Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing holds coordination meeting with SAC members, Union ministers, region/state chief ministers, selfadministered division/zone leading committee chairmen
NAY PYI TAW March 24
Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing held a coordination meeting with SAC members, Union ministers, region/state chief ministers, selfadministered division/zone leading committee chairmen at the meeting hall of his office this morning.
Also present were SAC Vice Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win, SAC Secretary Lt-Gen Aung Lin Dway, SAC Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, SAC members General Mya Tun Oo, Admiral Tin Aung San, Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun, Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, U Wunna Maung Lwin, Daw Dwe Bu, Poe Rei Aung Thein, Mahn Nyein Maung, Dr Hmu Htan, U Maung Ko, Dr Aung Kyaw Min, Dr Kyaw Tun, Khun San Lwin, U Shwe Kyein and U Yan Kyaw, Union ministers, the Union auditorgeneral, the Union Civil Service Board chairman, the Central Bank of Myanmar governor, the Nay Pyi Taw Council chairman, deputy ministers and officials.
The Senior General said a nation has to adopt political, economic, administrative, international relations and defence programs for its development. SAC adopted the fivepoint Roadmap and 12 Objectives while assuming Stat duties. Hence, the national level tasks should be carried out in all seriousness.
The current government assumed State duties after declaring State of emergence in February 2021 due to vote rigging in 2020 multiparty general election. The government is working for the betterment of the country with sincerity, and its accomplishments will go down in the annals of history. Hence, all should serve their duties with sincerity.
During the time when SAC started to assume duties there were expressions of political disagreements, but later, disturbances, violence and killings broke out. Hence, persons responsible for the rule of law and security have to control the situation. In that time, certain EAOs taking the situation as an opportunity encouraged and supported terrorists. The result was the occurrence of mine attacks, terrorist lootings and killings, attacks against security forces, torching office buildings, and brutally killing of innocent people and civil servants. COVID-19 infection was at its height during the time, but the government could bring down infection rate and death date through prevention, control and treatment programs carried out amidst the many difficulties. It could overcome COVID-19 pandemic. The number of terrorist attacks fell after April 2022. The country was able to ensure food sufficiency thanks to the productive farming industry.
When SAC assumed State duties, some internal and external organizations with political differences intentionally tried to break down the government administrative machinery and banking system. SAC had to keep the banking system from falling and could restore its functions and money circulation by mid 2022.
The national economy was in gradual downturn since COVID-19 infection started in 2020. The nation saw 5.9 percent GDP drop in fiscal year 2020-2021 due to the previous government’s weakness in economic support and administration. SAC carried out farming businesses with continuous momentum amidst the difficulties, and the country saw 2.4 percent GDP rise in the first six months of fiscal year 2021-2022 from October to March. The national economy grew by 2.4 percent after showing minus 5.9 percent. In fiscal year 2022-2023, the country saw 3.4 percent economic growth. National economic growth will continue, according to financial officials.
National economic growth is the result of goodwill efforts of SAC. The country possesses favourable conditions for the success of farmingbased businesses. Hence, land resources should be effectively used through systematic management. Majority of farmers grow rice about 15 million acres of monsoon paddy and about three million acres of summer paddy. Of the 15 million acres of monsoon paddy, permanent cultivation fields account for 13.2 million acres and the remaining are seasonal, hill and other cultivation fields. Of the 13.2 million acres of paddy, single cropping is carried out on about five million areas, and efforts should be made to put those fields under mixedropping. Likewise beans and edible oil and other crops should be grown. Rice, beans and oil crop yields must hit their respective targets, and the land must be effectively used.
In the cooking oil sector, the country spends a large sum of foreign exchange in importing cooking oil annually. So, the Senior General said he constantly urges all to develop cultivation and production of oil crops. If the agriculture sector is undertaken with quality strains, fertile soil, water and agricultural techniques, agricultural tasks will have success. It is necessary to prioritize cultivation tasks to meet the target and exceed it. For the second point, if the uncultivable lands can be reclaimed as cultivable lands, the volume of agricultural produce will increase much.
Regarding the cultivation sunflower, sunflower oil is not included in the primary cooking oil list of the nation. People consume groundnut and sesame oils in the past. Later, they consume palm oil which is cheap but consumption of sunflower oil is lesser. The hybrid sunflower in the country yields more than 50 baskets per acre, producing some 140 visses. If such kinds of sunflower can be extended, it will fulfill the requirement of cooking oil. If domestic consumption is not sufficient for cooking oil, spending of FE amount will decline, contributing to the development of the nation. So, region and state chief ministers need to emphasize cultivation and production of oil crops.
In cultivation of paddy, if paddy can be grown with quality strains, fertile soil, water and techniques to have larger peracre yield for meeting the target, its peracre yield will increase. If each acre of paddy yield five more baskets, 13.2 million acres of paddy field will produce 66 million more baskets. If one basket of paddy is valued at Ks-10,000, income will reach Ks-660 billion. If one basket of paddy is valued at Ks-15,000, its income will be Ks-990 billion. If five more baskets per acre can yield, farmer can earn increased income. So also, the circulation money will rise in the country and the State economic will develop more. And, the GDP of the State will increase.
If paddy which is sufficiency for the State can be exported, the country will bag foreign exchange. If so, more essential goods can be imported by spending foreign exchange. Hence, all officials need to analyze the long term plans in doing businesses.
Cotton is one of the main crops of the nation, and it is placed on 450,000 acres of cropland. In 2011, cotton was cultivated on 800,000 acres of land. But, sown acreage of cotton declined due to various reasons. Last year, cotton yielded 438.5 visses per acre and the whole country produced 198.7 million visses of cotton. Currently, the country needs 363 million visses of cotton. So, it can be seen that the country demands some a half weight of cotton. If the farmers try to produce 700 visses per acre of cotton, import volume of cotton can be reduced. Hence, regions and states need to fulfill the need of growers to cultivate cotton as the previous sown acreage. It is necessary to fulfill the needs of cotton growers. Myanmar relies on long staple cotton, and growers need to produce quality long staple cotton. As products are not qualified, necessary threads are imported. Hence, officials need to develop cultivation of cotton. Arrangements must be made for extending the sown acreage of cotton, ensure correct cultivation, meet the peracre yield and distribute quality strains of cotton to local growers. Growers, businesspersons and the government need to cooperate with each other in distribution of quality cotton strains and production of quality cotton wool. The government is striving for seeking the modern techniques and quality strains of cotton from foreign countries to meet the local demand. Local growers and officials need to strive for higher production of cotton.
Likewise, there are 132,500 acres of wheat across the nation. Sagaing Region cultivates the largest sown acres of wheat, followed by Shan State. It is necessary to increase peracre yield of wheat and produce quality strains of wheat. Myanmar uses flour imported for making foodstuffs. Domestic flour is low quality. Hence, it is necessary to change the cultivation and production of wheat. Myanmar people primarily consume rice.
If they change consumption with wheat as a meal a day, it will affect the growth of body. Local authorities need to consider agricultural sector. They have to efficiently utilize land resources in their regions. They have to make land preparations and supply of water for increasing the agricultural produce. If they do not have sufficient agricultural produce, they will have to buy it outside and their money circulation will decline.
As it can affect regional development, they all need to consider such issue.
In connection with livestock breeding, cattle are reared mostly by using pasture breeding methods in the country. Breeding animals in enclosures by feeding them properly is the best method in livestock breeding. Therefore, it is necessary to change the livestock breeding method and to carry out systematic modern livestock breeding. If livestock breeding can be carried out successfully, waste from livestock breeding farms can be used beneficially in agricultural farms, which will be successful. Therefore, by carrying out agriculture and livestock breeding tasks, economic development of the country must be implemented.
If all of us can manage the agriculture and livestock breed sector of the country, two national objectives of prosperity of the country and security of food, water and basic needs can be achieved. Will the country be prosperous only when its citizens earn incomes and production of food and basic needs is efficient. Therefore, measures are being taken for the prosperity of the country and security of food, water and basic needs and resources in the country must be used beneficially. As development of the country can be achieved only through production, domestic production is being encouraged without fail. Therefore, the government has been encouraging MSMEs since last year. Establishing industries based on raw materials produced from agriculture and livestock breeding farms amounts to implementing sound businesses. Measures are being taken to fulfill electricity needs, one of the essential requirements.
As regards oil, despite abundant natural resources it is necessary to regulate activities that exploit resources without following disciplines. As for fuel oil, as the country has to import fuel oil and its products worth more than US$-6 billion every year, the consumption of fuel oil must be curbed. In connection with steel, there are only two large steel plants although iron ore is available in the country. Myanmar needs 3 million tons of steel annually especially for the construction industry. It is necessary to invite local entrepreneurs to manufacture steel at home and to encourage them to manufacture steel from iron ore. In addition to steel, related cement production for the construction industry and other related activities like coal mining must be encouraged.
Moreover, it is important to effectively regulate exploitation of natural resources above and under the ground such as gold mining and logging in accordance with relevant rules and regulations and prevent illegal exploitation of natural resources. In exploitation of natural resources, systematic measures must be taken to prevent undesirable wastage and to utilize natural resources beneficially. For the sustainability of trees and forests, replanting trees and systematic conservation must be carried out.
In implementing the future tasks and objectives adopted, successful implementation of economic objectives by taking measures for development of industries based on agriculture and livestock breeding farms will contribute to implementation of other objectives. A country has to function by the political driving force, the economic driving force and the defence driving force. Among them, the economic driving force is the most essential. Only when the economic driving force is strong, can the political and defence driving forces be built and two objectives of prosperity of the country and security of food, water and basic needs be achieved.
Then, chief ministers of states and regions and chairmen of self-administered divisions and zones reported to the Senior General on measures being taken for agriculture and livestock breeding, regional development, education, health, transportation development, drinking and agricultural water supply, taxation, conservation of forests, introduction of electric vehicles, construction and completion of charging stations, arrivals of foreign and domestic tourists, development of the sports sector, offering loans to agriculture and livestock breeding farms and MSMEs from the state economic promotion fund, development of MSME, implementation of one region one product program, agricultural production for food security, investment and employment in respective regions, COVID-19 vaccination, teaching and learning activities in universities and colleges and tasks needed to be implemented by the union government.
After the reports, union ministers and responsible officials from relevant sectors responded to the reports.
Then, the Vice Chairman of the SAC Deputy Prime Minister said states, regions, selfadministered divisions and zones are required to spend the state economic promotion funds granted by the union government beneficially. Systematic measures must be taken to offer the loans to genuine investors and to receive timely repayments so that the funds will not be lost.
Giving necessary instructions after hearing the reports, the Senior General made a concluding remark saying that the respective ethnic areas in our country need to maintain their cultures, traditions, music and costumes. There has been a law in relation to ethnic languages. There is difficulty in coping with the teaching process because of a lack of Myanmar language understanding. Only if Myanmar literature and language which is officially used in our country are to be taught without fail, study and doing jobs will be smooth. Teachers need to teach the young students in the ethnic regions until they are really well versed.
Basic education schools reopened since 2020-2021 academic year. But, the school enrolment rate was lower than before the COVID-19 period and that can affect education promotion efforts. There are also lower numbers of students taking matriculation examination. It is true that insecurity affects teaching in some areas. But, some regions with peace and tranquility still see lower enrolment rates. All responsible people are to work together to promote the education standard of all students across the country. Now is a summer holiday for students. To pass the holiday beneficially, summer courses such as cultural and religious ethnics, English, computer and others should be conducted for the students who also need to review the lessons they were taught in the previous academic year. Concerted efforts must be made for brighter future of our children.
The Myanmar traditional Thingyan period is coming soon. So, fun fairs should be held during the period without harming the tradition and culture. The chief ministers of respective regions and states need to hold the festival safely and on a grand scale.
When it comes to traffic enforcement, the State is adopting a plan to wipe out unlicensed vehicles. Seized vehicles are also being destroyed. Meanwhile, supervisory measures are being taken to prevent illegal import, sale and driving of unlicensed vehicles. Such illegal acts affect State revenues. Moreover, peace and stability is being harmed due to terrorism acts with the use of unlicensed vehicles. So, the regions and states are to take supervisory measures for that. Vehicle number plates must also be replaced with new ones.
More districts were established to facilitate administrative measures. Region and state chief ministers are to take supervision to facilitate departmental work in those districts.
There are labour shortages in agricultural activities. So, modern machinery should be used to solve the problem. Crops that need domestic demand must be grown. Turning crops into value-added products rather than export of raw materials is more productive and effective. Foodstuffs as well as animal food can be produced from maize. Therefore, maize cultivation needs to be encouraged for both domestic and foreign markets.
Capital is being provided from the State economic development fund for MSMEs to improve themselves by improving agriculture, a major income source of the country.
The chief ministers need to try to achieve success in agricultural and livestock breeding activities with those capital loans given by the State. Those loans are not for the good individuals or an organization but for the good of the whole country.
With irrigation water shortages, famers in some regions have difficulty carrying out their farming work. Implementing river-water pumping projects funded by the State through solar power will benefit their own regions.
Responsible officials need to take supervisory measures to keep the towns and cities neat and pleasant. Our country has yet to meet domestic need for electricity. So, it is necessary to save power usage. Likewise, reduction in fuel usage will also cut foreign exchange spending. To reduce fuel dependency, permission has been given for electric cars by lowering taxes.
The region and state chief ministers need to ensure projects are implemented in a correct and successful way and in accord with the prescribed rules and regulations.
After the meeting, the Senior General presented Ks-10 billion each for Sagaing and Magway regions and Ks-8 billion each from the State economic development fund for Bago, Mandalay, Yangon and Ayeyawady regions to the respective chief ministers for MSME development.