A local employment agency is still sending Myanmar women to Hong Kong as domestic workers despite a government ban, labour activists say. Labour Rights Clinic says it has reported the…
Some enjoy living on the waterfront. There’s a cool and relaxing breeze and an impressive vista to show off to your friends. This week’s home in Yankin Township is perfect…
As mountains of rubbish pile up on Yangon’s streets, residents and environmentalists take it upon themselves to get the problem cleaned up.
After a nearly 20 year hiatus, the Myanmar National sports tournament began last week in Naypyitaw.
The Asian Development Bank will lend Singapore-listed, Myanmar-focused Yoma Strategic Holdings US$100 million to develop infrastructure businesses inside the country.
In an historic move, Google Translate has added “Burmese” to its portfolio, enabling the easy online translation of Myanmar language into other tongues and back.
Ecotourism is set to receive a boost as the government prepares to finalise a plan to link tourism with conservation.
The Central Bank of Myanmar will likely be independent and endorsed as a ministry-level body before 2013, a bank official said last week.
A draft law that would see the Central Bank be made independent was submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw in the latest sitting, which started on October 18 and bank officials were confident it would be enacted soon, most likely this month.
Central Bank deputy director general U Win Thaw told The Myanmar Times that he expected the bank to be granted independence by the start of 2013.
At present, all of the Central Bank’s actions must be approved by the Ministry of Finance and Revenue. However, if it is granted independence it will be able to act as a ministry-level body and perform duties such as intervening in the currency market, for instance, U Win Thaw said.
“When the Central Bank has been promoted to a union level body, the bank’s chairman will effectively operate as a minister, which will make the bank much faster to act,” he said. “The Central Bank will then have the authority to manage monetary policy and send proposals directly to the president. However, it will also need to organise a board of directors and consultants.”
Former Central Bank deputy governor and current vice chairman of Kanbawza Bank U Than Lwin said granting the bank independence was a positive move.
“This is the government promoting the role of the Central Bank, which will be able to implement its monetary measures faster and boost the trust of international bankers in its abilities,” he said.
“But even though the government is reforming the capacities of the bank, they need to think about whether now is right time: is the Central Bank ready? Have the laws been made and are the employees technically proficient?
“If these are not ready, it is unlikely that the bank will act independently,” he added.
Co-operative Bank managing director U Pe Myint said that when the Central Bank is under the President’s Office, there are about six ministers after the president who will act as moderators – and the bank’s chairman would need much experience to handle the post.
“I think the degree of independence of the bank will be determined by its chairman,” he said.
U Maung Maung Win, former deputy governor of the Central Bank, writing an article for the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper in early 2012, said that when the bank was made independent it would be required to manage the nation’s monetary policy.
The article said that the basic objectives of the bank, as laid out in the 1990 Central Bank Law, were to stabilise the value of the kyat, implement effective payment systems and balance the monetary system. It added that when the bank was made independent, it would need to directly negotiate with the government to implement a consistent monetary policy.
Candidates in Yangon municipal elections begin campaign activities but find residents know little...01 December 2014