It is necessary to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and ensure political stability for improvement of the State economy, said Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister of the Provisional Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the Meeting No 2/2021 of the Provisional Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar at the Office of the State Administration Council Chairman in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon.
In his opening address, the Senior General said the government has been discharging the duty for seven months amid internal and external difficulties. The responsibility of the government is to undertake the prosperity of the country. In its tenure, the government is striving for ensuring political stability while overcoming the challenges in the third wave of COVID-19 happening across the world. The third wave of the pandemic started in Myanmar in June and July. Thanks to the diligence and perseverance of the leaders and the cooperation of the people amid the difficulties, success has been achieved to some extent.
The infection rate of the COVID-19 pandemic is still high. Indonesia among ASEAN countries faces the highest infection rate, followed by the Philippines. Myanmar stands the sixth position among ASEAN countries, having more than 417,000 infected persons and 15,985 dead persons till 6 September. In early July, the infection rate reached 40 per cent. So, the government strived for a half down of infection, and now, the infection rate hits just 10 per cent. Despite the declining infection rate, it should not be careless as the pandemic does not totally disappear now. As the boat race example given by late General Aung San, as unacceptable proud may derail from the achievement, Union ministers and region/state chief ministers should place special emphasis on supervising the tasks.
Efforts must be made for increasing the per-acre yield of cotton to be able to cut the import volume of cotton. The Senior General said he has stressed the need to narrow the development gap between urban and rural areas with the wish to ensure equal development of all areas. All ministries need to comprehensively consider the measures of all over the country for fulfilling the requirements.
The main drive of a country is political, economic and defence might. The powerful countries across the world have political might, military might and economic might. It is necessary to strive for having the political might. Some countries are powerful in their military and economy. The institutions need to strive for the political and defence of the countries. The economic drive is actually beneficial to the State economy. It is necessary to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and ensure political stability for the improvement of the State economy.
Only when people are healthy can they work and learn. The existence of COVID-19 will affect the health of the people. Schools were closed for about two months. When the schools open, students will have learning opportunities. Continuous learning will have an improvement in the education sector, so emphasis must be placed on academic matters for the students. Management has been made not to delay the import of vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 and other necessary drugs.
Myanmar’s main products come out from agricultural and livestock farms. Production of natural resources is under limitation. So, all need to systematically carry out agriculture and livestock farms. Many agro-based countries are striving for ensuring smooth food supplies and earning incomes. Myanmar needs to operate agriculture and livestock tasks to earn foreign exchange via the global market. The country grows some 15 million acres of monsoon and two million acres of summer paddy which would be sufficient for a 55 million population with much surplus of paddy to be exported to foreign countries. As per-acre yield does not reach 100 baskets of paddy, the export volume of rice does not meet the expectation. Chief ministers of regions and states need to supervise the cultivation of paddy in their respective areas.
Moreover, it is necessary to ensure edible oil sufficiency. Oil palm plants are grown in Taninthayi Region whereas edible oil crops are grown in Mandalay, Sagaing, Magway and Ayeyawady regions and Shan State. Efforts must be made for increasing the per-acre yield of cotton to be able to cut the import volume of cotton. The Senior General said he has stressed the need to narrow the development gap between urban and rural areas with the wish to ensure equal development of all areas. All ministries need to comprehensively consider the measures of all over the country for fulfilling the requirements.
The Union ministers sought the approvals for their reports.
In his response to the reports, the Senior General said the suspension of State-owned factories causes loss for the country. As such, it is necessary to consider the availability of raw materials and inputs and market share in order to resume the State-owned factories suspended for various reasons and produce quality products. Officials need to urge all personnel to consciously use the State-owned equipment in order to avoid waste and loss. Staff housings must be built to complete on the schedules.
In his concluding speech, the Senior General noted that more than 2.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been injected for the first time and over 2.6 million for the second time. A total of 10 million units of anti-COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in Myanmar in the coming October and four more million in November. Arrangements are being made to purchase more vaccines.
The government spent US$169 million on the purchase of anti-COVID-19 vaccine and other medical equipment and K566 billion on repairing hospitals and clinics, COVID centres and social organizations. Moreover, more than 500,000 USD was spent on general measures. The government is ready to spend the fund on the prevention of COVID-19 and officials need to efficiently use them.
The institutions need to strive for the political and defence of the countries. The economic drive is actually beneficial to the State economy. It is necessary to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and ensure political stability for the improvement of the State economy.
Although some ethnic armed organizations broke the agreement of NCA for various reasons, the government arranges vaccination for these organizations under the rights of the citizen. Anyone should not be left in COVID-19 vaccination. Arrangements are being made to vaccinate the people from ethnic armed organization areas in addition to those from Rakhine State. Such a move does not depend on political trends but the national cause without ism and personal cult. It is an effort to enable all the people to participate in the endeavours of State prosperity.
Myanmar is a sovereign nation. Some persons and organizations turn a blind eye to the country for its international relations in line with the State prestige. Officials from regions and states sharing borders with foreign countries need to do anything in line with the international charters and agreements in border relations with the prestige and integrity of the State. It is necessary to avoid the acts of discredit the State prestige and integrity. All officials need to improve the respective sectors for the uplift of the State integrity. The State budget must be spent on actually beneficial projects but reduced on unnecessary measures through thrifty ways. —MNA