The Irrawaddy

This Week in Parliament (May 21-25)

Monday (May 21)

In the Lower House, lawmaker U Zone Tein of Chipwe Township asked if the Union government would grant special funds for the rapid development of impoverished regions. Deputy Minister for Border Affairs Maj-Gen. Than Htut replied that the Union government has adopted and is implementing long-range regional development plans, and has therefore no plans to grant special funds.

The Lower House approved the Waw Township lawmaker U Tin Htwe’s proposal for the Union government to enact by-laws in a timely manner after a particular law is enacted. The lawmaker cited long delays in the enactment of by-laws after the Union Parliament promulgated certain legislation.

In the Upper House, U Tun Tun of Mandalay Region Constituency 2 asked if the Union government would restrict misleading advertising of cosmetics, medicines, foods and other products by some business owners on various media. Deputy Information Minister U Aung Hla Tun said that his ministry would make sure advertisers strictly followed public service media advertising rules.

Tuesday (May 22)

Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning U Maung Maung Win sought the approval of the Union Parliament to receive a loan of 641.029 billion kyats from the Central Bank of Myanmar to cover the budget deficit of the Union government. Lawmakers will discuss the proposal next week.

The deputy minister also submitted a tax governance bill that prescribes up to seven years’ imprisonment for tax evasion.

Wednesday (March 23)

In the Lower House, U Ba Shein, a lawmaker representing Kyaukphyu Township, submitted a proposed amendment to Article 37(b) of the Myanmar Human Rights Commission Law that bars the commission from investigating cases for which final verdicts have been delivered by concerned courts. The Lower House voted down his proposal.

The Upper House passed amendments to the Anti-Corruption Law granting the country’s anti-graft agency more authority to combat bribery.

The amendments allow the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate at its own initiative any civil servants who are seen to be unusually wealthy.

Thursday (May 24)

Military representative Lt-Col Myo Htet Win raised an objection to Daw Nan Moe of Mong Ton Township as she talked about the torture of civilians by Tatmadaw soldiers in her constituency, while discussing the annual report of the Myanmar Human Rights Commission for 2017. The Lower House speaker said that as action had been taken against the perpetrators, he would remove that part of the discussion from the parliamentary record.

Friday (May 25)

In the Lower House, Dr. May Win Myint of Mayangone Township asked the government to clarify what plans it has to reduce child rape, and also urged it to introduce harsh penalties as a deterrent. Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Soe Nwe replied that amendments are being made to laws covering child rights protection and prevention of violence against women to address the sexual abuse of children.