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SAC Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win attends 1/2021 meeting of Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee

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State Administration Council Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win addresses the 1/2021 meeting of the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

Vice-Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win, in his capacity as Chairman of the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee, presided over the 1/2021 committee meeting yesterday.
First, the SAC Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister said according to the global illegal trade index 2008, Myanmar ranks 82nd out of 84 countries. When the global illegal trade index is measured with four indices, they are policy, demand and supply, transparent trade and customs procedures.
Illegal trade is one of the main obstacles to Myanmar’s economic development. As long as the illegal trade sector is strong, it will hinder legal activities.
The reduction in cross-border trade has been linked to illegal trade. Comparing the trade figures between Myanmar and neighbouring countries, it can be seen that there is a big gap between the illegal trades.
Due to the illegal entry of products via border areas, the MSMEs would face hardships in the long run and so it should conduct effective measures to fight the illegal trade in regions/states in border areas.
He then mentioned the effective policies, strategies, strategic plans, projects and short-and-long-term work plans to be drafted by the ministries concerned, work committee and sub-committees.
He continued that during the term of SAC, it organized the Central Committee on Ensuring Smooth Flow of Trade and Goods with order No 81/2021. Subparagraph ( f ) of paragraph (2) of the duties of the committee states to carry out not to occur illegal trade. Moreover, the sub-paragraph (dd) of paragraph (16) of the duties of Committee on Ensuring Smooth Flow of Trade and Goods organized with order No 83/2021 also stated that measures to be conducted to prevent illegal trades.
He also talked about the consumer protection and inspection on illegal trade, increase of state income with high trade volume via official route, competitive market, action to take against on illegal trade, plans to reward the organizations and informers regarding the illegal trade and add to state budget if there is no informer.
He also continued that the Yepu permanent checkpoint on the Mandalay-Muse Union Highway and the Mayan Chaung checkpoint on the Myawady-Yangon Union Highway under the leadership of the Customs Department inspect with OSS departments. The Mayan Chaung checkpoint seized K19,206.499 million worth of illegal trade during five years from 2016-2017FY to 2020-2021FY (May) while K27.281.789 million worth of illegal trade between the 2016-2017FY and the 2020-2021FY (May).
The Deputy Prime Minister then highlighted the seizures of illegal trade by the anti-illicit trade task force formed previously during three years and four months from September 2018 to January 2021 and by the new task force during nine months from February to October 2021.
He then underlined the need to make efforts to reduce illegal trade and tax evasion while the government eases some restrictions in the trading sector, to improve the budget of the State, to draft plans to supervise the illegal trade via sea, air and border trade camp by the steering committee and other cooperation works with respective regions and states.
He also added that excessive shipments of goods at checkpoints with documents, transportation of products using other names occur while taxes are being levied on amounts less than they should be. The department concerned should adopt the procedures to achieve the receivable taxes for the country. Moreover, the departments should make efforts to streamline the auction processes of seized items as per the procedures.
It also needs to set the floor price of the seized items as close as possible to the price on the ground. There should be coordination to amend the procedures of the relevant departments so as not to cause any damage due to delays in handing over the seized items.
The relevant departments must amend the procedures if necessary to distribute the bonuses as soon as possible for the anti-illegal trade associations.
The Ministry of Commerce is the Focal Ministry in Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee and the ministries should work together to reduce the illegal trade and to achieve the receivable taxes for the country.
Then, Committee Secretary Deputy Minister U Nyunt Aung reported on the formation of the committee and implemented works to fight illegal trade.
Deputy Director-General of the Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization U Oo Han presented a ground action plan to combat illegal trade (draft) and other officials clarified the remarks of 1/2021meeting.
Next, Committee Vice-Chairs Union Minister Lt-Gen Soe Htut and U Win Shein and other committee members coordinated the discussion.
Then, the officials of checkpoint of respective regions and states reported on the roads to be blocked to prevent illegal trade.
The meeting came to an end with the concluding remark of Committee Chairman SAC Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win. — MNA

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