Auditor General Office report for the fiscal year 2016-2017 Pyidaungsu Hluttaw fund was then discussed by U Khin Cho of Hlaingbwe constituency, U Aung Thike of Seikphyu constituency, U Sai Oo Kham of Hsenwi constituency, U Aung Kyaw Oo of Mongton constituency, U Pe Than of Myebon constituency, U Sit Aye of Taungtha constituency, U Kyaw Htay of Leshi constituency, U Aung Kyaw Zan of Pauktaw constituency, U Whey Tin of Chin constituency (11), U Nyan Hein of Thanbyuzayat constituency, U Sein Aung of Paletwa constituency, Dr. Oo Lin Lin Kyaw of Myittha constituency, Dr. U Sein Mya Aye of Dala constituency, U Tin Aung Tun of Magway Region constituency (5), U Wom Hla of Nanyun constituency, U Win Aung of Moemauk constituency, U Ar Moe Si of Khaunglanphu constituency, U Kyaw Tote of Mandalay Region constituency (7), U Zarni Min of Shwegu constituency, U Thein Tan of Hlegu constituency, Dr. Daw Khin Nyo of Dedaye constituency, U Lal Min Htan of Chin State constituency (10), Daw Khin Hnin Thit of Padaung constituency, U Oo Tun Maung of Ponnagyun constituency, U Khin Maung Latt of Myanaung constituency, Daw Cho Cho of Ottwin constituency, U Myint Kyi of Katha constituency, U Zaw Hein of Taninthayi constituency (7) and Daw Ni Ni May Myint of Taungup constituency.
After the discussions, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker announced that the members of union-level organisations will respond to these discussions on the 20th-day meeting of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the date of which is yet to be informed, it is learnt.

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