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RNDP calls for decentralization in states, regions

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Members of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) say more decentralisation of authority by the central government is needed to give regions more autonomy and control of their local affairs.

A meeting of the  Rakhine Nationalities Development Party. Photo : NarinjaraThe RNDP was given three ministerial posts in state government, ‘but we still don’t know yet how much power and authority we will get. Fulfilling the election promises given to our people depends on this. If central government officials control all power despite the existence of state governments, there will be no difference’, RNDP general secretary Oo Oo Hla Saw told Mizzima.

The nine-minister Rakhine State Government is led by Rakhine Chief Minister Hla Maung Tin (a former colonel); three ministers are from the RNDP’ five ministers are from the USDP and one minister was a  defence services appointment.

The RNDP party ministers are Kyaw Thein (fishery, livestock, mining and energy) from Mrauk-U No. 2 constituency; Thar Lu Chay (Industry, Labour, Sports) from Sittwe constituency 1; and Aung Than Tin (Culture, Social Welfare and Relief) from Ponnagyun constituency 1.

One of the biggest challenges facing the region is a regular supply of electricity in Rakhine State at an affordable price, said Oo Oo Hla Saw.

‘Rakhine State does not get electricity from the national power grid and it  has to rely on fuel-fired turbines, distributing at the rate of 500 kyat (US $0.58 cents) per kilowatt hour (KWh) in comparison with normal rates of 25 kyat ($0.30 cents) from the national power grid. Building a hydropower plant is time consuming and needs heavy investment. A bran-fired power plant makes pollution. The state government has difficulty in supplying electricity because we don’t get cheap gas’, Oo Oo Hla Saw said.

He said that the central government should allow states full authority in the economy of the state and in production of livestock, fisheries and agriculture.

Since the formation of the new government, there has been some loosening of control  transporting farm produce from state to state in the agriculture sector, he said. Also, the RNDP believes that pointing out corruption in governance is  a sign of progress and a benefit to the state, he said.

He said that one area of corruption in Rakhine State involves the illegal sale of fishing rights in the sea by authorities with the collusion of businessmen.

The newly installed state government may stall one auction of  fishing rights by amending some regulations, he said.

Rakhine State is the only state with three ministers from a single ethnic political party in the state government.

Region or state governments are made up of a chief minister, ministers and an advocate general. The central government has the authority to intervene and to make decisions in administrative disputes in the states.

The Rakhine Cabinet:
1. Colonel Htein Lin (appointed defence service legislator), Border Affairs
2. Kyaw Khin (USDA), Agriculture, Forest and Irrigation
3. Hla Han (USDA),  Religion and Immigration
4. Dr. Aung Kyaw Min (USDA), Health and Education
5. Mya Aung (USDA). Economics
6. Soe Aye (USDA). Transport and Communication
7. Aung Than Tin (RNDP). Culture and Social Welfare, Relief
8. Kyaw Thein (RNDP), Fishery and Livestock, Mining, Energy
9. Thar Lu Chay (RNDP). Industry, Labour and Sports

Last Updated ( Monday, 11 April 2011 12:47 )  

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