Burma

Rangoon Parliament to Amend Colonial Era Laws

By San Yamin Aung 8 June 2016

RANGOON — The Rangoon Division parliament is planning to amend ten regional laws pertaining to infrastructure, transportation, freshwater fish farming, and alcohol regulation. Some have not been amended since the colonial era, and are seen as ill-suited to Rangoon’s present state of rapid development.

Deputy Speaker of Rangoon’s parliament Lin Naing Myint, quoted in the state-run Daily Mirror, said that 10 parliamentary committees are reviewing the 10 existing laws to assess how they might be adapted to present realities.

“During our field research, we found some of the [divisional] laws to be weak and outdated,” Kyaw Zay Ya, Rangoon divisional lawmaker and a member of the Finance, Planning and Economic Affairs Committee, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Kyaw Zay Ya said that his committee is preparing to update the law on alcohol taxation, which in its present form provides for insufficient revenue.

Kyaw Zay Ya also cited planned changes to the Road and Inland Water Transport Law, to impose stricter rules on bus lines which currently overcharge for tickets during peak festival times. During these periods, many of Rangoon’s migrant workers return to their home districts, and then fail to put on enough buses to deal with the festival rush, contributing to a black market in tickets.

“Some laws are no longer suited to the present environment, such as the 50 kyats (US$0.04) or 100 kyats (US$0.08) fines originally prescribed in the laws under British rule,” Kyaw Zay Ya said. He expected the amendments to be enacted later this year.

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