The 9th-day meeting of the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw’s 17th regular session was held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Firstly, Joint Bill Committee member U Nay Myo Tun read the committee’s report on the Animal Health and Development Bill, sent back with comments from the President. Fellow committee member U Zaw Win then read their report on the National Library Bill, also sent back with comments from the President. Speaker U T Khun Myat then called for MPs interested in discussing both bills to register their names.
Tax revenue for 2019-2020 FY
This was followed by Union-level officials responding to comments from MPs and to the report from the Joint Public Accounts Committee (7/2020) concerning the tax revenue for the first half of the 2019-2020 financial year.
Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Dr Ye Myint Swe said the anticipated tax revenue for the first half was K14,958.845 million. The environmental conservation and forestry sector levied K5,738.496 million and the mining sector levied K13,422.237 million, a total of K19,160.733 million combined and a 128.09 per cent implementation success.
The ministry’s management committee decided to ease tax on precious gems after a report related to COVID-19 was submitted by Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association. An amount of K4,968.956 million has been levied as of 5 August, making it 75.93 per cent of the estimated amount. The remaining 24.07 per cent is for K1,574.945 million. The Deputy Minister said once COVID-19 restrictions are alleviated, then gem shows can resume and contribute to the government revenue.
Next, Deputy Minister for Planning, Finance and Industry U Maung Maung Win said the government is prioritizing effective tax management rather than increasing tax rates. He added that increasing or reducing tax rates is done with approval from the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, as cited in the 2008 Constitution. He said they are constantly working to raise awareness on proper tax payments and to create a positive taxpayer culture among the public.
Moving on, other sectors of the government revenue were explained by Deputy Minister for Office of Union Government U Tin Myint, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw, Deputy Minister for Transport and Communications U Kyaw Myo, Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy Dr Tun Naing and Nay Pyi Taw Council member U Aung Myint Tun.
Joint Public Accounts Committee member U Myo Win then motioned for the report to be approved by the assembly, which was approved after the Speaker received no opposition from the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. The tax report for the first half of the 2019-2020 financial year of Union-level institutions was also put on record.
National Strategy, Union Budget reports
Next, Union-level officials responded to comments from MPs and a report from the Joint Public Accounts Committee on the National Strategy Report for the first half of the 2019-2020 financial year and the Union Budget Report.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw said they proposed a capital expenditure of K430.368 billion for implementing projects in the first half of the financial year but have only utilized 25.13 per cent at K108.143 billion. He said the ministry’s capital budget proposal was K21 billion but they have so far received 33 per cent of it at K7.146 billion.
The Deputy Minister said they have not received the proposed amount from various grants such as from IFAD for Farm Project (Fostering Agriculture Revitalization Project in Myanmar), from Denmark-Myanmar and Mekong-Lancang projects, from East Region Agriculture and Livestock Project, and from the Canada Co-operative Association. He said this is why there is a shortfall in expected revenue.
Other aspects of the reports was further explained by Deputy Minister for Energy and Electricity Dr Tun Naing, Deputy Minister for Commerce U Aung Htoo, Deputy Minister for Education U Win Maw Tun, Deputy Minister for Construction Dr Kyaw Lin, and Deputy Ministers for Planning, Finance and Industry U Sett Aung and U Maung Maung Win.
Joint Public Accounts Committee member U Kyaw Tint then tabled a motion for the assembly to approve both reports. The Speaker then called for the deliberation of the Hluttaw, received no opposition, and declared the reports have been approved and will be put on record.
Next, Union-level officials responded to comments from MPs and a report from the Joint Public Accounts Committee on the Union Government’s annual debt report for 2018-2019 financial year.
Deputy Minister U Maung Maung Win said there is no more credit remaining to withdraw from foreign loans from before 1988 and between 1988 to 2011 while there is credit remaining in certain foreign loans acquired between 2011 to 2019. He said these foreign loans fund two types of projects; the first type creates income channels for the nation while the second type supports the economy and society without creating direct income, but they all bring benefits to the nation as a whole.
The matter was further discussed by Deputy Ministers U Hla Kyaw, U Kyaw Myo and Dr Tun Naing. Joint Public Accounts Committee Vice-Chairman U Aung Min then motioned for the assembly to approve the report. The Speaker then called for the deliberation of the Hluttaw, received no opposition, and declared the report has been approved.
The 10th-day meeting of the Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw’s 17th regular session will convene on 19 August.—Aung Ye Thwin, Aye Aye Thant (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)