Finance Commission discusses budget for next fiscal year

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The finance commission holds its meeting in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

A meeting of the Finance Commission was held at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon to discuss the budget for the next fiscal year, a task that will factor in challenges that are similar to the ones from the previous year, the President said.
“In implementing the national economic development and stability of the national economy in the financial year 2017-2018 as in the fiscal year 2016-2017, there are still challenges for the Union Government. The challenges — fall in the country’s major income from the export of natural gas due to the unstable prices of global natural gas, slumps of incomes due to reduced export of timber, plunging income on account of re-scrutiny of grant of mining plots, distributing power supply with losses for the sake of the public, facing the great needs of infrastructures for national development, requirement to implement for the emergence of favorable environments and acceptable laws and rules so that influx of direct investments from home and abroad can come into the country, are facing the country and it is urgently needed to study and prepare to overcome these challenges,” the President said.
Present at the meeting were President U Htin Kyaw, the President of the State and Chairman of the Finance Commission, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor, Vice-Presidents and Vice-Chairmen of the Finance Commission U Myint Swe and U Henry Van Thio, Secretary of the Finance Commission and Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Kyaw Win and Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of Regions and States, Union Attorney General, Union Auditor General and responsible officials.
The President said a budget estimate for the 2017-2018 fiscal year should include projects that spur development, but that it should not throw the country into debt.
“The present 1/2017 meeting of the Finance Commission is to discuss and adopt the Budget Estimate for the financial year 2017-2018 of the Union and Bill on 2017 Budget of the Union. As for the Finance Commission, it is to approve the Bill on 2017 Budget of the Union. And, having laid down 12 economic policies, the Union Government will implement people-centered sustainable economic development. Expenditures are required to be spent by dividing systematically, to help national development projects and economic policies of the State. Yet, it is necessary to keep the budget deficit under the present 5 per cent of the GDP, for the debts so as not to increase too much and to maintain the durability of the debt. The State has been spending annually more on education and health for the development of human resources. Besides, expenditures on social security and reforestation, acquisition of power supply, rural development and progress of infrastructures are being spent to keep balance. Expenditures for the social security of financial year 2017-2018 were increasingly granted,” said President U Htin Kyaw.
The spending plans for regions and states will increase, the President said, using a system being utilized by other countries.
“As regards the Budget for the Regions and States, in supporting regions and states from the finance fund of the Union, budgets are being divided among them in proportion with the standardized systems being exercised by other countries. As for the states and regions, it is necessary to increase their income sources and concurrently spend effectively the finance supported by the Union for the development of the regions and states. It has been found that the Ministry of Planning and Finance has drawn up the Medium Term Fiscal Framework, and expenditure framework has been drawn up for the departments and organizations at the Union Level. Similarly, it has been learnt that the Union Government has designated the fulfilment to the deficits of regions and states by using macroeconomic indicators and indexes,” the President said.
Afterwards, Vice-President U Myint Swe, Vice-Chairman of the Finance Commission spoke in detail about the total income of the departments and organizations of the Union for the financial year 2017-2018, budget amounts allocated to the regions and states from the Union Fund, special funds for spending essentially for unpredictable natural disasters and the State’s contribution to the Fund for the Management of National Natural Disasters.
Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, Vice-Chairman of the Finance Commission, talked at length about the commercial tax and the special commodity tax, and explained the need for the Commission to approve the budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Following this, Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Kyaw Win, Secretary of the Finance Commission, clarified the Budget of the Union for the fiscal year 2017-2018 and Bill on the Budget of the Union for the financial year 2017. —Myanmar News Agency

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