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Inspection checkpoints are reduced in Shan State, increasing productivity


New Delhi (Mizzima) – Inspection time for examining goods at numerous vehicle checkpoints on the Mandalay-Muse Road has been significantly reduced and a summer paddy growing programme has been revoked by the Shan State government, according to members of the Shan Nationalities and Democratic Party (SNDP).

Examining vehicles and goods at checkpoints along the Mandalay-Muse Road was costly and slowed down commerce. Currently, there is only a tollgate which inspects and  collects taxes on goods near Muse on the Sino-Burmese border, sources said. 

'In the past, all vehicles had to unload goods, then the goods had to be examined in detail’, Saw Myint Than, the treasurer of SNDP, told Mizzima. ‘Then they had to reload the goods. Loading and unloading could damage the goods and cause delay.  Now, the checkpoints are just for security’.  

Because of lengthy goods-examining processes at checkpoints along the 280-mile-long Mandalay-Muse Road, vehicles could take as long as two days to travel between Mandalay and Muse. Moreover, sources said truck owners had to pay bribes of around US $10.

In the past, trucks had to unload goods at the  ‘16-mile’ checkpoint between Mandalay and Pyinoolwin, at the Yaypu checkpoint in Theindi Township and at the ‘Muse 105-mile’ checkpoint, sources said.

One transport driver, however, said the process was still being worked out. ‘During the water festival, I went to Muse and I did not need to unload goods at the ‘16-mile’ checkpoint and the Yaypu checkpoint. But, at the ‘Muse 105-mile checkpoint’, I had to unload and the goods were examined’, he said.  

In regard to the summer paddy growing season, the state government revoked the plan because the weather proved to be unfavourable. Saw Myint Than said, 'In Shan State, it’s not hot and growing paddy during the summer was not productive. The plan wasn’t good for the farmers’.

In the recently formed Shan State government, the chief minister is a former military officer, Aung Myat (aka) Sao Aung Myat. Sai Eik Paung of the SNDP is industry and mining minister and Sai Naw Kham is construction minister.

SNDP members said that they planned to discuss the issue of regional peace during the second regular session of the Union Assembly. The first historic session of the assembly ended in March. 

In early March, fighting broke out between the government and Shan State Progress Party/ Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), an ethnic Shan armed group that has rejected the government’s order to transform into a Border Guard Force. 

Another agenda goal, said members of the Inn National Development Party, is to preserve Inle Lake in Shan State, which has been reduced from 40 square miles to about 23 square miles because of record high temperature.

There are 143 parliamentary seats in the Shan State Assembly: 36 MPs are military representatives; 32 are SNDP; five are National Unity Party; six are Pa-O National Organization; three are Wa Democratic Party; two are Inn National Development Party; four are Taaung (Palaung) National Party; one is Lahu National Development Party; one is  Kayan National Party; and two are independent MPs. The remaining MPs are from the Union Solidarity and Development Party.

Last Updated ( Friday, 22 April 2011 15:20 )  

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