Daily News- July 03- 2002- Wednesday

  • Economic growth put at 10.5 pc
  • Chavalit raps Chuan's aide


  • Economic growth put at 10.5 pc

    By Win Kyaw Oo
    the Myanmar times-Volume 7, No.122-July 1 - 7, 2002

    MYANMAR achieved an economic growth rate of 10.5 per cent in the fiscal year to the end of last March, the Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, U Soe Tha, said in Yangon last Tuesday. The minister was delivering the opening speech at a three-day seminar on statistics.

    U Soe Tha said the high growth rate was the result of opening up the economy and adopting a market-oriented system to raise the economic and social conditions of the people. He said planned economic development periods introduced in the 1992 fiscal year had also contributed to high growth rates.

    An annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent was achieved in the four years ending in 1996. In the five years to 2001 the growth rate was 8.5 per cent.

    U Soe Tha said statistical information was gleaned from censuses and surveys by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), and is an agency of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.

    A participant at the seminar, U Saung Tin, the director (computers) at the CSO, told Myanmar Times that statistics were crucial for setting policies and decision-making. U Saung Tin said that as Myanmar was a developing country, its ability to collect large amounts of raw data was affected by financial constraints. "Thatís why we use sampling techniques," he said.

    The seminar, organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in collaboration with the CSO, was held under a bilateral cooperation program which is helping Myanmar to improve the gathering and analysis of statistical information. About 45 officials from various ministries attended the seminar.

    U Saung Tin said the CSO and JICA were expected to cooperate more closely in future. "Arrangements are also well under way to develop a computer network connecting the departments under the ministry, a project in which the CSO as a fully-computerised institution is taking a leading role," he said. "Within a couple of years our ministry will be prepared for potential applications of e-government in Myanmar," U Saung Tin said.

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    Chavalit raps Chuan's aide

    Wassana Nanuam
    The Bangkokpost

    Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh has blamed a former military aide to Chuan Leekpai for Burma being upset and suspicious of Thailand's motives.

    Rangoon was ``uncomfortable'' with the fact that a lot of Shan people were brought in to live in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son and that a Shan Association was set up and chaired by Lt-Gen Pon Wanakamol, an aide to Mr Chuan when he was prime minister and defence minister, the defence minister said.

    ``Burma knows this and they are hurt,'' Gen Chavalit told a National Defence College function.There had also been an attempt to set up a Shan radio station in Thailand and he had ordered military intelligence to keep an eye on this.

    Gen Chavalit said he supported the formation of a government of national unity in Burma and wanted the Shan to be a part of it. He meant the Shan no harm and did not want to send them back to Burma to be killed.He also said Burma planned to reopen its border with Thailand in two weeks, but gave no source for the information.

    Meanwhile, military-run radio is to end its war of words with Burma, which followed insults to the Thai monarchy.The stations spent two days airing rebuttals and criticising the New Light of Myanmar newspaper and its columnist Ma Tin Win.

    Sampan Bunyanant, defence permanent secretary, said this was long enough to get the government's message across.He insisted the armed forces were not pressing for a public apology from Rangoon, just an assurance that such remarks would not recur.

    Gen Sampan said he was optimistic relations would be patched up, following the pledge Gen Maung Aye, vice chairman of Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council, made to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    However, it seems Ma Tin Win has continued to write articles.The latest, which appeared on July 1, attacked the foreign policy of King Narai, of the Ayutthaya period.

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