Myanmar telecoms legislation proposals are too stringent say critics

6 Dec 2012

Communications and IT professionals in Myanmar are urging the country’s government to make amendments to the proposed new telecoms bill to ensure that the legislation promotes competition rather than hinders it. A report from the Asia News Network cites Ye Yint Win, president of the Myanmar Computer Professionals Association, as saying: ‘According to Section 4 Article 7, every telecommunications services will need a licence. Web-development businesses, e-commerce businesses and individuals who want to sell their applications will also need licences. So [the law] needs to separate and identify the services that need licences and those that do not need licences, as it can harm freedom of creation and small enterprises.’ The new regulations threaten that violations could be met with fines or imprisonment, with a maximum jail term of up to 17 years. There has also been criticism that the proposed new regulatory body will be placed under the control of the Ministry of Communications & IT rather than being independent.