STATE Administration Council Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win addressed the coordination meeting 3/2022 of the Anti-Illegal Trade Steering Committee in the meeting room of the Ministry of Commerce in Nay Pyi Taw at 2 pm yesterday. It was attended by Union Minister U Win Shein, deputy ministers and officials, and officials from regions and states also took part in the meeting via videoconferencing.
In his address, the State Administration Council Vice-Chairman Deputy Prime Minister said that it was the fourth meeting of the Steering Committee and that Anti-Illegal Trade Special Task Forces and staff on OSS duty had become more skilled in performing their work.
He noted that the first course to enhance the capacity of staff had been conducted and multiplier courses had also been run at the regional and state-level. He also stressed the need for the continuous opening of such courses.
He then pointed out that, after the reconstitution of the Steering Committee, the estimated value of illegal goods seized between January and May 2022 was about K21.771 billion and that the total value of illegal goods confiscated last year was only K13.318 billion. In April 2022, about K5.233 billion worth of illegal goods was seized but in May only K3.633 billion worth of illegal goods were confiscated.
Therefore, Vice-Senior General Soe Win urged the personnel of the region and state anti-illegal trade special task forces, the customs department and one-stop services to implement their work plans more effectively.
He added that, in some regions and states, all possible means should be applied to control illegal trade along the trade routes, regular or surprise checks should be carried out at the places where illegal trade starts and illegal goods are stored for distribution and action must be taken.
He also highlighted the incident in which the in-charge of the Taninthayi Region anti-illegal trade special task force raided the warehouses on the bank of the Parchan River. He went on to say that it was necessary to take great care of the security of individuals, organizations, buildings and equipment, to make systematic inspections of illegal goods and restricted merchandise and not to allow commodities with fake brands similar to those permitted to be imported for agricultural purposes.
He continued that confiscated goods should be auctioned off as quickly as possible in accordance with the rules and regulations to increase the government’s revenues and not to waste the efforts of those who make the seizures. Measures must also be taken to deal with cars with or without a licence.
He urged the members of the Anti-Illegal Trade Steering Committee and all those involved in anti-illegal trade to strictly follow the policy, rules and regulations, notifications by the government and action must be fair and under the law.
He said that effective action must be taken against imports and exports done with the intention of avoiding taxes, and illegal trading of restricted goods. For this purpose, he suggested that coordination meetings should be held regularly between merchants and departments concerned and that the UMFCCI plays a pivotal role in such doings.
Finally, the Vice-Senior General recommended that capacity-enhancing courses on anti-illegal trade should be regularly conducted, measures should be taken to ensure that money received from the auctioning of confiscated goods properly flow into the government’s revenues, to take effective action under the rules and regulations, and to hold inter-departmental coordination meetings with broader economic, political and security outlook. — MNA