22 May 2020
The Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw continued the second day of the 16th regular session on 21 May. The meeting was held with 20 agendas concerning financial issues and constitution amendment.
After the ballot voting of second bill on constitutional amendment, which was held at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw in March, 4 provisions were successful to seek approvals. And, out of 4 successful provisions, 2 provisions which are applied to Section 436 (a) is to be completely amended only after a nationwide referendum is finished with the votes of more than half of those who are eligible to vote. The two provisions applied to Section 436 (a) are Section 32 (a) and (b), to change the written term of “disabled” in Myanmar language.
Concerning the nationwide referendum, the Union Election Commission said that it can cost a lot by performing all procedures of ballot voting in the whole country, including assigning the supervising persons at the polling stations, arranging for voter list, ballots and advance ballot voting, and performing office works. It will also have expenses for basic facility for polling station and workforce.
U Than Aung, member of Union Election Commission, said, “It is found out that the provisions which are to be amended cannot have significant impacts on the activities of the Union Government, tasks of each Hluttaw, and nation’s safety. By organizing the nationwide referendum together with 2020 General Election, it can save time, budget and workforce. However, since it is to be operated separately, it will cost at least 14,646.314 billion kyats. If it is to hold the nationwide referendum at all cost, the commission will request the essential budget in accordance with the procedures. Since this national referendum cannot bring any impacts on national affairs or activities of the Union Government and Hluttaws, and in addition with the possibility of further constitution amendment, the Commission suggested postponing the nationwide referendum.”
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U T Khun Myat commented, “As the Speaker of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, I assume that the presentation of the commission is reasonable and considerable.”
With the agreement of all Hluttaw representatives, it is finally decided to postpone the nationwide referendum to amend two provisions of the constitution.
Then the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw went through other agendas, including proposal submission to get loan from Myanmar Central Bank for the Union Government’s budget, to get loan from Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to remedy the socio-business impacts by Covid-19, to get loan from Asia Development Bank (ADB) for the development of small and medium enterprises, to get loan from Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) for Myanmar-Korea Friendship Bridge (Dala Bridge), and to get loan from Unicredit Bank of Austria for electronic population registry plan. It is also proposed Myanmar to sign the confirmation letter for the consensus of easing ASEAN financial services.
Hluttaw Representatives discussed about getting loan from the International Development Association (IDA) for Emergency Health-Response Plan, and working report of Myanmar Investment Committee. The Hluttaw also heard National Planning annual report and Union Budget annual report of 2018-2019 fiscal years.
The third day of the 16th regular session of Second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is to be held on 22 May.
Thaw Tar Swe Zin
Photo Credit - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw