Companies Need To Do Advocacy On Draft Regulations To Ensure They Can Be Complied With
On 29 November, Vicky Bowman gave a presentation in the conference programme accompanying the Electricity and Energy Expo 2019 in Yangon. The expo was organised by Dagon Exhibitions, Myanmar Oil and Gas Services Society, and AALL Corporation Pte Ltd and targeted the gas, petroleum, household electricity, and other energy manufacturing products and services.
Vicky spoke about recent developments in business regulation in Myanmar which could be of interest to the energy sector, focusing on those which had an impact on companies’ ability to act responsibly. In addition to highlighting existing regulations in environment, land, labour, investment, corporate governance, anti-corruption, and human rights, she identified some emerging draft regulation relating to environmental impact assessment (draft oil and gas EIA guidelines and EIA public participation guidelines), draft Protection of Whistleblowers Law (under preparation by the Anti-Corruption Commission), draft Income Tax Law (consultation opened by Internal Revenue Dept, deadline 31 December), the expectation of regulation of private security companies, and the opportunity to incorporate principles from international standards such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. She encouraged MOGSS and other business associations to study these drafts and engage on them.
She also covered the Anti-Corruption Commission’s Notification 14/2018 on as well as outlining the initial timetable for MCRB and Yever to prepare the 2020 Pwint Thit Sa (Transparency in Myanmar Enterprises) report. This would predominantly cover large taxpayers, banks and listed/public companies. However large/medium sized companies outside that scope could also volunteer to be benchmarked.
Finally she congratulated MOGSS and Dagon exhibitions on pre-empting her call for businesses to run events sustainably, and welcomed the absence of a balloon launch at the Expo’s ribbon-cutting launch that morning. By not having balloons, the organisers had avoided contributing to environmentally destructive ‘rubber jellyfish’ that kill turtles and seabirds. She encouraged companies to consider other ways to reduce their plastic waste, highlighting MCRB’s Green Meeting Guidelines (in EN and MM) which were now widely reflected in the organisation of meetings in Yangon by many organisations.