Ministries need to save spending on foreign exchange except for compulsory measures: Senior General

February 3


MINISTRIES need to strive to efficiently utilize water sources in agriculture and livestock tasks, said Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the meeting 1/2022 of the Union Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar at the office of SAC Chairman in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.


In his address, the Senior General said after taking State responsibilities, the country achieved certain progress in economic and security measures due to the political situation. Terrorists committed terror acts, robbery and murdering cases, blowing up of mines and setting fire as destructive acts via political protests. So, security forces controlled these activities. The Tatmadaw also effectively controlled the armed organizations. The Senior General expressed his sadness for casualties of State service personnel and security forces.


Union ministers strived for securing US$677 million of trade surplus based on the temporary account in the 2020-2021 financial year amid criticism and unrests thanks to the cooperation of the people. It is necessary to encourage the export of agriculture and livestock products instead of natural resources.


Agricultural and livestock products can be exported to China, India, Thailand and Bangladesh. Quality export products can earn income for the nation. Rice, bean, maize and livestock products are the main businesses of some 70 per cent of the people.


According to the calculation of relevant ministries, the cultivation of cotton plants is expected to exceed the production more than the demand. But the country imported textile and related materials worth US$1,280.152 million in 2021. If the country produces quality threads made of Myanmar’s cotton, import volume will decline and the domestic cotton production will meet the local demand and contribute much to local garment industries. To have quality strains of cotton and operate long-staple cotton industries, it is necessary to contact the experts from cotton producer countries Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and India for much benefiting the cotton cultivation and production of Myanmar.


Myanmar uses water for agriculture, livestock and public consumption. Damming water should be efficiently utilized for generating electricity and for agricultural tasks. Public awareness should be raised to the farmers so as to efficiently use the water at their farmlands. As there are many water sources in Myanmar, ministries need to strive to efficiently utilize water sources in agriculture and livestock tasks.


The Ministry of Electricity and Energy needs to implement river water pumping projects. These projects must be implemented through solar energy to have achievement in agricultural tasks. Relevant ministries need to emphasize the successful implementation of the agricultural and livestock projects as improvement of people’s economy will reflect the State development.


Efforts must be made for generating more electricity while it is necessary to efficiently consume the electricity. Arrangements must be made for generating sufficient electricity for improvement of socio-economic life of the people, operation of businesses, manufacturing and public transport services. The Ministry of Information and other relevant ministries need to constantly raise public awareness of the consuming electricity and water.


The Senior General explained the economic development of the State and enhancement of defence capability. He said: “The year 2022 becomes a challenging year for us. If we can revive the economy, we will win the trust of the people. We have three ambitions. For the first point, we have pledged to revive the State economy. Based on last year’s experiences, we don’t have any reason to do so. We have to strive for the improvement of the economy in 2022. And then, we will do all tasks related to multiparty democratization mentioned in the political future tasks. If the country is in good political and economic trends, we have to turn to the defence system. For example, our country does not practise the military conscription law yet. Every citizen is responsible for military service. We don’t practise that law because of happening the internal armed conflicts. If we have comprehensively completed the first and second points, we have to enhance the defence capability for the third point. At that time, citizens need to serve the military service under the law. They have to serve it for two or three years in line with the prescription. The service term may be one year or one and a half years. It will depend on the situation of the country. It is a must for all. If the country does not have defence capability, we will face a loss. If so, other countries do not pay respect to us. If we are weak in the economy, we will feel inferior. If we are weak in political power, other countries would make trouble for us. If we have weak defence capability, we will face the assaults of others. Our fence will not be safe. These are three musts for us. So, we will do to carry out these tasks this year as must as possible.”


The Union ministers sought approvals for respective sectors.


In his concluding remarks, the Senior General said that in spending the foreign exchange, trade deficit came out in the times of previous governments. In the long term, the debt problems may be mounted. So, it is necessary to calculate such prospects, ministries need to save spending on foreign exchange except for compulsory measures.


International loans must be essential for the departments. The ministries must levy the taxes which should be collected. Only when the private sector improves will the export volume be larger. Income from the exportation will generate tax for the State.


Currently, hiking prices are based on high production costs, larger transport charges and high prices of raw materials. Ministerial officials need to consider how to control the high prices of goods. As it depends on the high transport charge, it is necessary to improve the public transport system. If so, consumption of fuel bought in foreign currency can be cut effectively. Ministries should make efforts for the development of the nation in various ways and means during the rest period of the financial year. — MNA