What to expect from 11th session of Parliament

By The Ananda on January 8, 2019

The eleventh session of the second Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (combined house) is set to start on 21 January 2019. The regular session tends to focus on the next budget bill discussions as the upcoming parliamentary meeting is the first regular session for the year 2019 and now is the time when the first quarter of the fiscal year is over. According to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Calendar, the regular session is expected to last until 15 March and other bills are likely to be discussed during the session. The following are the situations and prospects of some bills:

Gems Bill

Myanmar Gemstone Bill sent to the President by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on 18 December before the end of the previous session has not been signed by the President yet. It is likely to be returned by the President to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw with his remarks. If it was sent back to the Parliament, the President’s remarks will be discussed in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. The parliamentary journey for the bill started from March, 2017 is expected to complete soon.

Child Rights Bill

During the previous session, the Pyithu Hluttaw (lower house) debated the bill and caught public attention. The bill debate is set to continue in the Amyotha Hluttaw (upper house). As the bill discussion lasted two months in the Pyithu Hluttaw, the Amyotha Hluttaw is most likely to reach as far as the approval stage when the session adjourns.

Consumer Protection Bill

Both Houses approved the bill in the last year as the Pyithu Hluttaw initiated the bill on 30 July, 2018 and the Amyotha Hluttaw approved it in 2018. Still, the two houses made amendments to the bill, and the bill will be under debate in the Pyithu Hluttaw whether or not the amendments to the bill by the Amyotha Hluttaw are acceptable. If differences on the bill remain, the bill will have to pass the whole house sitting.

Cultural Heritage Protection and Preservation Bill

The bill was introduced during the previous regular session of the Amyotha Hluttaw and it was approved in the same session. The bill will be under debate in the Pyithu Hluttaw during the upcoming regular session.

Myanmar Telecommunication Corporation Bill

Debates on the bill continue in the Amyotha Hluttaw during the upcoming session. On 18 December, 2018, the bill was formally submitted the Amyotha Hluttaw along with its Bill Committee report.

Two delayed bills

The Amyotha Hluttaw approved the bill amending the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law nearly a year ago. Now the bill is with the Pyithu Hluttaw and Pyithu Hluttaw Bill Committee’s report on the bill was submitted on 9 March, 2018. Later, bill discussions were suspended as it had been hit with criticisms.

Likewise, the Land Acquisition Bill which also attracted criticism was approved in the Amyotha Hluttaw on 7 September, 2018. As discussions on the bill were not seen during the tenth regular session of the Pyithu Hluttaw, it can be said that the bill skipped the previous session. As bill discussions were not held until September, 2018, it took the bill more than a year to be discussed in the Amyotha Hluttaw where the bill was introduced in October, 2017. The title of the bill was changed into Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill by the Amyotha Hluttaw.

New Bills

Bills which are likely to be introduced in the upcoming parliamentary session are Real Estate Services Bill, Education Research, Planning and Training Bill, Oil Exploration, Drilling and Production Bill, Veterinary and Livestock Development Bill and Rural Development Bill. The bills were already sent to the parliament by the government.

Information about bills under discussion in the parliament are available at iamabill.org and Open Myanmar Initiative Facebook Page and bills can be downloaded at https://pyidaungsu.hluttaw.mm/second-bills.