Four Ministries clarify undertakings in the first 100 days
Nay Pyi Taw, August 23
Four ministries clarified their undertakings in the first 100 days of the new government to reporters in Nay Pyi Taw.
The press conference was held at the Ministry of Information yesterday. Regarding the achievements of the Ministry of Information, Union Minister for Information Dr Pe Myint said the ministry conducted training and workshops for the spokespersons of the ministries in order for them to successfully carry out releasing information of their respective ministries.
“The Ministry of Information is currently carrying out to amend the Television and Broadcasting Law to turn the state-owned MRTV into the Public Service Broadcasting (PSB),” said Dr Pe Myint.
The channel logo and main titles of MRTV will be changed for the viewers, and the ministry is working with the Vizrt Company for this work, he added. He also pledged that the Information Ministry would assist content providers to be able to participate in the broadcast industry before a television and broadcasting council is formed.
Meanwhile, the ministry has planned to give permits to broadcasters for operating five channels of the Multi Channel Play out System of MRTV and will hold talks with them on 25 August.
The ministry’s Information and Public relations Department conducted computer training courses, English proficiency courses, sewing courses, poem recitation contests and storytelling courses at 93 libraries of the department’s district and township offices.
Also, Insein District IPRD’s library has been turned into a Community Centre as of 20 August in cooperation with the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, while efforts are being made to upgrade township and district offices to community centres.
Sarpay Beikman Library on Merchant Street has also been expanded, offering sales of books published by 700 publishing houses. The Monsoon Season Book Fair was conducted on 29 July in conjunction with the political literature and paper reading session in Yangon.
More than 108 publishing houses participated in the book fair, earning more than K130 million from the selling of books, according to the Ministry of Information. The paper reading session and the book fair will be held every four months, and further paper reading sessions will be held to improve the translation literature and the literature of the ethnic peoples.
As of 1st April 2016, the two state-owned dailies, the Myanma Alin and the Kyemon, have opened a new chapter by improving its content and displays. A copy of the two papers in Burmese language costs around K131 to produce, but it is sold at K50 at the newsstand for the public good, not for profits.
Regarding the undertakings in the education sector in the first 100-days of the new government, the Union Minister for education Dr Myo Thein Gyi said the Ministry of education has upgraded schools, and carried out programmes for school enrolment, sanitation, health and development. The ministry has also assisted teachers from 17 schools near private banks and schools in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay and from universities and colleges to get access to banking systems in order to draw their salaries. Also, the ministry relaxed some rules for the faculty members of universities and colleges to be able to attend doctorate degree courses.
The ministry also instituted Alternative education to make assessments for teachers giving lectures at the education and training sectors. In the 2016-2017 academic year, 3312 schools were upgraded, and it is found that 1.7 million children aged five enrolled in the academic year out of 1.11 million school aged children, said the Union minister.
Meanwhile, the ministry worked together with 18 other ministries and 14 regional governments opening short-term vocational training schools in Nay Pyi Taw, Ywama and Mandalay.
The Permanent representative of the Ministry of Commerce announced that the ministry has officially launched the website of the National Trade repository, extended the validity of import licenses at border trade centres and relaxed the trade rules at border trade centres.
Also, the ministry arranged the Fully online Licensing System for application of export licenses and relaxed the h S Code Line 4405 lines and some restrictions on 12 export products. The ministry has allowed the import of 11,463 vehicles for work up to 15th August.
During the press conference, U Ko Ko Lwin, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, said the ministry carried out work in six sectors during the first 100 days of the new government, focusing on development of the industrial sector and human resources and creating job opportunities, efficient use of energy and environmental conservation.
The production output of an anti-venom factory of the ministry has increased from 30,000 to 80,000 doses, supplying the life-saving antidote to people nationwide. The ministry and the Myanmar Conch Cement Co opened a cement factory in Kyaukse using the Joint Venture System, aiming to produce 10,000 tons of cement per year. The ministry has provided technology for making tea leaves to the tea leaf makers in Pindaya, technology for salt making to the salt makers in Thanbyuzayat, Sittwe and Yangon, technology for coffee planting and producing to farmers in Mandalay and Mogok, technology for soap making to businessmen in 10 townships in Magway region, technology for foundry and forging to SMEs in Bago, Mandalay and Yangon and dying technology to SMEs in Yangon and Juice and candy making technology to SMEs in Yangon.
Ministry officials answer questions from the media
Managing Director U Kyaw Soe of the News and Periodicals enterprises said that all the contents that appeared in the papers were edited and approved for publication in accordance with the editorial policy and that reporters have received training in reporting in accordance with the code of ethics.
Regarding five new channels in the broadcast media, Director-General U Myint Htway said that detailed information about the five new channels will be given on 25 August, adding that the ministry is working together with the Union Attorney-General’s Office on amendments to contracts. The director-general also responded to a question about applying for TV channel and FM licenses. The director-general said that a council expected to be formed after enactment of the broadcast law will issue permits, but five channels will be allowed to form before the emergence of the law.
On establishment of community centers, acting Director-General U Maung Pe of the information and public Relations Department said that libraries will be transformed into community centers one by one.
In his answer, Deputy Permanent Secretary U Myo Myint Maung pledged to inform the ministries concerned of the issue of access to information.
Next, the Ministry of Commerce answered queries raised by media persons, with Permanent Secretary U Toe Aung Myint and officials elaborating on a strategy being developed to increase exports.
Director-General U Yan Naing Tun of trade Department said that measures are being taken to prevent illegal imports in cooperation with local authorities and the Ministry of Planning and Finance.
Regarding a decline in exports, the Permanent Secretary said that exports fell slightly compared with last year, but there has been progress in four areas — agricultural produce, marine product, valued-added wood product and animal products— of the country’s seven export sectors.
On a question about a possible pay rise for educational staff, Director-General U Aung Than Oo of the Department of Basic Education replied that arrangements are being made to ensure a salary increase for more than 400,000 employees at the department.The director-general also clarified the ministry’s efforts to change the education system away from rote learning.
Regarding increased expenditures on the education sector, Union Minister Dr Myo Thein Gyi said that the ministry is planning to spend one month’s revenue generated from a five percent commercial tax on mobile phone top-ups on promotion of the education sector.
Director-General U Myo Nyunt of the Department of the Myanmar Board of Examinations said that separate entrance examinations are likely to be held by the universities when they are granted autonomy.
Next, Permanent Secretary U Ko Ko Lwin of the Ministry of industry explained the situation of state-owned factories and transparent measures for leasing state-owned factories to private companies.
The country’s Economic Committee is chaired by the State Counsellor and members are the Union ministers including the Union Minister for Planning and Finance as the secretary, said the Permanent Secretary.
On the Panda garment factory, the ministry will go to Paleik on 26 august to help both sides obtain a fair settlement in accordance with existing laws.