Myanmar government backs down on Yangon development
Contract awarded to unknown developer will now go out for bids
The Yangon Region government has backtracked on its controversial decision to award the contract for a 30,000-acre city expansion project to a little-known public company, announcing that it would instead conduct a tender.
Yangon Mayor U Hla Myint announced the project to shocked Yangon Region Hluttaw MPs on August 22. Six days later, after the decision came in for significant criticism from parliamentarians, the media and business leaders, the regional government announced it would conduct a tender.
The government promised in an August 28 statement that the tender would be transparent and “within a short period”, but gave no dates.
The statement said it would give all private companies the chance to participate in the project.
Yangon Region Hluttaw representative Daw Nyo Nyo Thin said she had proposed the government conduct a transparent tender when the issue was discussed in parliament on August 27.
“I welcome the announcement,” she said. “It should have been done like this before they announced the project in parliament. If they really do as they say [in the statement] then it shows they are listening to the voices of the people.”
But not all are convinced that the government’s intentions are sincere. Local entrepreneur U Soe Tun, who has participated in many tenders, said the tender may be “just for show”, as the government could organise it in a way that favours its preferred bidder.
“If they do a tender with a short timeframe and little information it will be difficult for us. If that’s the case, businesspeople will have less chance to put in a competitive application and the company they have already chosen is likely to win,” he said.
“If they really want to invite other partners, myself and other businesspeople are ready to compete for the contract.”
Full Story: Government backflips on expansion contract
Source: Myanmar Times
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