Pyithu Hluttaw raises questions on trade policy, development funds, travel to India and interest rate of local banks

Representatives at Monday’s Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) session raised questions on trade policy on export of oil crops and import of edible palm oil, emergency funds for regional development tasks in less developed townships, official travel from Tamu in Myanmar to Imphal in India, and competitive increase in interest rates of local banks.
Concerning the question on whether there is a plan to change the trade policy, Deputy Minister for Commerce Dr Pwint Hsan said that it is necessary to consider long-term consequences and benefit for the country to change a trade policy and if the trade policy on export of oil crops and import of edible palm oil is changed, there will be adverse effects on benefits of peasant farmers who grow oil crops and the consumers will be hurt by rising prices of palm oil. The deputy minister pointed out that the trade policy should be changed only after surveying the wishes of peasant farmers and the consumers.
As regard the question on whether the government has plans to provide emergency funds for less developed townships, Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic Development Daw Lei Lei Thein said the government has been fulfilling the development need for any regions as much as possible while regional development tasks are being carried out at the moment by forming township management committees, township development committees and township development supporting committees. State/region governments are also making arrangements to take out loans from the union government for prioritized development tasks if the funds provided for education, health, electricity, roads and bridges by union ministries concerned are not sufficient.
As for the question on official travel to Infar, Deputy Minister for Immigration and Population U Win Myint said that it will be possible to travel to India through the border only when the agreement for trans-border travel has been signed between India and Myanmar. By then, people in both countries will be able to travel to Mandalay in Myanmar and to Imphal in India, the deputy minister added.
Deputy Governor Daw Khin Saw Oo of the Central Bank of Myanmar responded to the question how to control the competitive increase of interest rates by local banks saying that the supervisory section for financial institution is making field trips to local banks to inspect their financial statistics while financial soundness indicator of the International Monetary funds is applied to measure the financial soundness of local banks every month. Local banks that fail to abide by the rules and regulations of the Central Bank or have low FSI indexes are reminded by the Central Bank, she added.

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