Ministries need to practise thrifty spending on the expenditures, said Vice-Chairman of the Financial Commission Vice-Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win at the coordination meeting to submit the six-month Union budget from October 2021 to March 2022 which took place at the Office of the State Administration Council Chairman in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon.
First, the Vice-Senior General Soe Win, in his address, said as the national plan, the annual budget and tax bill must be enacted regularly on a yearly basis in accord with Section 100 (b) of the Constitution, such processes must be undertaken in line with the existing laws and procedures.
Myanmar set the financial year from 1 April to 31 March yearly but it was changed from 1 October to 30 September as of the 2018-2019 financial year. Now, the financial year will be re-changed from 1 April to 31 March starting from the 2022-2023 financial year. The interim budget will be drawn for six months from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.
At present, emphasis is being placed on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country faces some economic loss with declining incomes including that from taxes and other ordination income.
Hence, the country may face a continuous decline in income in the coming six months.
However, the government must spend the expenditure on prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 without fail, union ministries need to scrutinize the expenditures as much as they can. The estimated income must be actual income to be gained within six months during the six-month budget period, and the estimated expenditure must be actual cost within six months.
It was found that the Ministry of Planning and Finance scrutinized and submitted the six-month estimated budget drawn by Union level departments and organizations in line with policies, financial rules and procedures adopted by the State. In so doing, the projects at the Union level must not be overlapped with that of regions and states.
Secretary of the commission Union Minister U Win Shein reported on drawing the estimated expenditures for Union level departments and organizations for six months, available income and successful implementation of the projects.
The Union level officials discussed the progress of scrutiny for the budget accounts of Union level departments and organizations for six months from October 2021 to March 2022, and appropriation for the unusual expenditures, findings from the estimated budget of Union level departments and organizations, and inspection of accounts, construction of warehouses and the natural disaster information centre for relief supplies in four townships of Shan State, an extension of the organization set up of the National Unity and Peace Negotiation Department of the Office of the Government, and increased allotment of the budget for soonest implementation of Kengtung Dam project in Yaksawk Township of Shan State.
In response to the reports, Union Minister U Win Shein discussed that heads of Union level departments and organizations need to supervise the financial allotment and undertakings, and Union level departments and organizations need to contact the Treasury Department as quickly as possible if they have to amend and add something to the six-month budget from October 2021 to March 22.
In his concluding remarks, the Vice-Senior General said that the reports of relevant central and ministerial levels will be submitted to the financial commission. When the commission approved it, the bill on the six-month Union budget from October 2021 to March 2022 will be submitted to the Provisional Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar with the recommendation of the financial commission and then seek approval from the State Administration Council.
After the law was enacted, ministries need to spend the allotted budget on the implementation of projects directly benefiting the people. The Vice-Senior General urged them to meet the income target as much as they can before ending the 2020-2021 budget year, timely spend the allowed expenditures and hand over the expenditures which could not be spent in time.
Due to COVID-19 and general challenges, some difficulties were faced in earning the income but all are to strive for earning income for meeting the target set for respective ministries seeking ways and means. Moreover, ministries need to practise thrifty spending on the expenditures. It is necessary to take care of earning income and spending expenditure to avoid nine points of weakness examined by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Union and to be in line with financial rules and regulations. The projects must be implemented within six months by spending the budget under the law. — MNA