The Shan State Government has made concerted efforts to achieve all-round development in all socio-economic sectors. In order to spur sustainable development, plans are under way to support and encourage small and medium-sized enterprises, development of health and education sectors, and conservation of the natural environment.
With a total population of over 5.8 million according to the 2014 population census, the Shan State is a home to various national races namely Shan, Danu, Intha, Palaung, Padaung, Pa-O, Kokang, Wa, Kachin, Bamar, Ahkhar, Lahu, Lisu and others and the area is 61,000 square miles. The Shan State is constituted with one self-administered division, four self-administered zones, 13 districts and 55 townships.
The authorities concerned of the Shan State Government have been able to serve the interest of regional residents with sweeping reforms in various spheres during two-year period of the new administration in office.
With a view to ensuring the improvement of socio-economic status of local residents, peace and stability in the region and rule of law and multi-sector development, the Shan State Government had made dramatic efforts for agricultural development, construction of bridges in both urban and rural areas, ensuring power supply and development of education, health and tourism sectors.
The Joint Monitoring Committee on ceasefire in Shan State (JMC-S) was formed with the aim of finding ways and means of overcoming difficulties and challenges encountered in implementing the task of the JMC-S. The JMC-S is comprised of 14 representatives appointed from five representatives from Tatmadaw, five representatives from ethnic armed groups and four representatives from local civilians respectively. In accordance with the committee’s mandate, representatives have to monitor and observe the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) terms and Military Code of Conduct as well as manage any flare-up of hostilities.
Formerly there were the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) that signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement-NCA in Shan State. Later Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) also joined in the NCA in February 13, 2018. Thus totaling three-ethnic armed groups that have already signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) in the Shan State. The Tatmadaw in cooperation with Myanmar Police Force-MPF are engaged in ensuring security and rule of law in the state under the supervision of the Shan State Government.
21st Century Panglong
Moreover, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has opened a second round of talks and the first Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong was successfully held after the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement-NCA. Under the agreement reached in the first Union Peace Conference, the National Level Political Dialogues for respective Ethnics are being held across the nation, and the National Level Political Dialogue for Pa-O Ethnics was successfully held in Hopong, Shan State from 16 to 20 February, 2017. Those present at the political dialogues focused on matters related to democratic federalism, ethnic rights, social, economic, land and environment issues, and their discussions contributed much to the emergence of a democratic federal Union.
The Shan State Government Chief Minister Dr. Lin Htut said, “The Shan State Region has received totaling US $ 756 million from some 14 foreign investments up to 31 March, 2018, and some Ks. 724 billion from 64 local investments.
The Shan State government has been able to open 15,844 basis education schools. Efforts had been made to increase the literacy rate, literacy activities were carried out in fifteen townships in the region. Altogether 2,685 teachers taught to 26,972 illiterates and plan is underway to raise reading habit and to conduct vocational training courses. During the two years in office, the Shan State Government had constructed 604 new schools; utilizing Ks. 24651 million. With the donation of Nippon Foundation, some 20 schools had been built; utilizing Ks. 103 million.
The Shan State Government built many healthcare facilities including 200-bed hospitals to render free healthcare services to the local ethnic people. The Shan State government placed emphasis on facilitating healthcare standard of the people, opening reception centers across the Shan State. With the aim of promoting healthcare sector, the state government had appointed Nan Mway Khan as Miss Golden Land Myanmar in 2018.
In order for the development of agricultural sector in Shan State, the Agriculture Department produced quality species and seeds of various crops such as paddy, maize, sunflowers, legume, etc. In the time of the new government, the amount of agricultural subsidies has been increased to K 150,000 per acre from K 100,000, and a ten-member loan disbursement group has been transformed into a three-member one to ensure the smooth and swift disbursement. As regards loans disbursement, the Myanmar Agriculture Development Bank disbursed Ks. 49000 million to 45,884 farmers from different villages and townships in the state.
In accordance with the 2012 Farmland Law, Rule, altogether 383842 holding blocks of 298160 farmers were granted land certificates (Form-7) to engage in agriculture for generations, and land certificates (Form-105) have been granted in the time of the new government in accordance with the Farmland Law and Bylaws for land ownership. Meanwhile, collection of land utilization premium according to types of land being practiced in the past under the Notification on Royalty Fees was annulled in the time of the new government.
In an attempt to promote tourism industry in Shan State, the Shan State Government made necessary preparations to operate direct flights from Heho to other countries. With the aim of improving human resources in hotel and tourism sector, vocational training courses were conducted and totaling 76 hotels had been opened. International tourist arrivals through the borders are increasing each year and foreign travellers have visited the region to enjoy its natural scenery, including highlands, mountains, rivers and forests. The Shan State Government is focusing on implementing culture-based tourism, as well as eco-tourism in order to promote the tourism sector. According to the data, it was learnt that over 1 million travellers, including local people and foreigners, had visited in the Shan State.
By Shin Min
(Translated by Win Ko Ko Aung)