A Draft of the new Myanmar Companies Act, which would ease old bureaucratic processes currently slowing business, is on track to be submitted to parliament in May, experts said.
After MPs and members of the international community suggested last May that it was time to revise or replace the now-100-year-old former Burma Companies Act 1914, representatives of a number of organisations contributed to writing a new draft.
“We are aiming to submit it in May,” said U Aung Naing Oo of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), which worked alongside the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, the Office of the Union Attorney General and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), among others.
“We’re reducing the complicated multiple processes of the old law, such as [those slowing business] registrations and court activities, as well as modifying [it] to offer online registration,” U Aung Naing Oo said.
U Than Maung, legal advocate at law firm Kelvin Chia Yangon Ltd., said that even though the policies put forth in the existing law are acceptable, the writing is complicated and sometimes difficult to interpret as it was written during the colonial period and not translated into Myanmar.
“Even though enacting the law is important, some barriers still remain,” he said, adding that the government could do more to ease legal clout by working in relevant policies from the Myanmar Special Companies Act 1950, rather than keeping it separate.
The draft needs to pass several more stages before becoming law, including being submitted to the president and the union attorney general and being announced before the public, he added.
“It’s been very quick as it will be submitted to parliament in May. I hope it will be enacted this year,” he said.
Economist U Hla Maung, who in 1988 was involved in modifying the 1957 rules and regulation portion of the act, said that although the new law should encourage local small and medium enterprises, other measures should also be taken, including reducing income taxes, offering tax exemptions or holidays for private firms.
Source: Myanmar Times