The Irrawaddy

Yangon Chief Minister Makes New Municipal Law Official

YANGON — Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein signed the new Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) bill into law on Thursday.

“This law will take effect as of June 28,” the chief minister said as he handed over the law to Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe at Yangon City Hall.

“This law turns a new page in the history of the new government and envisions the future of Yangon,” he said, adding that the legislation would become the “driving force’” behind the commercial capital’s economic development.

The law was drafted by drawing on research carried out with the help of experts from Singapore and Japan, U Phyo Min Thein said.

The legislation, which supplements the 2013 YCDC Law, was approved by the Yangon Region Parliament on Wednesday after four months of debate.

It includes 31 chapters with 337 provisions, including penalties for breaching the code of conduct for civil servants.

“The 2013 YCDC Law doesn’t prescribe penalties for municipal staff for negligence or mistakes, but the new law does. Action will be taken under the code of conduct for civil servants as well as existing laws for abuse of power and negligence,” said lawmaker U Hla Htay, who represents Mingalar Taungnyunt Township in the regional parliament.

The original draft included 32 chapters. Lawmakers did away with a proposed chapter that would have given the YCDC the authority to engage in business in various sectors including construction, services and recreation.

The new law also sets in motion a major shakeup of the regional government’s administrative structure. The government previously had more than 20 departments but will now have work divvied up among seven teams. The law also creates a new post of vice mayor to ease the workload of the mayor of Myanmar’s largest city.

“The law mainly focuses on [municipal] election by-laws. As the law has been approved, the election for the vice mayor post will be held as soon as possible,” said U Phyo Min Thein.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.