Vehicle import supervisory committee to be restructured

A supervisory committee for motor vehicle imports will be abolished and restructured under the new government according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce.

The nine-member committee, created by the former government, has beenresponsible for setting the rules and policies governing car imports.

“Abolishing the committee is just an ordinary part of the transition. The new government will form a new committee,” said ministry spokesperson U Myint Cho. Under President U Thein Sein’s government, the group caused a great deal of confusion by changing car import policies no fewer than 15 times.

Committee chair and Minister for Commerce U Win Myint noted the uncertainty caused by frequent changes and pledged an end to it after eight modifications, though was unable to keep his word.

“In the past, it was difficult to secure car import permits and cars were very expensive. Most businesspeople took the decision to import cars or run sales centres very seriously,” he said in 2014.

“During my term, I decided to allow anyone with a national identity card to import vehicles. Since then our policies have changed around eight times – we won’t change them again.”

Between 2011 and December 2015 the commerce ministry issued import permits for 3,507,667 cars worth a total of US$3.88 billion, according to the most recent data, and congestion has grown ever worse in Yangon.

The problem is widely attributed to lax import policies, which have been addressed only with stopgap solutions, including a requirement for proof of parking space. Many of the tweaks generated new opportunities for corruption, but did not solve the problem.

The committee may be disbanded this month, said U Myint Cho, though he was unable to provide a date. “We do not know which policies we will pursue because the new government has only just taken power. But we can at least be sure the new government will organise a new committee,” he said.

 

Source: Myanmar Times

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