Ninth regular session of the 2nd Pyidaungsu Hluttaw commences

Pyidaungsu Hluttaw being convened in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw being convened in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA

The 2nd Pyidaungsu Hluttaw began the first day of its ninth regular session at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Hall in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than addressed the assembly, noting that during the ninth regular session the members will primarily focus on discussing and approving the National Planning Bill and the Union Budget Bill for Fiscal year 2018-2019.
The Speaker said members of parliament should keep in mind the immediate and long-term benefits for the public, while avoiding unnecessary spending of public funds when reviewing and approving plans proposed by the Union Government. He added that MPs need to consider whether the plans have relevance to the current state of affairs, and to approve them on time when reviewing the budget phase in the implementation process.
The Speaker said MPs should be mindful of the existing laws and bylaws when reviewing, in conjunction with set policies, the plans to fulfill the immediate requirements and long-term development of the country and its people. He said MPs have to collaborate with officials from union-level departments and organizations in discussing the respective numbers in the plans related to them. He added that MPs should keep in mind the objectives of union-level departments and organizations, the all-round equal development of states and regions, and the emergence of opportunities for future generations.
The Speaker noted that within days the 2nd Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will have been held for 30 months; marking the completion of the first half of the Hluttaw term; and, therefore, the role of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker and Deputy Speaker will be transferred to the Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively, as stated in the Constitution, making the ninth regular session unique in the assembly’s history.
Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than added that MPs will have to assume more responsibilities than in previous sessions, so it is important to systematically organize the available time to complete the increased workload. He urged MPs to ensure the public fund is in line with the respective laws, bylaws, rules and regulations, as it is used for the benefit and development of the nation and its people.
The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker then announced that the Hluttaw has put on record President U Win Myint and his delegation’s state visit to Thailand, having received the invitation of Thailand’s Prime Minister.
The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker then announced the Hluttaw has also put on record executive orders from the President’s Office appointing Dr. Mya Lay Sein as Deputy Minister for Health and Sports, and Colonel Hla Oo as Shan State Minister for Security and Border Affairs.
The Speaker further announced the Hluttaw has put on record executive orders from the President’s Office on the expansion, renaming, reformation, and abolishment of townships, wards, village-tracts and villages in Kachin State, Mon State, and Bago Region.
Afterwards, Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Soe Win explained to the Hluttaw about the 2018-2019 National Planning Bill.
The Union Minister said the 2018-2019 National Planning Bill was drawn up to reduce current socio-economic challenges, to mitigate consequences from future socio-economic difficulties, to put in place prioritized operations and regional work with relevance to existing state of affairs, and to promote development of the private sector.
The Union Minister said the projected economic growth of Myanmar is 7.6 per cent and the projected gross domestic product-GDP growth will reach Ks 90,269.99 billion. The Per Capita GDP is projected at Ks 1,978,486, he said. The Union Minister said the gross private domestic investment (GPDI) is projected at Ks 8476.3 billion in the government sector; Ks 20,808.0 billion in exports; Ks 21,488.0 billion in imports; and Ks 42,296.0 billion in foreign trade.
Next, U Thein Lwin of Kachin State constituency 10, a member of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Joint-Bill Committee, read and submitted to the Hluttaw the Revenue Appellate Tribunal Bill, which had been sent back with remarks from the President’s Office. The Speaker announced that those MPs interested in discussing the bill could register their names.
Union Minister U Soe Win explained and submitted to the Hluttaw the Union Budget Bill. He said the GDP for fiscal year 2018-2019 is estimated to include 21.90 per cent from the agricultural sector, 37.27 per cent from the industrial sector, and 40.83 per cent from the service sector. Inflation is estimated to reach 5.91 per cent in FY 2018-2019, said the Union Minister.
The Union Minister also said the Ministry of Commerce has projected trading US$ 15.300 billion in exports, $ 15.800 billion in imports; a total of $ 31.100 billion in trade; and a trade deficit of $ 500 million for FY 2018-2019. The Union Minister said the Central Bank of Myanmar, after taking into consideration the projected economic growth and inflation rate for FY 2017-2018, had worked to increase the monetary base by 16 per cent and the money supply by 23 per cent. As of March 2018, the monetary base has increased by 6 per cent and the money supply by 18 per cent, noted the Union Minister.
The Union Minister added that the projected budget deficit and GDP proportion for FY 2018-2019 is 4.62 per cent, so, therefore, the Central Bank of Myanmar has calculated reducing 20 per cent of the budget deficit to reduce the Union budget deficit.
The Central Bank of Myanmar has taken into consideration foreign budget acquisitions and increased domestic loans to project the estimated growth of the monetary base by 11 per cent, and the overall money supply by 21 per cent in FY 2018-2019.
To reduce the deficit of states and regions, a subsidy of Ks 1.794 trillion has been proposed for FY 2018-2019, an increase of Ks 87 billion from the original subsidy, calculated with last year’s six indexes.
Concerning the revenue allotment for states and regions, Ks 54.255 billion of tax collected from the government sector was divided according to the half-year budget framework. With tax from the private and cooperatives sector not included in the calculation, 15 per cent of tax from commercial tax, 15 per cent of specific goods tax, 5 per cent from personal income tax, and 2 per cent of tax from the stamp duty were divided, based on tax levied from states and regions. The total revenue allotted amounted to Ks 336.918 billion, while Ks 32.200 billion is assigned for the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Development Fund.
Next, U Nyan Win, Chairman of the Union Legal Supporting Group, read and submitted the group’s six-month progress report. U Nyan Win said that on 18 May 2018, they had formed the Project Drafting Executive Committee, Working Committee on Policies, Working Committee on Staff Affairs, Working Committee on Financial Administration, Working Committee on Marking Criminal Offences approved for Legal Support, Working Committee on Rules and Regulations, Working Committee on Verifying Poverty Claims in Requesting Legal Support, Working Committee on Raising Legal Awareness, and Working Committee on International Relations.
The President has received the Union Legal Supporting Group, led by Chairman U Nyan Win, at the Presidential Palace on 4 May 2018, and were instructed about becoming organized in developing strategies to aid the rule of law and the judicial sector.
The Speaker then said that interested MPs should include their names for discussing the report.
Also, the Speaker announced that the Hluttaw has approved the appointment of U Tin Htwe from Waw Constituency as a member of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission.
The second day of the ninth regular session of the 2nd Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will continue on 25 July.—Thura Zaw

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