Lack of bud­get ham­per­ing MCDC: mayor

The Myanmar Times - - News - SI THU LWIN sithul­win@mm­times.com

MAN­DALAY City’s mu­nic­i­pal author­ity is star­ing at a long de­vel­op­ment to-do list, and a lack of funds to do it with, the mayor told re­gional law­mak­ers last week.

Im­prov­ing Myan­mar’s sec­ond­biggest city will de­pend on fi­nances, U Ye Lwin, mayor and head of Man­dalay City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, said at the fourth day of the third par­lia­men­tary ses­sion. But with­out boost­ing tax rev­enue, the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion has its hands tied, he added.

His re­marks were made in re­sponse to a pro­jected Master Plan for Man­dalay.

“Ac­cord­ing to the cur­rent bud­get al­lo­ca­tion, we would have to pri­ori­tise work mainly for one town­ship or one ward, but we can­not op­er­ate like that,” he said. “If we fol­low the Master Plan, we are talk­ing about re­pair­ing elec­tric lines, wa­ter pipes, in­stalling a dam sys­tem and other projects for the whole city. To do this, we have to fix tax col­lec­tion.”

How­ever, in March, Man­dalay Re­gion re­ported ex­ceed­ing tax col­lec­tion tar­gets for the sec­ond year run­ning. The re­gional fi­nance de­part­ment said its big­gest earner for the past year was in­come tax.

Tax for the 28 town­ships in Man­dalay Re­gion, not in­clud­ing Nay Pyi Taw, for the 2015-16 fi­nan­cial year ex­ceeded K123 bil­lion, sur­pass­ing the In­ter­nal Rev­enue De­part­ment’s K115 bil­lion tar­get.

Vice Pres­i­dent Henry Van Thio said nearly K1700 bil­lion is es­ti­mated to be shared with all 14 states and re­gions from the Union bud­get. The Min­istry of Plan­ning and Fi­nance has pledged to start dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing bud­get al­lo­ca­tions based on re­gional needs in the 2017-18 fis­cal year. – Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han

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