By Shin Min Hmwe
The first regular session of the Second Amyotha Hluttaw commenced on 3 February 2016 and the seventh regular session of the second Amyotha Hluttaw was held on 15 February 2018. This is a capsulisation of the efficiency and responsiveness of the Hluttaw during that time
There are 224 representatives in the Amyotha Hluttaw, of which 168 representatives were elected in the last elections. The Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services appointed 56 Members of Parliament from the military. Constituencies for Amyotha Hluttaw are based on Myanmar’s 14 States and Regions, which will each elect 12 representatives.
The Hluttaw is an entity that most effectively represents the people and, according to the Hluttaw’s motto of “People’s Voice, Hluttaw’s voice, People’s Will, Hluttaw’s Will, People’s Expectation, Hluttaw’s Implementation.” the Hluttaw listened to the people’s voice and implemented the hope and wishes of the people. The Hluttaw turned two years old while forming the new government.
As the representatives of the people, Amyotha Hluttaw representatives raised questions, submitted proposals and made laws during the two-year period turning people’s desire into reality.
During the two-year-period of the Amyotha Hluttaw, seven meetings was held. The first regular meeting was from February 3 to June 10, 2016, totalling 42 days. The second regular meeting was from 25 July to 7 October 2016, totalling 45 days. The third regular meeting was from 16 November to 21 December 2016, totalling 18 days. The fourth regular meeting was from 30 January to 17 March 2017, totalling 19 days. The fifth regular meeting was from 18 May to 31 August 2017, totalling 53 days. The sixth regular meeting was from 17 October to 23 November 2017, totalling 16 days. The seventh regular meeting was from 15 January to 29 March 2018, totaling 33 days.
In the interest of the people, 783 questions marked with asterisks and 736 without asterisks were raised, and 1,519 proposals were submitted.
During the two-year-period of the Hluttaw, there were eight proposals approved and nine proposals were put on record out of 15 proposals made by 14 Hluttaw members.
These questions and proposals were aimed at fulfilling the needs of people which are to be carried out by the Union government.
As the committees are mini-parliaments, they practice the check-and-balance system, scrutinising the works done by the government. In this regard, they are carrying out the tasks for fulfilling the needs of people, amending or repealing the laws and proposing laws that will serve the people.
Moreover, to promote the skills of the representatives, scholars and organisations were invited to the meetings held in Hluttaw.
With the aim of serving the interests of the people, the Amyotha Hluttaw formed four Standing Committees and 13 Hluttaw Affairs Committees.
In accord with Amyotha Hluttaw Law, Section 24, Paragraph (a), and Bylaw Section (44), Paragraph (a), the Bill Committee was formed on 5 February 2016.
The Bill Committee during the two-year period completed 23 laws out of 47, including 11 bills which had been sent to the Pyithu Hluttaw, six bills which were under discussion in the Amyotha Hluttaw, two bills which were repealed, and three bills sent from the Pyithu Hluttaw.
At the Amyotha Hluttaw, 29 bills were discussed, including three bills which are still in the making, four bills which were sent back to the Pyithu Hluttaw, and 22 bills which were approved.
During the two-year-period, the Bill Committee meetings were held 154 times, and some 57 bills had been prescribed, including 45 laws from the Amyotha Hluttaw and the Pyuthu Hluttaw, and 12 laws from the Pyuthu Hluttaw.
Public Accounts Committee
The Public Accounts Committee was formed on 5 February 2016, committee meetings were held 28 times, coordination meetings were held 61 times, attending ceremonies 110 times, meeting with international organization 11 times, and dialogue meetings once during the two-year period.
Hluttaw Rights Committee
Because the Hluttaw Rights Committee’s speciality is securitising the Hluttaw Representatives who will attend the Hluttaw meetings, it is necessary to monitor the ethics and regulations of the Hluttaw members. The committee has to organise many meetings regarding rules of law, protection of laws for the people, making laws, amending laws and repealing laws.
The committee submitted its findings, analyses and advice for the cases to the speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw and transferred the case letters to the Hluttaw.
As for the Hluttaw Rights Committee, coordination meetings were held 17 times, meeting with international organisations three times and submission reports to Hluttaw twice.
Government Guarantees, Pledges and Undertakings Vetting Committee
The Government Guarantees, Pledges and Undertakings Vetting Committee was formed on 8 February 2016.
The committee watched whether the pledges made at the Hluttaw sessions were accomplished or not.
During the two-year period, there were 702 pledges to be carried out, and the committee invited the respective ministries to ensure that the pledges are fulfilled and to request them to make reports on work progress. Moreover, they made field trips regularly to check the progress of the work, practicing the check-and-balance system between the government and the Hluttaw.
International Relations, Inter-Parliamentary Friendship and Cooperation Committee
The committee was formed with the aim of promoting international relations with other countries. During the two-year-period, meetings with international organisations and ambassadors were held 36 times, committee meetings 29 times, and report submission three times.
Local and International Non-governmental Organizations Committee
Local and International Non-governmental Organizations Committee was formed with the aim of alleviating the difficulties faced by NGOs and INGOs and promoting the relationship among the Hluttaw and NGOs. During the two-year-period, meetings were held 23 times, including meetings with INGOs five times, ministerial meetings seven times, and report submissions three times.
Health, Sports and Culture Committee
The Hluttaw Health, Sports and Culture Committee is aimed at raising the standards of sports and culture in the country. During the two-year-period, the committee held committee meeting 37 times, managerial meetings six times, NGO meetings seven times, meeting with local organizations 104 times, attending conferences 104 times, attending international conferences 11 times and report submission three times.
The Ethnic Affairs Committee
During the two-year-period of Hluttaw, Ethnic Affairs Committee held committee meeting 24 times, ministerial meetings nine times, meeting with local organisations twice, meeting with international organisations twice, Federal Workshop and Debate once, local excursions twice, and coordination meetings of teaching ethnic literature once and report submission twice.
Farmer Affairs Committee
During the two-year-period of the Hluttaw, the Farmer Affairs Committee held committee meetings 42 times, meeting with international organisations four times, ministerial meetings five times, meeting with local organisations four times, dialogue meetings 12 times, report submission three times and fieldtrip inspection five times.
Women and Children’s Rights Committee
During the two-year-period of the Hluttaw, the Women and Children’s Rights Committee was held committee meetings 25 times, meeting with international organizations 19 times, ministerial meetings 11 times, meeting with local organizations 15 times, dialogue meetings 4 times, local excursions once, meeting with foreign guests once and report submission three times.
During the two-year-period of the Hluttaw, the Education Promotion Committee held committee meetings 44 times, meeting with local organizations four times, meeting with international organizations seven times, ministerial meetings five times, dialogue meetings twice, local excursions once and report submission three times.
Local and Overseas Employment Committee
During the two-year-period of the Hluttaw, the Worker Affairs Committee held committee meetings 56 times, meeting with local and international organisations 21 times, ministerial meetings nine times, meeting with local associations 18 times, dialogue meetings once, field trip excursions four times and report submission three times.
Citizens’ Fundamental Rights Democracy and
Human Rights Committee
During the two-year-period of Hluttaw, the Fundamental Rights of the Citizens, Democracy and Human Rights Committeewas received 624 complaint letters and scrutinised 341 letters.
The committee held committee meetings 65 times, ministerial meetings once, dialogue meetings four times, report submissions three times, field trip inspection 10 times, meeting with local experts four times, foreign meetings six times and report submission three times.
Mineral, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Committee
During the two-year-period of the Hluttaw, the Mineral, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Committee held committee meetings 44 times, meeting with international organisations twice, meeting with local organisations 28 times, ministerial meetings once, meeting with local businessmen three times, fieldtrip excursions 10 times, foreign excursions once and report submission THREE times.
Since its assumption of duties, the Public Complaints Committee received 624 complaints. The authentic complaints were handled together with respective departments and organisations.
Prompt action has been taken by the committee to settle people’s grievances and to fulfil their desires in accord with the law.
During the two-year-period of the Hluttaw, the Public Complaint Committee held committee meetings 65 times, ministerial meetings once, dialogue meetings four times, report submission three times, field trip inspection 10 times, meeting with local experts four times and meeting with foreign experts six times.
Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery Development Committee
During the two-year-period of the Hluttaw, the Agriculture, Livestock breeding and Fishery Committee held committee meetings 24 times, meetings with international organisations four times, meeting with local organisations three times, ministerial meetings four times, dialogue meeting seven times, report submission three times and field trip inspection twice.
(Translated by Win Ko Ko Aung)