Vice Chairman of State Administration Council Vice-Senior General Soe Win delivers address at first meeting of National Land Utilization Council


The National Land Utilization Council held the first meeting at Ingyin Hall of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation in Nay Pyi Taw at 2 pm today, with an address by Chairman of the Council Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Commander- in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win.

The meeting was also attended by members of the National Land Utilization Council Union Ministers General Mya Tun Oo, Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, U Win Shein, U Aung Naing Oo, U Tin Htut Oo, Admiral Tin Aung San, U Khin Maung Yi, U Aung Than Oo and U Shwe Lay, Union Attorney-General Dr Thida Oo, Chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council Dr Maung Maung Naing, Deputy Minister U Min Min Oo, Permanent Secretary Dr Nyi Nyi Kyaw, directors general, managing directors and officials. Members of the council chairmen of region and state administration councils also attended the meeting through video conferencing.

Speaking on the occasion, the Vice-Senior General stressed that emphasis must be placed on systematic management of land resources as it is necessary to take account of land resources not only for current situation but also for posterity so as to fulfil the needs of the peopel in food sufficiency, richness of water sources, good transportation, peace and tranquillity of urban and society, growth of businesses, conservation of environment and preservation of cultural heritages.

It is important that management of land resources must be reviewed on various outlooks such as economic, political, legal and social affairs to adopt and implement the correct and comprehensive policies, firm legal framework and capable land management and administration systems.

In Myanmar, as there were weaknesses in management on land in successive ages inclusive of having no land use policy precisely prescribed previously, there had been issues on land use between the government, the people and investors. Land disputes had happened in sectors of industries, mining, tourism, agriculture, forestry and urban affairs. There had been few opportunities for small and medium business entreprenuers to make investment due to difficulties in acquiring adequate, adjacent land area for foreign investors and excessive increase in land prices. There had been disputes on rights of operation and ownership between managers and the people and trespass of land due to lack of comprehensive and precise facts and figures and maps.

Measures must be taken toget correct and accurate information easily with systematic land data management, forge cooperation among relevant ministries and ensure better and strategic decision-making on land and natural resources. Sustainable all-round development could not be brought about. Therefore, balanced progress is required to fully realize SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals.

Myanmar has government departments and organizations responsible for land management. The land-related laws they are exercising must be compatible. Some land resource laws and management systems in Myanmar have been used for a very long time, so they need to be reviewed from various reasonable angles how compatible they are with the current situations and how they can serve the public interest. Reform measures are required to address such challenges and adopt practical policies, fair laws and procedures and good management patterns. After the existing land management- related laws have been reviewed, a national land law covering all these laws should be drafted if necessary.

To draft a national land law, the national land utilization policy has been adopted and the duties of the national land utilization council include drafting and enacting a national land law.

Paragraph 10 of the national land utilization policy states that the national land utilization council must form land utilization committees in Union Territory (Nay Pyi Taw Council), regions and states with their duties and responsibilities for effective regional supervision. Paragraph 12 prescribes basic principles in assigning duties to those land utilization committees. In addition to those committees, other supporting must be formed to support the national land utilization council in serving its duties including longterm use of land resources, strong permission for land use and drafting of a national land law.

At this meeting, it is necessary to discuss ongoing land utilization policy tasks and future tasks based on projects. For the council to be able to perform its duties successfully, members need to work hard in their respective roles and regions, the Vice-Senior General urged. Secretary of the council UnionMinister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Khin Maung Yi reported on tasks of the council and implementation of the national land use policy.

Afterwards, members of the council union ministers, the union attorney general, the chairman of the Nay Pyi Taw Council and chairmen of state/ region administration councils reported on information security for Myanmar national mapping system, matters related to fields of the council, implementation of the national land use policy, issues related to investment involving land use, review of national land use policy, adopting the national land use law and land management and use in the Nay Pyi Taw Council and states/regions. After hearing the reports, the Vice Senior General attended to the needs.

Then, the Vice-Senior Generaldelivered concluding remarks, saying it is necessary to abide by existing laws related to land in order to systematically implement land use and rights in the country including rural and urban areas in accordance with the land use policy adopted in 2016. It is important to urgently draft and enact a new national land law to regulate the existing laws and all relevant departments and organizations are required to establish a simple and precise land management mechanism concerning land use or land rights. Moreover, ministries, organizations, state/region administration councils, which manage land are required to enhance the capacity of departments and staff to enable them to carry out duties in accordance with the land use policy, laws and rules and regulations.

The application of modern technologies is essential for precision of and easy access to maps and information on the ground. As for land use, in addition to the national land utilization council, organizations related to land use including the central committee for farmland management, the central committee for management of vacant, fallow and virgin land and the Myanmar Investment Commission have been formed. The organizations are required to coordinate with the national land utilization council in implementing land use projects and the national land utilization council will give appropriate guidance on necessary coordination. In conclusion, the Vice-Senior General urged the members to exert efforts in their respective roles and regions to effectively implement the tasks of the national land utilization council.