MPs may be re­called early to dis­cuss ex­tra bud­get

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­

The fi­nan­cial com­mis­sion led by Pres­i­dent U Htin Kyaw has sub­mit­ted the ad­di­tional K1354.614 bil­lion bud­get al­lo­ca­tion bill to par­lia­ment, which may re­turn from re­cess early to de­bate it.

FACED with higher than ex­pected costs and sag­ging in­come, par­lia­ment could be re­called early to con­sider a sup­ple­men­tary bud­get bill, ac­cord­ing to a law­maker. MPs will be asked to add an ex­tra K1.35 tril­lion to this year’s K24 tril­lion (US$20 bil­lion) bud­get, an in­crease of about 5 per­cent.

In ad­di­tion to the need for more funds, par­lia­ment has con­sid­er­able un­fin­ished busi­ness, in­clud­ing new leg­is­la­tion to con­sider, U Kyaw Soe Lin (NLD; Pyi­gy­itagon) of the Pyithu Hlut­taw Bill Com­mit­tee told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day.

“The amend­ment bill for the Ward and Vil­lage Tract Ad­min­is­tra­tion Law, among others, has yet to be ap­proved,” he said, adding that the ad­di­tional bud­get al­lo­ca­tion was “es­sen­tial”.

U Sai Thant Zin (SNLD; Thibaw/Hsi­paw) of the Pyithu Hlut­taw’s Agri­cul­ture, Live­stock and Ru­ral So­cial Life De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, said on Oc­to­ber 31 that the par­lia­ment might have to be re­called be­cause of the bud­get gap. “It will have to be done in Novem­ber, so par­lia­ment could be re­called early,” he said. Par­lia­ment re­cessed on Oc­to­ber 7. The fi­nan­cial com­mis­sion led by Pres­i­dent U Htin Kyaw has al­ready ap­proved the ad­di­tional bud­get al­lo­ca­tion bill to be sub­mit­ted to mem­bers in the amount of K1354.614 bil­lion, said Vice Pres­i­dent U Myint Swe, vice chair of the com­mis­sion.

Of that fig­ure, K607.386 bil­lion would be spent on reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture, K553.726 bil­lion on cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture, K46.860 bil­lion to re­pay loans and K146.642 bil­lion in busi­ness in­vest­ment.

U Myint Swe said some min­istries had al­ready over­spent on their ac­tiv­i­ties in the first half of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year.

Pres­i­dent U Htin Kyaw told the fi­nan­cial com­mis­sion that both GDP and eco­nomic growth would be lower than ex­pected be­cause of tougher macroe­co­nomic con­di­tions dur­ing the past six months. State rev­enue had fallen be­cause of a short­fall in agri­cul­tural pro­duce due to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, re­duc­tion of forestry prod­ucts, lower oil and gas prices and a slow­down in the min­ing sec­tor.

The 2016 bud­get was ap­proved in Jan­uary by a par­lia­ment then-dom­i­nated by the out­go­ing Union Sol­i­dar­ity and De­vel­op­ment Party. While the in­com­ing par­lia­ment, with its over­whelm­ing Na­tional League for Democ­racy ma­jor­ity, re­frained from amend­ing the bud­get in the pre­vi­ous par­lia­ment, the Speaker had said bud­getary amend­ment would be pri­ori­tised in up­com­ing ses­sions. U Bo Gyi, a mem­ber of the Public Ac­counts Com­mit­tee, told The Myan­mar Times in July that 17 teams had been set up to re­view min­is­te­rial bud­gets, while other mem­bers sug­gested that min­istries’ bor­row­ing might be re­duced. How­ever, the re­vised Union bud­get for 2016-17 was sub­mit­ted to the Pyi­daungsu Hlut­taw on July 25 with min­i­mal al­ter­ations.

– Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

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