Hluttaw urged to investigate legality of govt decisions
Volume 32, No. 621
March 30 - April 8, 2012
PYITHU Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann last week warned parliamentarians to ensure the government’s activities were in conformity with the law, after a bill committee report found that the government had improperly bypassed parliament on three major decisions in 2011.
In a message to representatives on March 23, the speaker said that while the government was carrying out its duties “in good faith”, some of its actions may not have conformed with the constitution.
In particular, he cited the formation of and allocation of funding to the National Human Rights Commission, the raising of pensions in June 2011 and the decision to keep wages for union-level officials, such as government ministers, the same as under the State Peace and Development Council.
The formal message, which was read out by Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker U Khin Aung Myint, stated that these three actions should be assessed closely to ensure they were legal and if not the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw should help to “regularise their status”.
The speaker added that the endeavours of the executive and legislature must reflect the rule of law and collaboration between the two bodies should set a good example for the country.
Thura U Shwe Mann’s comments were backed up by the findings of a Joint Bill Committee report into the activities of the Union Government that was read out by committee chairman U Mya Nyein to parliament the same day.
“It is found that only the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw may amend, supplement or withdraw … remunerations, allowances and insignia for union level personnel. Regarding pension raises … they should have been put in budget bills according to section 103 of the constitution,” he said.
Additionally, the committee found the National Human Rights Commission had been formed improperly because the government had not sought the approval of parliament.
The bill committee report said that if union-level personnel wanted to enjoy remunerations less than they are designated, the government should seek the approval of the hluttaw to amend the law. Pension raises should also be included in the union budget bill when it is submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the report said.
– Translated by Thit Lwin