Pyidaungsu Hluttaw discusses loans for development works

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The seventh regular session of the second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw held its 15th-day meeting yesterday.
The Hluttaw put on record the study tour of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives, led by Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Deputy Speaker U Aye Tha Aung, to Viet Nam. The tour was jointly organised by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Next, three ministries explained the 87.091 billion Japanese yen loan provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to conduct project works.

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Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw and Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin explained to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw about the 30.469 billion yen loan.
This was followed by Deputy Minister for Transport and Communications U Tha Oo explaining the 56.622 billion yen loan for the Yangon-Mandalay Railway Improvement Project Phase II (I). The Deputy Minister said the Yangon-Mandalay Railway Improvement Project Phase I was on the 166-mile Yangon-Toungoo section and Phase II would be on the 220-mile Toungoo-Mandalay section. The project aims to repair and maintain the deteriorating condition of the railway line’s basic infrastructure and related parts, raise the speed of the train from 64 km/hr (40 mph) to 100 km/hr (62 mph), ensure safe and secure travel, as well as improve the punctuality of train services. When the project is completed, travel for people living along the rail tracks extending to the Bago Region, Nay Pyi Taw Union area and the Mandalay Region will be more convenient, while the flow of commodities will increase, raising the income, as well as the capacity of Myanma Railways. It will also upgrade the railway system on the main Yangon-Mandalay route with modern tracks and signalling systems. Once the project is completed, with modern DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) trains, speeds up to 100 km/hr can be achieved, ensuring the travel period does not exceed eight hours. The benefits will be safe and convenient travel for people, and speedy transport of goods, said the Deputy Minister.
The Deputy Minister explained that the loan would be utilised for civil engineering works and signalling/communication works, purchase of locomotives and coaches, installation of control systems, and the installation of concrete sleepers and associated materials.
The Deputy Minister requested the Hluttaw to grant its permission to accept the 56.622 billion yen loan from JICA for the Yangon-Mandalay Railway Improvement Project Phase II (I).
Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win then explained that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation would conduct the multi-purpose dam water management works, provide high-grade materials and accessories for the repair and maintenance of the dam, establish high-level farm lands, construct repair shops for farm machineries and equipment used in mechanised farms, set up inspection and test centres for farm machineries and equipment, while the Ministry of Construction would upgrade the rural roads and bridges.
By implementing the Yangon-Mandalay Railway Improvement Project Phase II (I), the Ministry of Transport and Communications will create a safe, reliable and speedy rail transport system that will support the economic development of Myanmar. This is in accorddance with the mid-term debt management strategy, as well as the policy on development assistance, set up by the nation. The Deputy Minister requested that the Hluttaw approve the loan of 87.091 billion yen for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation; Ministry of Construction; and the Ministry of Transport and Communications to implement the development projects.
The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw speaker then asked the Hluttaw representatives who wanted to discuss the loan to register their names.
Later, Deputy Minister for Education U Win Maw Tun, on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Sports, explained the matter of getting 22 million euros and 5 million euros loan from Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), a French development agency, for general maintenance and upgrade of the capacity works of the Ministry of Health and Sports National Health Laboratory (NHL), sent by the President.
With regard to this loan, Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win said the implementing ministry was the Ministry of Health and Sports, and the project would help provide efficient services to the people. The Ministry of Health and Sports will request a budget when it is time to repay the loan. With the loan, the NHL in Yangon will be renovated to retain the building’s original (historical) design, construct a new four-storey building and the main laboratory rooms. The project will support the development of Myanmar’s health sector, raise the capacity to identify diseases, help study and prevent infectious and epidemic diseases, and conduct international-level laboratory tests and quality testing that
will benefit the entire population.
The Deputy Minister explained to and requested the Hluttaw to discuss and approve the 22 million euros assistance from the AFD, after which the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw speaker requested interested Hluttaw representatives who wanted to discuss the loan to enrol their names.
Later, in his explanation on the report on the findings of the 2016-2017 fiscal year’s (FY) Pyidaungsu Hluttaw development fund, Union Auditor General U Maw Than explained that in the 2016-2017 FY, 322 townships in 14 states and regions were each provided with Ks100 million, totalling Ks32.2 billion, while eight townships in the union area were each provided with Ks100 million, totalling Ks800 million. The Union Auditor General also explained the suggestions in the report.
The Report (5/2018) of the Public Accounts Joint Committee’s findings and comments on the Union Auditor General’s report was read by bill committee member U Bo Gyi, and a motion was then tabled for the Hluttaw to consider and discuss. An announcement was made for the Hluttaw representative to register to discuss the report.
Following this, 27 Hluttaw representatives discussed the report made by the Myanmar Hluttaw delegation that had attended the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU).
In his discussion, Dr. Khun Win Thaung of Kachin State constituency (11) supported the report and asked the people to conduct an in-depth study of the suggestions made by the Kofi Annan commission, accept according to the law those who ought to be considered as nationals and promote peaceful co-existence, while taking effective action against those who are entering illegally. He also said that ethnic nationals must be united, forgive and tolerate one another, and reduce ill feelings, as well as armed conflicts. These are the best responses to future international pressures and will help overcome the difficulties faced, he noted.
After the discussions, the decision of the Hluttaw on the 137th IPU Assembly report was taken. The Hluttaw agreed and confirmed the report and put on record the explanation of the implementation committee on the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.
The 16th-day meeting of the seventh regular session of the second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will be held on 19 March.


Aye Aye Thant, Myo Thu Hein (MNA)

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