Sup­ple­men­tary Union bud­get down­sized af­ter par­li­men­tary com­mit­tee trim­ming

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­times.com

PAR­LIA­MENT has shaved mil­lions off of the Union gov­ern­ment’s ad­di­tional fund­ing re­quest for the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year.

The Pyi­daungsu Hlut­taw’s Pub­lic Ac­counts Joint Com­mit­tee an­nounced yes­ter­day that the amount has been re­duced by 1.2 per­cent.

Around K15.7 bil­lion (US$12 mil­lion) has been cut from the sup­ple­men­tary bud­get re­quest of K1.35 tril­lion af­ter anal­y­sis, Pyithu Hlut­taw law­maker and Pub­lic Ac­counts Joint Com­mit­tee mem­ber U Aung Min said yes­ter­day.

U Aung Min (NLD; Zalun) stressed that the com­mit­tee had met with the rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment de­part­ments be­fore mak­ing its cuts.

The Min­istry of Home Af­fairs was the big­gest loser, drop­ping K9 bil­lion of the pro­posed K36.9 bil­lion in ad­di­tional fund­ing. The Min­istry of Con­struc­tion lost K2.6 bil­lion while the Nay Pyi Taw City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee’s pro­posed ad­di­tional bud­get was chopped by K1.6 bil­lion. The For­eign Min­istry’s pro­posal was re­duced by K1 bil­lion and both the Min­istry of Bor­der Af­fairs and Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion were re­duced by more than K550 mil­lion. The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion’s fund­ing re­quest was re­duced by K246 mil­lion be­cause a pro­posed li­brary, planned for the Tech­no­log­i­cal Uni­ver­sity in Man­dalay, was can­celled.

For the cap­i­tal bud­gets, which in­curred the ma­jor­ity of the slash­ing, re­ports only iden­ti­fied the pri­ori­tised tasks, which are to be per­formed dur­ing the fis­cal year. It is not yet known how ex­actly th­ese ad­di­tional cap­i­tal bud­gets would be used.

There has been no re­ported cut to the Min­istry of De­fense’s re­quest for an ad­di­tional K96.9 bil­lion in fund­ing.

U Aung Min said the com­mit­tee de­cided that fund­ing for projects that would likely not be im­ple­mented this fis­cal year should be sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion in the next bud­get.

Trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity should be ac­cepted along with any fund­ing that is al­lo­cated to an agency, he said.

“This will re­quire the me­dia and the pub­lic to track the use of tax­payer money to im­ple­ment projects,” he said.

The Union gov­ern­ment’s to­tal rev­enue is K17 tril­lion while its ex­pen­di­tures to­tal K21.3 tril­lion, bring­ing the deficit to more than K4 tril­lion.

The coun­try’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) was re­cently re­vised to K81.1 tril­lion from K84.1 tril­lion due to knock-on ef­fects from nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and a re­duc­tion in ex­port busi­ness.

While it was pre­vi­ously as­sumed that the deficit would be about 3.91pc of GDP, that has been re­vised to 4.97pc.

The com­mit­tee’s re­port is only a list of rec­om­men­da­tions. The hlut­taw will make fi­nal de­ci­sions. – Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

and Emoon

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