Rakhine State Government has carried out to achieve all-round development in all socio-economic sectors of the people. In order to make sustainable development, plans are under way to support and encourage the small and medium scale enterprises, the development of health and education sectors, and conservation of natural environment.
The Union Enterprise for humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development (UEHRD)
With the cooperation of the Rakhine State Government, the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development (UEHRD) in Rakhine has played a vital role in the process of accepting and resettling persons displaced by terrorist attacks. And effective arrangements have been made to earn their living without any difficulty and build the construction projects including houses and schools as the original structures and designs for the ethnic nationals including Hindus and Muslims.
Currently, Myanmar is ready to receive the verified returnees and cooperation is of great importance to create the conditions under the principle of voluntary, safe and dignified return.
Economic and Social Development
The Rakhine State Government has put a great deal of determined efforts into promoting rule of law and enhancing development in the region.
With the aim of boosting the investment, the Rakhine State Investment Commission was established on 7 July, 2017 and the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration opened its state office on 30 October, 2017.
As a result, they have verified and granted concessions to a total of 48 investment projects, including 6 livestock and fishery projects, 2 construction projects, 11 hotels, 27 energy projects and one service business in accordance with the rules and regulations.
Coporate Social Responsibility
As a form of Corporate Social Responsibility, the contributions made by the investors to the socio-economic development of Kyaukpyu are as follows: 50 villages are supported Ks. 30 million each to use as revolving funds for village development activities and heavy equipment operator training was conducted in cooperation with Caterpillar Company.
Also, the coordination and cooperation with ILO are taking place to conduct Labour Market Assessment – LMA. While preparing for LMA, trainings have been delivered to local people to enhance their vocational skills.
There have been 22 types of vocational trainings including those for women provided to a total of 2,160 trainees.
As transportation is an important component of the region, high priority is given to improving transportation in Rakhine State. Starting from April up to December, 2017, roads and bridges damaged after the attacks in Maungtaw were repaired and earthen roads, gravel roads, concrete roads and concrete bridges were built. Heliports were also constructed. Currently, twenty bridges and two new mountain roads on May Yu Mountain are under construction.
In the land transport sector, six more bus lines have been expanded in addition to the 42 existing bus lines. For water transport, transportation along the Rakhine coastline and rivers is improved with Kispanadi (1) and (2) vessels running along the Sittway-Kyaukphu route and Aung Takhon vessels running along the Sittway-Buthidaung route. As a part of the Kalatan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project supported by the Indian Government, six cargo vessels of 300 ton capacity started running on 26 June, 2017. In the air transport, approval has been obtained to build the new Mrauk U airport through public private partnership (PPP). At Munaung Airport, construction of 200 foot over-run to the south to the existing runway (4,500´x100´) and RESA earth leveling work has been started. Also in Sittway Airport, construction of the expanded terminal building (180´x60´) has been completed.
In the Communications sector, mobile phone penetration is now over 85% and there have been more than 1 million internet users. The efforts had been made in the electricity sector, starting from 1 April, 2017 up to 31 December, 2017, have resulted in the increases of electricity supply in terms of the number of hours a day.
Drinking water supply
For drinking water supply, building and repairing 26 earthen ponds were completed in the villages in Rakine State. Thinechaung Earthen Dam (with capacity 249 million gallons) and Dotantaung (1) Check Dam (with capacity 20.39 million gallons) were constructed. Construction of concrete reservoirs, repair of earthen ponds, installation of pipes connecting reservoirs to water collecting tanks were also carried out. Additionally, 234 rural drinking water supply projects were implemented in 233 villages, sourcing water from hand-dug wells, ponds, springs and other sources. A variety of comprehensive rural development activities were also undertaken in seven villages through Village Development Project, in 235 villages through CDD Project and in 97 villages through Emerald Green Project.
In support of agricultural production, mechanization was promoted by giving out loans of Ks 447.953 million to farmers to buy 233 machines and equipment for farming and fishery, and by selling two tractors and 575 hand-operated tractors in installments. Moreover, 23,332 baskets of seeds of pure paddy variety, 30 baskets of seeds of winter peanuts, four baskets of seeds of green gram, 796 packets of vegetable seeds were distributed to 4,553 households. The training on agricultural techniques was provided to 90 farmers with the support of KOPIA project. The farming equipment operator training was conducted for four times and benefitted 110 trainees.
Besides, 1,261 farmer trainings were delivered in all townships of Rakhine State.
14. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are important drivers of the development of the regional economy. Loans are given out to SMEs with the repayment terms from 3 to 5 years at an interest rate of 9%. Cooperating with JICA, Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank provides two step loans, with 3 to 5 year repayment terms, at an interest rate of 8% to farmers all over the country including the Rakhine State.
Encouraging investments and development of businesses, the company registration process has been streamlined by reducing the procedures up to 4 steps from previous 13 steps, and also reducing the registration fee from Ks.1 million to Ks.500,000.
Additionally, a telephone hot line (1887) has been set up to provide information needed for incorporating a company or making an investment.
Tree Plantation Movement
Efforts had been made to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, some 11,764 acres of community forests have been established; 1,644 acres of Gwa Chaung mangrove forest is planned to designate as protected area; and 390,000 trees were grown through community tree planting movements in 2017-2018.
Regarding production and distribution of climate resilient seeds, 441 acres of monsoon paddy seed nursery was established, 415,687 acres was planned and grown for crop diversification during 2017-2018 Fiscal Year.
Improving irrigation systems is another important effort for agricultural development. As such, 100% of 75 projects were completed, including construction, upgrade and repairs of irrigation systems, embankments, spillways, concrete water gate, check dams, and reservoir dams. In Rakhine State, 26 environmental education programs were organized during the period from June to November, 2017 and 5,174 people attended those programs.
By Shin Min
(Translated by William Ko)