During the eighth-day meeting of the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw’s 15th regular session yesterday, MPs debated a second report (1/2020) from the Joint Public Accounts Committee on the 6-month report from the Union Auditor-General (UAG) Office for April to September 2018.
Firstly, U Han Win Thein of Taninthayi Region constituency 4 said page 19 of the Union Auditor-General’s report says a lack of coordination between ministries and weak adherence to existing laws is causing loss in the national budget. The report also suggests departments and officials should exercise proper administration to ensure all national revenue is earned and terms of contracts are followed.
He said this is caused by department mechanisms unable to process the shift from a centralized planned economy to a free market economy. He said the people currently given the authority to carry out reforms for a democratic society and market economy often overstep their boundaries, fail to perform their duties or procrastinate. He suggested implementing a law on management and a suitable court to remedy this issue.
Next, U Sai Tun Aye of Mongshu constituency suggested that Myanmar’s national resources should be considered as investments from the beginning of projects to increase the national electricity supply through the use of foreign loans. He said developing the electricity sector is important and the Ministry of Electricity and Energy must take care not to waste national budget.
Next, U Kyaw Gyi (a) U Ohn Khin of Minhla constituency said that a close inspection of the ministries mentioned in the UAG’s report show that they do not properly adhere to existing policies, directives, laws and bylaws. He suggested that ministry officials should be more honest and hardworking than before, especially now, as the nation is endeavouring for national and social development.
The Joint Public Accounts Committee’s report was further debated by U Myo Zaw Aung of Kawlin constituency, U Myo Win of Mon State constituency 8, U Maung Myint of Mingin constituency, U Kyaw Naing of Yangon Region constituency 12, U Tin Ko Ko Oo of Bilin constituency, U Khin Cho of Hlaingbwe constituency, U Aung Thaik of Seikpyu constituency, U Sai Okkar of Laikha constituency, Dr Than Aung Soe of Minhla constituency, Daw Mi Kun Chan of Paung constituency, U Zaw Hein of Taninthayi Region constituency 7, Dr Kyaw Ngwe of Magway Region constituency 10, U Tun Myint of Bahan constituency, Dr San Maung Maung of Bago Region constituency 1, Daw Cho Cho of Ottwin constituency, U Khin Myo Win of Taninthayi Region constituency 12, Daw Aye Mya Mya Myo of Kyauktan constituency, U Kyaw Tote of Mandalay Region constituency 7, and Dr Kun Win Thaung of Kachin State constituency 11.
Lt-Gen Soe Htut also took the oath of office as Union Minister for Home Affairs in the presence of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat.
Next, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Joint Bill Committee member U Nay Myo Tun submitted the committee’s findings and suggestions concerning the Myanmar Geoscience Council Bill, disputed between the two Hluttaws. The Speaker called for MPs interested in submitting amendments directly related to the disputed facts to enroll their name.
Following this, Deputy Minister for Planning, Finance and Industry Dr Min Ye Paing Hein submitted the tax revenue records of Union-level Ministries and institutions for the second 6-month period of 2018-2019 financial year sent by the Union Government.
He explained that the estimate for the second 6-month tax revenue was K3,912.267 billion while the actual tax collected amounted to K4,317.552 billion, making the implementation rate 111.36 per cent.
He said of the 22 categories for tax collection, 13 categories exceeded estimates, 8 categories did not meet estimates, and 1 category had no estimate and no tax collection recorded.
The Deputy Minister said the 22 tax categories were levied by 9 Union Ministries and Nay Pyi Taw Council, and the 6 tax categories levied by MoPFI exceeded their estimate of K3,300.478 billion and collected K3,751.959 billion, marking an 113.68 per cent implementation rate.
He said the other 8 Union Ministries and Nay Pyi Taw Council levied the remaining 16 tax categories and collected K565.593 billion, which is 92.45 per cent of the estimated revenue of K611.789 billion.
The Deputy Minister said the tax revenue and GDP ratio of Myanmar is barely over 7 per cent, and comprehensive tax collection is greatly needed.
Next, Joint Public Accounts Committee Vice Chairman U Saw Than Htut submitted the committee’s report (2/2020) on the tax revenue. He mentioned that as Myanmar has signed the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) with China, Japan, Thailand, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, the amount of tariffs reduced for 2018-2019 financial year was K401.193 billion.
He said Myanmar needs to expand its export categories and quantity to ensure fair trade. The Speaker then called for MPs interested in discussing the report to enroll their names.
The ninth-day meeting of the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw’s 15th regular session will convene on 17 February.—Aung Ye Thwin, Aye Aye Thant (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)