First thoughts on Myanmar Telecom Law

Posted on November 26, 2013  /  0 Comments

The much anticipated Myanmar Telecommunications Law (Law 13 of 2013) was approved by both houses of the Myanmar Legislature and was given Presidential assent. Our analysis of the law is not yet complete, but here are some first thoughts:

There is considerable and unnecessary overlap of powers and functions between the Ministry and Department. Positioning the Ministry as the authority to appeal departmental decisions may make it the de facto regulator. This goes beyond the usual concern about the Ministry also having responsibility for the incumbent operator MPT.

The explicit authority given to the Ministry to clarify technical terms in the law appears to position it as a supra regulator even after the promised creation of the independent regulatory authority.

In most countries, regulatory agencies are created by law. The simple statement that the “independent Myanmar Telecommunications Commission, led by an appropriate individual at the Union level, within two years of the effective date of this law” is an inadequate legislative foundation for a regulatory authority.

Since a new law or at least an amendment to the law will be required, it will be a good opportunity to remedy the existing flaws in the present law.

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