This Week in Parliament (August 29-September 2)

By The Irrawaddy 3 September 2016

Monday (August 29)

In the Lower House, lawmakers debated a proposal submitted by Dr. Hla Moe of Aung Myay Thazan Constituency, which urged the Union government to provide appropriate payments and allowances for election commission members at different levels who are not civil servants. The Lower House approved the proposal.

The Upper House passed the senior citizens draft law.

Tuesday (August 30)

In the Lower House, lawmakers donated their collective daily allowance of 8,520,000 kyats (US$7,000) for the renovation of pagodas and stupas in Bagan that were damaged in a recent earthquake. The house speaker also donated 6,480,000 kyats ($5,300).

Lawmaker Aung Kyaw Zan of Pauktaw Constituency submitted an urgent proposal stating that including three foreigners on the Arakan State Advisory Commission formed by the State Counselor’s Office would turn an internal problem into an international issue, and the commission should only be formed with local experts.

In Union Parliament, lawmakers debated the signing of the second revised Asean comprehensive investment agreement by Burma. Parliament approved the signing of the agreement.

Wednesday (August 31)

Parliament was not in session because of the Union Peace Conference.

Thursday (September 1)

 In the Upper House, lawmaker Saw Moe Myint from Karen State asked about the operation of coal-fired power plants in Burma. The Union Minister for Electricity and Energy replied that the environmental and social impacts of coal power plants are assessed in line with environmental impact assessment procedures adopted by the Ministry of Resources and Environmental Conservation.

Tenders were invited to upgrade the Tigyit coal-fired power plant in Shan State, which has been in operation since 2004. It was leased to China’s Wuxi Huaguang Electric Power Engineering Co. Ltd. for 22 years in late 2015. The Chinese company is now undertaking environmental and social impact assessments, he said.

Coal-fired power plants in Tenasserim Division’s Kawthaung and Shan State’s Nawngkhio are small or medium scale and are not connected to the national grid. They are under the management of concerned state and divisional governments.

Friday (September 2)

In the Upper House, the Bill Committee explained its review of the draft law to annul the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act sent by the Lower House.  The bill was already approved by the Lower House on August 24.

Lawmakers debated the proposal of Khin Aung Myint from Mandalay Constituency (8), which urged the Union government to adopt a special plan to eliminate illiteracy among ethnic minority groups and enable them to obtain higher education, as well as promote ethnic literature.