Taunggyi NewsTunggyi News
Taiunggyi pioneered local government reform in Myanmar
SHAN's capitol is a leader in service and bureaucratic reforms of its own people. Reforms have concentrated on developing the residential waste management system in the home market, introducing a portable application to streamline the taxation system and using public service tools to interact with people. As a result, roads have become much clearer, income for the governments has risen, there has been greater openness and responsibility in the community and an "open government" with which the people of the municipality can interact without obstruction.
As Myanmar's urbanization gains pace, Taunggyi's model reform is a good way to remind towns in the remainder of the nation to modernize and make up for lost ground. The Myanmar Times, supported by the Asia Foundation, paid a visit to the capital and spoke to U Aye Ko, CEO of Taunggyi's aid organization.
How did the DAO deal with the waste disposal reforms? There are now two sides working together on waste disposal. DAO sold part of the work and a regional enterprise, "Mui", won the bid. At stations and in small neighbourhoods, the privately owned firm is responsible for waste disposal, while the DAO works independently on the city's three highways.
This system, in which a privately owned enterprise cooperates with the state to offer utility companies and service, is unique in Shan State, where seven cities have adopted this invention. In addition, we work with civic organizations to inform the general population about the behavior of litter. Why develop the non-governmental service sectors, which are traditional service activities of the city?
At that time, the DAO, especially the part of waste disposal, did not go well. DAO had a deficit and did not have the necessary ressources and capacities to administer the increasing populations and related service provision. In Lashio, what occurred is that in the 2014-15 tax year, the Lashio MPs declared that "we do not have enough funds to provide these kinds of service alone" and argued for the opening of public service to the public service sectors.
That is how the reforms began. The following year Taunggyi followed. How have you reformed waste management? Prior to the reforms, waste was gathered only in rooms or containers provided for this purpose. Today the privately owned firm goes to all the stations and small roads as far as its staff can to collect clothes and clear the areas.
Ultimately, the DAO does not have to invest in expanding DAO support to expanding cities and populations. The additional funds can be redirected to other DAO departments, such asroading. It'?s the privatesector that has to cover the DAO. Prior to the implementation of the reforms, the DAO billed the inhabitants for waste disposal charges as part of the land taxes.
However, the DAO no longer charges this charge - the privately owned business does it instead and the DAO is not a party to the cash pay. It levies services charges directly from the inhabitants. What has the DAO done to restructure the wealth taxation in Taunggyi? It is the spine of the whole system to make sure that no one is omitted from the registry when the taxes are collected.
In addition, we try to make sure the processes are effective and the registrars are up to date. In addition, we use an application to digitize the taxation processes. It is reported that every six month every resident of Taunggyi has to pay a land charge with a value of two teas.
Now what we are doing is making sure that no one is excluded from the team. Using the tool will also give us information, allowing us to carry out a more effective overhaul. We have a very low real estate levy and we want to ensure that the rates are in line with the current environment.
We have not collected land taxes from all of our federal properties, but we are making headway to extend our range and extend our coverage of all of them. To put it another way, the reforms in this area are threefold: making sure that no taxpayers are omitted, making sure that the taxpayers register includes everyone who should be involved, and raising the rates.
The reforms began in April 2016. Using the app's information, we were able to identify properties that were exempt from the income from which we had not taxed. So what has the DAO done to overhaul it? Myanmar's general population does not know what the DAO does and which division is in charge of what.
To inform the general publics about this, we use Facebook, for example. Firstly, we tell the general public what we are working on, what we have done and such information via Facebook so that the general community has up-to-date information. At the same time, the general publics can voluntarily decide via the use of digital content which service they want and which area they consider to be in need of improving.
We' ve got a Facebook group with people in Taunggyi. Publics can post what they want in the group, so we can all listen to their votes, both affirmative and unfavourable, as well as misgivings and complain. Nextly, to create an app that facilitates communication between the general population and the DAO and allows for an exact exchange of information.