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Myanmar: Pressure from lawmakers prompts govt to abolish MICA by NYAN HLAING LYNN February 17,2017   |  Source: Frontie Myanmar

The government has revealed that it plans to abolish a secretive state-owned agency that was set up by the U Thein Sein administration to manage property assets valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The body, known as the Myanmar International Cooperation Agency, signed at least 13 contracts with private companies to develop state land formerly used for fisheries and livestock enterprises. The agreements, which cover 1900 acres, were nearly all signed from January to March 2016, as the Thein Sein government prepared to leave office.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw told lawmakers on Tuesday that President U Htin Kyaw had ordered in December that MICA be abolished and its assets returned to the government. The ministry was implementing the order in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office, he said, but added that much remained clear about MICA’s origins and activities.

The decision represents a turnaround for the government. In August 2016, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation deputy permanent secretary Dr Tun Lwin told Frontier that the ministry was committed to the MICA project and its board was being re-constituted. It would continue to seek partners “to increase the government income and promote

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