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MoI discusses reopening cinemas

Union Minister for Information U Maung Maung Ohn presided over a virtual coordination meeting on the reopening of cinemas, in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. First, the Union Minister said despite the modernization of the internet trend, cinemas still exist in every country and some are paying more attention to the cinemas. The role of cinemas will continue to flourish in the future due to the sound system and greatness provided by the cinema. The arts can offer pleasant feelings and entertainment and the activities of artistes can lure the interest of the public. As people emulate the artistes they love and so the role of artistes is in direct contact with the people. The Prime Minister recognizes the artistes as talented persons and professionals and also prioritizes the film industry.

A total of 121 cinemas — 27 State-owned cinemas run by the Information and Public Relations Department, and 94 of the cinemas sold permanently to the private, have been supervised by the region/state governments after the management of these cinemas were handed over to the respective region and state governments starting 2 July 2018 under the 2008 Constitution and the operation completed on 24 May 2021. The ministry also coordinated with the respective region and state governments including Nay Pyi Taw Council to take action against the buyers of 69 cinemas out of 94 cinemas as per the terms and conditions of the contracts.

The State Administration Council Chairman also instructed officials to take serious actions against the cinemas out of 94 sold permanently to the private if they do not show films according to the rules and regulations at the SAC Management Committee Meeting (3/2021) held on 11 March 2021. The SAC Chairman gave directives not to permit the running of other businesses at the cinemas without showing the movies and strictly to supervise the filming in line with the terms and conditions of the contracts. The films are the supportive measure to motivate the public and country. The artistes are also should be encouraged as they offer motivation to the country. The Union minister also highlighted the words of the SAC Chairman regarding the film industry development including the measures to return to the government if the operations do not run properly.

According to the replies of the region and state governments, of 94 cinemas, 25 were suspended the operations due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and among the remaining 69 cinemas, 10 are being constructed so far, 16 under the renovation while 43 do not run the operation at all. He then talked about the importance of film industry development in showing the culture and characteristics of the country to the world and the emergence of proper cinemas for the film producers to receive incomes through their investment. He then expressed the cooperation works with the artistes from different fields, the increase in screening movies between 2013 and 2021, development in film making industry from 2013 and 2019 and the highest numbers of movies screened at the cinemas in 2019. He added that the cinemas will be resumed on 17 April (Myanmar New Year Day) and the efforts of individual business people will support the whole industry as well as the economic objectives of the government. Then, the attendees to the meeting coordinated the discussion. Finally, the Union minister stressed the necessary things and concluded the meeting. The cinemas will resume their operations for the good sakes of artistes, business sectors and the public starting 17 April (Myanmar New Year Day).

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Foodpanda apologizes for system error, controversial rider fees restored

The online food delivery platform Foodpanda apologized for a system error that occurred between 7:00 am and 7:30 am on 16 March, resulting in a miscalculation of rider fees and causing controversy. The rider fees were restored to the normal rates, according to the Foodpanda statement dated 19 March. This error reflects a K200 fee during the 30-minute glitch, while a rider normally earns between K550 and K750 for a one kilometre delivery distance. The foodpanda has assured that any deduction as a result of this incident will be corrected and reimbursed and apologized for any inconvenience in the recent days.

Foodpanda responded to the controversial issue. Some riders have recently raised concerns about their pay, rising fuel cost pressure, and a few other issues. As independent freelancers, the riders earn an income based on a fair and transparent fee structure that comprises variables such as the number of shifts they take, the distance they have to deliver, and their performance levels over time. The majority of the riders receive K300,000 on average in delivery pay per month while some top riders could earn up to K600,000 per month.

The base delivery payment has been adjusted downwards over the past months in line with the current market rate. Having heard rider feedback and complaints, Foodpanda is looking at urgent ways to supplement or increase rider pay as much as possible. But service disruptions ultimately hurt the business and rider income. The riders are experiencing financial hardships due to the increase in commodity prices. In line with foodpanda’s goal towards uplifting the community, they are working on increasing the delivery pay as soon as possible for a certain period to help alleviate the current plight of Foodpanda riders.

City managers in the respective cities will soon be notified of this increase. Additionally, they have immediately secured extra funding to roll out fuel price subsidies. It will be notified later, as per the statement. In the last two years, amidst a challenging environment, foodpanda remains strongly committed to the Myanmar community so that restaurants can continue to use the platform to keep their businesses running, riders continue to have income and customers can rely on food delivered to them safely. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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MNA, Air India to repatriate Myanmar nationals in India by relief flights in April

Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) and Air India will fly relief flights in April to help Myanmar nationals who are having difficulties returning home for various reasons, according to the Myanmar Embassy in New Delhi, India. MNA has been operating monthly relief flights to repatriate Myanmar nationals who have been stranded in India for various reasons due to COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

For returnees, relief flights of MNA will fly on 5 and 26 April and Air India will fly on 6 and 20 April respectively to Myanmar. The embassy has announced that those who would like to fly with MNA can send an email to callcenter@flymna.com, contactus@flymna.com and reservations@flymna.com, as well as can make a call to + 951378603-04-06 and +951377840-41-42.

Passengers are required to have a negative RT PCR test result, and those whose visas are about to expire must extend their visas at the https//indianfrro.gov.in/frro/, the official website of the Foreigner Regional Registration Office of the Immigration Bureau of India. If the visa cannot be extended, exit permit applications must be made in advance, according to the statement of the Myanmar Embassy in New Delhi. Regarding Myanmar citizenship issues, +91 852788 3562 and +91 26578822 can be reached, the statement said.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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MAI, Air KBZ to fly Yangon-Sittway and Yangon-Thandwe daily

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) and Air KBZ will fly Yangon-Sittway and Yangon Thandwe flights daily for domestic travellers, according to the press release of the airlines. These airlines will run the Yangon-Kyaukpyu flight every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. To control the spread of COVID-19, the country has extended the COVID-19 entry restriction for most international travellers until 31 December, according to the statement of the Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment for COVID-19.

All of these restrictions were extended until the end of November 2021 earlier, but the restriction has now been extended until 31 December to implement more effective measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreigners travelling for urgent reasons, including diplomatic issues, may contact a Myanmar diplomatic mission to receive an exemption. However, the travellers must produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours before arrival.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the international passenger aircraft will not be allowed to operate at Yangon International Airport until 31 December to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Myanmar via air travel Myanmar has received US$69.2 million as revenue from e-Visa and over 1.7 million tourists applied for e-Visa from 2016 to August 2020, according to the official data of the Ministry of Immigration and Population. Myanmar has reported a total of 528,380 COVID-19 infections, with 19,226 deaths as of 21 December. At the same time, a total of 505,761 patients have been recovered from the virus.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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The Central Bank of Myanmar announces acceptance of electronic payments for purchases of medicines and medical supplies from private hospital and receiving medical treatment at clinics

The third wave of Covid-19 is occurring, and it is difficult to get to the bank as Stay at Home programs are being carried out in the regions and states, the Central Bank of Myanmar announces the acceptance of electronic payment method for the purchase of medicines and supplies. The Central Bank of Myanmar is working to accelerate the transition to a digital economy and to make payment systems more efficient.

Banks have been instructed to target more payments with A/C Transfer Digital Payments and to allow cash withdrawals up to 50% of the monthly sales (Pay/Wallet/Cards/Account Transfer) of merchants and affiliates to be vetted only two or three times a month. The third wave of Covid-19 is occurring in Myanmar and Stay at Home programs are being carried out in the regions and states. Clinics have difficulty accessing banks, are unable to handle infectious cash, and other critically ill patients have difficulty paying for medical bills in cash.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Sports, The Department of Health should prioritize the payment of medical treatment, purchase of medicines and medical supplies at private hospitals and clinics licensed by the Department of Health by using the electronic payment method in the paragraph (1) above, and the maximum payment received by Digital Payment shall be 50% per month. The cash will be disbursed two or three times and the cash will be disbursed by the relevant banks. The Central Bank has announced that coordination is being made between various clinics.

Source: Daily Eleven

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YRTC suspends Yangon city taxis, freight vehicles registration services

The Yangon Region Transport Committee (YRTC) has temporarily suspended the city taxis and freight vehicles registration services since 15 July due to a recent third wave of COVID-19 disease, according to the YRTC. It had been only two weeks that the services were resumed as per the COVID-19 guidelines on 1 July, after being suspended since 16 March 2020.

The registration services of YRTC is reportedly suspended since the Department of Road Transport and The Department of Transport Planning have suspended public services, according to the Joint Secretary of the YRTC. The resumption date will be announced in advance. However, it is difficult to say for sure because of the temporary suspension of services, he added.

During the resumption of services for two weeks, the YRTC provided 825 city taxis registration services at No.297, Thanthumar Road, South Okkalapa Township and 1,943 freight vehicles registration services near the office of the Transport Planning Department on Strand Road. At present, the total number of city taxi registered vehicles in the Yangon Region is over 65,000, with more than 20,000 taxi licences from other regions and states. A total of around 50,000 freight vehicles are registered, according to YRTC.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Over 2,600 companies register via MyCO system in five months

According to the statistics released by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), the number of companies registered on the online registry system MyCO reached over 2,600 in the first five months of this year.
According to the Myanmar Companies Law 2017, registration must be done using the electronic registration system (MyCO), which was introduced on 1 August 2018. This year, the number of registered companies on MyCO was 1,373 in January, 188 in February, 163 in March, 254 in April and 686 in May, the DICA’s statistics showed. According to DICA, 100 per cent of MyCO system users are practising online application instead of manual filings. In 2020, the figures stood at 1,415 in January, 1,298 in February, 1,015 in March, 348 in April, 798 in May, 1,314 in June, 1,650 in July, 1,551 in August and 1,378 in September, 1,693 in October, 1,099 in November and 1,521 in December, the data of  DICA showed. In 2019, the number of registered companies mounted to 1,733 in January, 1,419 in February and 1,108 in March, 1,045 in April, 1,411 in May, 1,307 in June, 1,428 in July, 1,302 in August, 1,181 in September, 2,059 in October, 1,615 in November and 1,772 in December as per statistics of the DICA.

When the online registry was launched in August 2018, 1,816 new companies got registered via MyCO. The figures stood at 2,218 in September 2018, 1,671 in October, 1,431 in November and 1,364 in December 2018. Further, all registered companies (old and new) need to submit annual returns (AR) on MyCo system within two months of incorporation and at least once a year (not later than one month after the anniversary of incorporation), according to Section 97 of Myanmar Companies Law 2017. According to Section 266 (A) of the Myanmar Companies Law 2017, public companies must submit the annual returns and the financial statements (G-5) at the same time. And, all overseas corporations must submit annual reports in the prescribed format on MyCo in 28 days after the end of the financial year under Section 53 (A-1) of the Myanmar Companies Law 2017.

The companies have to submit AR within AR due date. However, more than 16,000 companies were suspended as of September 2020 because they have filed to submit AR. Therefore, the newly established companies are requested to submit AR within two months of incorporation. If they fail to do so, they may face a fine of K 100,000. If the AR form is filed to submit within 13 months, the system will send a suspension (I-9A) notification letter in company status. Besides, if the AR form is also filed to submit after receiving (I-9A) within 28 days’ notice, the system will show suspended in company status. Under this situation, the companies can restore their status by paying AR and late fees. Then, the companies need to submit the I-9D form. The suspended companies will have to pay a fine of K50,000 for the AR fees, K100,000 for restoration of the company on the Register, and K100,000 for late filing of documents. If AR forms are filed to submit again within six months of suspension, the system will show struck off in company status.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Announcement on applying electronic payment systems instead of cash/cheque for tax payment of taxpayer companies to the State

  1. Under the Ministry of Planning and Finance, the Internal Revenue Department arranges easy and rapid tax payment ways for taxpayer people through electronic payment, mobile banking, mobile payment, MPU Debit Card online, and links with relevant banks.
  2. The taxpayer, who has received taxpayer identification number-TIN, can pay income tax, commercial tax, special commodity tax, and gem tax to the banking accounts of relevant tax office at the branches of Myanmar Economic Bank from their bank A/C opened at private banks including foreign bank branches in Myanmar with the use of CBM-NET of the Central Bank of Myanmar or https://onlinepayment.ird.gov.mm/etax which is the online tax payment system of using MPU Debit Card.
  3. Income tax payment of staff from the companies paying tax at the Large Taxpayer Office or Medium Taxpayer Office can be paid to the banking accounts of the respective tax offices through electronic payments, mobile banking and mobile payments or MPU Debit Cards.
  4. Relevant private banks will issue the initial documents for payment as evidence of paying tax from the banking accounts of companies through electronic payment methods, mobile banking and mobile payment or payment from MPU Debit Card. After receiving the tax payment in the accounts, the Internal Revenue Department will send the e-payment to the taxpayers on completion of paying the tax.
  5. The taxpayers who have opened the banking accounts at the State-owned banks can pay tax through cash/cheque and account transfer.
  6. Hence, Income tax payment for staff of the taxpayers and the companies which pay tax at the Large Taxpayer Office and the medium taxpayer offices in Yangon, except for the taxpayers who opened bank accounts at the State-owned banks, will apply easier and smoother electronic payment systems instead of cash/cheque payment system as of 1 July in 2020-21 financial year. So, the department requested the taxpayers to cooperate in the process.
  7. For further information, taxpayers may contact-
    (a) Tax service office (Nay Pyi Taw)
    Office No. 46, Internal Revenue Department, Nay Pyi Taw
    Tel: 067-3430533 and 067-3430522
    (b) Tax service office (Yangon)
    No 59/61 (first floor), Pansodan Road, Kyauktada Township, Yangon
    Tel: 01-378370 and 01-378372
    (c) Information and Technology Branch (e-payment section)
    No 569/577, corner of Merchant Street and Baha Bandoola Park Street
    Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Tel: 01-8379021.
    Internal Revenue Department

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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National Payment System Governing Committee discusses to practice digital payment system

National Payment System Governing Committee held its first coordination meeting in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. During the meeting, Committee Chairman and CBM governor U Than Nyein said that it should implement the visions and missions of the National Payment System Strategy (2020-2025). It also needs to establish a secure national payment system that can effectively contribute to its financial stability and economic growth.

He also discussed matters pertaining to the use of electronic payment system for national payment, duties of government to supervise in implementing a digital payment system to reduce cash usage, modern payment and electronic payment systems, enactment of the law to protect service providers and customers, and plans to draft a law supervisory framework meeting the international criteria.

Then, Daw Than Than Swe, Deputy-Governor of CBM, presented CBM-Net System, tax payment on CBM-Net System, other tax payments via Digital payment platform of Mobile Financial Service Providers like Wave Money, OK Dollar, MPT, Ooredoo and MyTel and MMQR system. The attendees to the meeting also discussed the mobile payment systems of local banks, criteria and procedures for payments, digital payment system, cooperation works between government and private sectors for tax relief, digital sales for retail and wholesale, Cheque Truncation System, safe and secure payments and illegal payment system to be added in the payment system of the country. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Licensed overseas recruitment agencies allowed to send employees abroad

The licenced overseas recruitment agencies are allowed to send employees abroad under the Overseas Employment Law (1999), according to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population. Regarding granting licence to the overseas recruitment agencies, most employees choose to depart mainly to Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Macao and Jordan. So far, Myanmar has sent 1,320,914 employees to foreign countries from 1990 to May 2021.

The Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population has been increasing business licence deposit fees for the overseas employment agencies from K5 million to K25 million starting from 4 February 2020. It raised deposit fees to reduce the number of overseas employment agencies, make them interested in their businesses, and work effectively. It would also ensure more prominent agencies are more responsible and accountable. According to the Ministry, among the overseas recruitment agencies, there are 295 overseas employment agencies in Myanmar that pay increased deposit fees of K 25 million.

Those who wish to apply for the new overseas employment agency license need to come and apply for the permit at the department of labour relations (head office) in Nay Pyi Taw. The application must be signed in person by the managing director of the agency companies. The managing directors need to bring the necessary documents such as company profile, national ID, census and recommendation of the police station and ward. Those, who will apply for agency licences, must show proof of personal assets worth K100 million, an updated bank account with at least K100 million from the last six months and demand letters. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar