Myanmar parliament defers telecom licence award - lawmaker

YANGON Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:43am BST

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YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's lower house of parliament agreed on Wednesday to delay the awarding of two telecoms licences until a new telecommunications law comes into force, a lawmaker said.

The announcement of the winners had been scheduled for Thursday, June 27. The draft law is still making its way through parliament.

It was not clear whether the lower house of parliament had the authority to delay the procedure, which is overseen by the Telecommunications Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee (TOTSC).

"A lower house lawmaker tabled an important motion suggesting that choosing the two telecoms operators should be postponed till the new telecoms law is enacted," Thein Nyunt, a lawmaker and chairman of the New National Democratic Party, told Reuters, adding that no objection was raised in parliament.

No one at the TOTSC was immediately available for comment. After decades of isolation and economic mismanagement under military governments, mobile phone penetration in Myanmar is put at no more than 9 percent, lower even than North Korea.

(Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Editing by Alan Raybould and Michael Urquhart)

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