General & Misc

21 Bills to be tackled in upcoming 10th Regular Sitting of Parliament

Date: 07 November 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Myanmar Times

The 10th regular sitting of the Hluttaw will start on November 12 and is expected to debate reports about the budget, taxes, and national debt for the fiscal year 2017-18.

“These are the important issues that we will have to discussed,” said Pyithu Hluttaw Public Accounts Committee member and Hlaingbwe Township Pyithu Hluttaw MP U Khin Cho from.

“This regular session is scheduled for tabling bills. Currently, there are 21 bills in parliament with the Myanmar Insolvency Bill among them,” an official from the Amyotha Hluttaw Office told The Myanmar Times on Monday.

The sitting takes place from November 12 to December 21.

The list of bills to be approved includes laws relating to copyright such as the Industrial Design Rights Bill, Intellectual Property Rights Bill, Trademark Bill and Literature and Art Copyright Bill. Similarly, a bill to protect local business from the rise of imported goods, the 2018 Gambling Bill, Consumer Protection Bill, 2017 Gems Bill and Tax Management Bill will also be discussed.

Daw Khin San Hlaing, Pyithu Hluttaw MP from Pale Township and head of the Pyithu Hluttaw Banking and Financial Development Committee, said updated intellectual property laws are much needed in Myanmar.

“Foreign companies investing in the country and local companies need the protection of such laws. No action can be taken if there are no such laws. So, I think these laws should be enacted promptly,” she told The Myanmar Times.

The Ministry of Commerce will also be tabling a bill seeking to protect the country from high import volumes and reducing the trade deficit, which has been rising steadily since 2012.

A law is needed to reduce the trade deficit, said Daw Khin San Hlaing. “If there are restrictions on imports, domestic goods will receive a boost,” Daw Khin San Hlaing said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and the Internal Revenue Department (IRD) are also waiting for the Hluttaw to approve tax-related management bills to help the country improve the efficiency of its tax collection.  After the law is in place, a new income tax regulation needs to be submitted and currently the draft is completed, said U Min Htut, director general of IRD.

“The tax-related management law has been pending for a very long time,” he said.

U Aung Min, the chair of the Public Accounts Committee from Pyithu Hluttaw said that the draft bill will be submitted at the upcoming sitting of the Hluttaw.

The Department of Consumer Affairs is also waiting for the consumer protection bill to be approved. In order to protect consumers, the department has drafted a new law and submitted it to the Hluttaw. It is learnt that the recent directive for labels and instruction manuals of products to be displayed in the Myanmar language will become more effective after the new law comes out.

“The new law will have imprisonments and fines for violations,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Director General U Myint Lwin. Under the current law dating from 2014, manufacturers or importer can have their licences revoked, the sale of their products limited or their products withdrawn.

Meanwhile, a bill seeking amendments to the Myanmar Accountancy Council Law drafted by the Office of the Auditor General of the Union has been sent back to the Pyithu Hluttaw as there were objections to a clause seeking approval for foreign auditors to audit the country’s budget. 

Among the other important bills to be debated over the 28-say sitting is the Gambling Bill 2018 drafted by the Pyithu Hluttaw Public Affairs Management Committee.

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