Chairman of  State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing addresses meeting 3/2021 of Union government of Republic of Union of Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw December 3

The Union government of Republic of Union of Myanmar held its meeting 3/2021 at the meeting hall of State Administration Council Chairman’s Office in Nay Pyi Taw this afternoon with an address by Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Also present were Vice Chairman of SAC Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win, union ministers, General Mya Tun Oo, Lt-Gen Soe Htut, U Wunna Maung Lwin, Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, U Chit Naing, Lt-Gen Tun Tun Naung, U Win Shein, U Aung Naing Oo, U Ko Ko Hlaing, Dr Daw Thida Oo, U Ko Ko, U Tin Htut Oo, U Hla Moe,Admiral Tin Aung San, U Khin Maung Yi, U Aung Than Oo, Dr Charlie Than, U Khin Yi,U Myint Kyaing, Dr Pwint Hsan, Dr Nyunt Pe, Dr Myo Thein Kyaw, Dr Thet Khaing Win,U Min Thein Zan, U Shwe Lay, Dr Thet Thet Khaing, Dr Htay Aung and U Saw Tun Aung Myint and Deputy Minister U Ye Tint. The chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council Area and chief ministers of regions and states took part in the meeting through Video Conferencing.

In his address, the Senior General said the SAC is implementing the future programs and objectives. During the period of ten months in office, the SAC had overcome difficulties and achieved successes. Economic development is its aim. The national economy is based on agriculture and farm based production industry. Rural areas have plenty of labour as they are home to 70 percent of the population. Hence, the government adopted rural economic development programs. The government also set up the Ministry of Coopera-tives and Rural Development to effectively implement the programs.

Because of the government’s accelerated efforts for the development of the production industry, there is progress to a certain degree. As COVID-19 has set limits for economic growth, the global countries are facing an economic downturn. SAC faced a drop in economy because of COVID-19. But according to a review, the country’s economic downturn started in 2018 during the time of the previous government. After COVID-19 entered the country in 2020, the country got foreign aid. There was a drop in foreign investment sector and international economic cooperation after the state of emergency was declared due to the political situation because of the occurrence of political instability.  Attention could not be paid to some business sectors as the government had to prioritize the task of bringing down the infection rate. The infection rate has fallen to a certain degree.

Amidst the rising infection rate and difficulties, the country is making progress to a certain degree in implementing the task in accord with the five common agreements with ASEAN. Its priority task is to prevent the occurrence of an economic downturn and food shortages. The Tatmadaw is playing the leading role in ensuring surplus food for the country and has made progress to a certain extent. But commodity prices are
rising due to various reasons. The government is trying to control the prices of imported goods. The 2020-2021 report shows the drop in imports and exports when compared with 2019-2020. The main imports include petroleum products, palm oil, car parts, medicines, phones and communication equipment, chemical fertilizers, tractors and accessories. Of them, petroleum products and palm oil are the top imports.

The progress of the domestic production industry has become a must for import substitution. If the country can save fuel oil, it can reduce its expenditure for imports which may eventually lead to a trade surplus. The government is making allout efforts for the improvement of public transportation. The country must generate enough electricity for its consumption, especially for the transport industry, in order to save fuel oil.  It is now implementing the projects to generate more hydropower and solar power, which are renewable energy sources that are less harmful to the natural environment. But the power projects need time. As for the cooking oil sufficiency, the country has vast areas of land to cultivate oil crops. The related ministries must ensure adequate water supply for the crops. Likewise, modern agricultural methods must be applied.

Due to lesser job opportunities at home, some citizens are working abroad to earn income. It is necessary to encourage assembling the automobile at home and domestic products must meet the quality of import products. The Senior General stressed the need to encourage production of local products and development of economy. If the country manufactures the electric cars, it will much benefit the country.

Medicines are imported from abroad for public health. So, the people need to be healthy for reducing the drug importation and they have to take healthy consumption and physical exercise. Some people go abroad to take medical treatment. They cost a large sum of money in addition to facing other difficulties. As such, hospitals and clinics must be upgraded with health staff and medical equipment for solving the health problems of the people. In addition, it is necessary to supervise systematic functioning of the private hospitals. The Senior General stressed the need to promote healthcare services for the citizens and adequately produce medicines based in traditional medicines and antibiotic drugs. There are 1,177 hospitals in the country. During the period from 1995 to 2020, medical universities of the country turned out more than 57,000 medical professionals but some numbers of them only serve the State. Hence, some station hospitals do not have medical doctors. As health staff can give healthcare services to the citizens, it is necessary to supervise the full strength of medical professional in the healthcare services for the citizens. As Myanmar’s healthcare is the lowest among the neighbouring and ASEAN countries, emphasis must be placed on deployment of medical professionals in the right positions.

Regarding the learning of students, some students cannot learn due to security measures and infection of COVID-19. Hence, students, teachers, parents and relevant administrative bodies are to join hands for ensuring learning security for the students. A plan is underway to reopen universities in the near future.

As regards infection of the COVID-19 and learning of students, the Senior General said, “The latest information shows 523,346 infected persons in our country. A total of 498,748 persons were recovered and 19,121 persons were dead. The infection rate hits about two percent. The infection rate stays between 300 and 500 patients. Whatever it may be, it is acceptable per cent of infection for our country. But, we should not be satisfied with it. I saw breaking news that Omicron variant emerges and two patients were found such virus in India yesterday.

“Likewise, Omicron spreads in Asian countries. Its infection rate is very high and severe. So, we should not be careless. We open the schools where children are attending. We cannot accept the infection to harm their learning. We have to arrange for them to attend the schools healthily until they completed the examinations in March. They have to attend the schools healthily and safely and education staff are as well. So, we have to take special care of their conditions. Learning will not complete immediately. It is a situation to take care of them for a long term. Hence, relevant ministries and region and state governments should emphasize the healthcare measures for the education sector.”

Concerning the vaccination of COVID-19, so far the country has received 42,671,600 doses of vaccines. Up to 2 December, 29,214,980 doses have been given to the people. A total of 12,048,005 people have taken vaccines twice and 5,118,970 people once. One more million doses of vaccine donated by Russia and purchased from it will arrive this month. A plan was set to complete vaccination to the 50 percent of the target groups in the country this year. Now, a number of people between 270,000 and 300,000 are vaccinated on a daily basis. So, efforts must be expedited for increasing of vaccinated people. If those who have received vaccination, they will have the immunity to prevent the infection of pandemic to some extent and the infected people will have the relaxation to some degree.

All regions and states need to work hard to ensure food abundance and regional food security. Raising layers, broilers, dairy cows, meat cows and pigs must be encouraged. Systematic livestock breeding is required and regional food security means national prosperity. Regarding agriculture, some regions and states still see low yields of crops. The government is trying to get enough supply of chemical fertilizers. It is necessary disseminate knowledge about making natural fertilizers from waste produced from livestock breeding. Meanwhile, measures are being taken to resume operation of the factories to produce chemical fertilizers domestically. For the coming cultivation season, it is required to grow high-yield and good strains with the use of correct cultivation methods and enough irrigation water. 

When it comes to city cleanliness, the Nay Pyi Taw Council area, Yangon and Mandalay experienced little flooding in the previous rainy season. Continued efforts must be made for those big cities to maintain such a status. Likewise, all the towns and cities of other regions and states need to try to become green cities and clean cities. Emphasis must be placed on creating good environments and ensuing urbanization such as good roads and enough water supply.

Any government will be able to work for national development only when receiving full revenues. At the moment, income taxes cannot be levied for various reasons. Lack of systematic taxation on border trade has caused many losses to the State. Therefore, responsible officials need to take supervisory measures to collet full taxes on border trade. Relevant departments also need to have constant monitoring for collect-ion of full taxes. Those who commit fraud over taxation must be exposed for action.  

The Pankhin project is being implemented to issue national registration cards to every eligible citizens before the upcoming election. Other ministries need to help and cooperate with the Ministry of Immigration and Population in issuing those cards as conveniently and quickly as possible. It is necessary to make sure all eligible citizens receive NRCs, said the Senior General.

Next, the union ministers made discussions in their respective sectors and sought approval.     

In his concluding remark, the Senior General said courts and police stations in regions and states have a lot of vehicles and motorcycles confiscated after criminal and civil cases. Those properties are getting into ruin due to climatic conditions as the cases have yet to be settled. So, those cases must be handled as quickly as possible and the confiscated things should be effectively used. The ministries need to consider any danger including natural disaster to prevent the State owned properties from being lost or damaged.  

As for service personnel affairs, officers and low level staff have to be appointed to increase the organizational setup of ministries and make replacements. In so doing, effectiveness and correctness are necessary. For new appointments, there must be a precise policy in terms of easing restrictions and longterm consideration. The country’s human resources must be promoted. Only then will work efficiency increase. The in service personnel need to be recognized and awarded as necessary through a carrot and stick approach based on their performance. 

In implementing projects, the ministries need to conduct a systematic feasibility study beforehand. They must work correctly and perfectly and reports must be submitted. 

Regarding banks, some banking employees are reportedly doing malpractices. The administrative bodies concerned need to monitor while ministries and region and state governments are to make sure that the Stateowned and private banks run in a correct manner.

With regard to Stateowned enterprises, measures were taken to adopt PPP and BOT systems. Anyhow, everything must be done for the sake of the country. For all ministries, union level ministers need to consider carefully and send reports to the committees concerned.