First gov­ern­ment bond auction set for Septem­ber

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­ – Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han

A rainy-sea­son slow­down in lend­ing has left banks with ex­cess liq­uid­ity, which bankers say bodes well for the first-ever Trea­sury bond auction.

MYANMAR’S Cus­toms Depart­ment will im­ple­ment short- and long-term mea­sures to com­bat il­le­gal trade along and within the coun­try’s over­land borders, Com­merce Min­is­ter U Than Myint told law­mak­ers at an Amyotha Hlut­taw ses­sion yes­ter­day.

He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion from MP U Tun Tun Oo (NLD; Man­dalay 2), who asked whether the gov­ern­ment had plans to com­bat il­licit im­ports and ex­ports fol­low­ing the dis­band­ment of anti-smug­gling “mo­bile teams” late last year.

In terms of long-term pro­ce­dures, adop­tion of a con­tainer­i­sa­tion sys­tem would al­low cus­toms au­thor­i­ties to bet­ter root out il­le­gal im­ports and ex­ports, he said.

Im­ple­men­ta­tion of trans-na­tional trade pro­to­cols such as the Mekong-re­gion Cross Bor­der Trans­port Agree­ment and ASEAN Cus­toms Tran­sit Sys­tem will fur­ther im­prove con­trols on im­ports and ex­ports.

Ad­di­tional mea­sures in­clude the sys­tem­atic con­struc­tion of more bor­der-area cus­toms fa­cil­i­ties, staff hous­ing and ve­hi­cle in­spec­tion posts, as well as in­stal­la­tion of more X-ray screen­ing de­vices, U Than Myint said, adding that sup­ple­men­tary bud­get re­quests would be made for the depart­ment’s ex­panded foot­print.

The Union min­is­ter told law­mak­ers that in­terim short-term ini­tia­tives would also be launched, such as stepped-up sur­prise in­spec­tions of ve­hi­cles ply­ing sev­eral com­mon trade routes, in­clud­ing Muse-Man­dalay, Kan Pike Tee-My­itky­ina and Myawady-Yan­gon.

Per Pres­i­dent U Htin Kyaw’s in­struc­tion, the Cus­toms Depart­ment will co­op­er­ate with five min­istries and one state gov­ern­ment to co­or­di­nate its crack­down on il­le­gal trade, U Than Myint said.

Speak­ing of checks be­ing made be­yond of­fi­cial bor­der cross­ings, U Than Myint said, “In­spec­tions are now be­ing per­formed at Kachin State, My­itky­ina town­ship’s Bala Min Htin Bridge. Others are also be­ing made in Shan State, Kayin State and Bago Re­gion, and [cus­toms of­fi­cers are] also ar­rang­ing to per­form these in Sa­gaing Re­gion and Tanintharyi Re­gion.”

Il­licit trad­ing has long thrived be­tween Myanmar and its neigh­bours, from out­bound teak and opium to un­li­censed cig­a­rette im­por­ta­tion.

Life got a lit­tle eas­ier this week for over­stretched cus­toms en­force­ment of­fi­cers as the gov­ern­ment pub­lished a list re­mov­ing 267 items from a ros­ter of goods re­quir­ing per­mits to im­port. The eas­ing on those items will go into ef­fect Septem­ber 1.

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