Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Central Bank to replace deputy governors in late July

Central Bank deputy governors will be selected in late July as the four-year term of the incumbents expire that month, director general of the Governor’s Office Daw Myint Kyi told The Myanmar Times.

“Under the law, the term of deputy governors will end this July so that we will be able to choose new deputy governors later in that month. These positions shall be chosen in accordance with parliamentary endorsement,” said Daw Myint Myint Kyi.

Chapter three, section 9(b) of the Central Bank of Myanmar Law re-enacted in 2013 states that the term of the governor is five years and the term of the deputy governor – and the rest of the board of directors – is four years. The clauses also instruct that the governor and all members of the board of directors shall not have the right to serve more than two consecutive terms.

Currently, U Sat Aung and Daw Khin Saw Oo, both serving as deputy governors, are members of the board whose terms are coming to an end soon.

“We don’t know much about the selection process,” said Central Bank director general U Win Thaw.

 U Soe Min, the third deputy governor, started serving just six months after the board of directors’ formation and that’s why his term is up in December 2017. 

However, there are criticisms over the mismanagement of Central Bank’s board of directors citing the country’s unstable currency exchange rate and internal inflation since 2014.

“The Central Bank’s board of directors is meant to be for experts. I don’t really know the details on which or who of these experts should be appointed, but the person responsible for that position should be someone who can fully resolve the country’s monetary policies.

“Nevertheless, there is still some uncertainty about whether things will work out by switching people,” said businessman U Myat Thin Aung.

 “The present situation of the trade sector is displaying deficits, so it doesn’t matter who takes up responsibility, as long as that person can solve situations from the ground up. We’ll just have to hope and see if these individuals can bring with them effective solutions,” he added.

In late 2015, kyat values were in decline within the domestic currency exchange market – converting foreign currencies and Myanmar kyat. In November 2015, kyats were at their lowest at K1315 to US$1.

But at the beginning of 2016, kyat values rose steadily, but fell back again starting in September. At the end of 2016, US$1 could be exchanged to over K1400. According to the Central Bank’s exchange rate on May 17 in 2017, US$1 can be exchanged for up to K1360.

Translation by Zar Zar Soe, Win Thaw Tar and Kyaw Soe Htet