President calls for increasing budget, investment to achieve 7 per cent growth target of GDP

President U Htin Kyaw delivers a speech at the meeting 3/2017 of the Financial Commission in Nay Pyi Taw on 2 October. Photo: MNA
President U Htin Kyaw delivers a speech at the meeting 3/2017 of the Financial Commission in Nay Pyi Taw on 2 October. Photo: MNA

To achieve its 7 per cent growth target of GDP in FY 2017-2018, the government must work for increasing national budget and boosting local and foreign investment, said President U Htin Kyaw at the meeting 3/2017 of the Financial Commission in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Speaking at the meeting, the president said in his capacity as the chairman of the commission that World Bank estimated Myanmar’s economic growth rate at 7 per cent, IMF at 7.5 per cent and ADB at 8.3 per cent respectively.
Present at the meeting were President U Htin Kyaw, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Vice-Presidents U Myint Swe and U Henry Van Thio, Union Minister U Kyaw Win, secretary of the commission members—Union Attorney General, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman and Chief Ministers of Regions and States.
At the meeting President U Htin Kyaw said, “Today’s meeting is to approve the demand for additional grants of the Union, Regions and States for FY 2017-2018, and to send for the approval to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw after approving bill on the revised budget estimate for FY 2017-2018. Pyidaungsu Hluttaw promulgated the Union Budget Law, 2017 on 24th March 2017. Now that FY 2017-2018 has passed the first six months. Revised Budget Estimate had an estimated deficit of K 3989.568 billion, exceeding K 6.227 billion more than the RE budget. Ratio of deficit and GDP was 4.37 per cent in BE and 4.38 per cent in RE. In scrutinizing demands for additional grants, it was found that the excess of deficit was attributed to allowance of demands for additional grants of hydro power plants under construction, which are to be granted only after scrutinizing at different levels. It includes essential matters for fencing Rakhine State Border Lines and for building roads for May Yu range linking routes, approved by the Union Government.”
The President added, “In regions and States as well, it was found that more K 15.344 billion including the tax shares divided by the Union Government will be added to the Budget Estimate funded by the Union Government with a view to implementing the multi-development.
Afterward, Vice-President U Myint Swe, Vice-Chairman of Financial Commission said, “In scrutinizing demands for additional grants for FY 2017-2018, it was found that K 1008.335 billion in ordinary expenditure, K 727.209 billion in lump sum expenditure, K 201.739 billion in bad debt expense/ deficit spending, K 552.342 billion in business investment and K 55.112 billion in increased spending for departments and organizations out of Union Budget Fund Program, K 2544.737 billion altogether. In scrutinizing demands for additional grants of Union Level Departments and Organizations for FY 2017-2018, concerning ordinary expenses, more expenses were needed due to changes in income-tax, contribution into national budget, commercial taxes and exchange rates of foreign currency. In regard to lump sum expenses, matters of insufficiency included in the Law on National Planning in FY 2017-2018 and matters to be implemented in present financial year were scrutinized. Union level departments and organizations’ Budget Estimate amounted to K 20594.165 billion and Revised Estimate K 22830.727 billion including additional grants. Regarding the earning, BE credits amounted to K 16604.597 billion. Revised earnings were estimated at K 18834.932 billion. According to the revised estimate ratio of Deficit and GDP is 4.38 per cent. Ratio of BE deficit and GDP was slightly more than 4.37 per cent.”
Following that, Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, Vice-Chairman of Financial Commission clarified, “Union Government granted K 1707.580 billion of the BE deficit of Regions and States as a government subvention. And, the Union Government supported K 32.200 billion in all, from Development Fund on Pyidaungsu Hluttaw in accordance with the law, for the implementation of regional development. For the FY 2017-2018, demands for additional grants of regions and states was K 316.447 billion, with reduced amount after scrutiny K 54.662 billion and additional grant allowance K 261.785 billion. In implementing regional development, region and state governments need to take notice of spending the resources of national revenues, being well convinced of exercising the type of going on demands for additional grants under the current situations of national budget. The Union Government will fulfill the deficits of regions and states, in accord with the prescriptions of article 230/C of the Constitution. Financial Commission needs to assess and approve the demand for additional grant of regions and states K 261.785 billion for the FY 2017-2018 and K 15.344 billion to be supported further by the Union Government according to Revised Estimate.”
Then, U Kyaw Win, Union Minister for Planning and Finance and secretary of financial commission clarified, “Out of demands for additional grants, expenses essentially needed to pay and expenses which can get national income such as commercial taxes, income tax and contributions to the State were allowed without cutting. Demands for additional grants include remuneration, pension, interests paid, commercial tax, income tax, foreign subsidies, and demands according to difference in foreign exchange rates.”
Finally, President U Htin Kyaw, Chairman of Financial Commission made a closing address, “Further division of finances from the Union Government are especially for the expenses needed further though original allowances had been granted and for the expenses spent to finish in time for the benefit of the State and People. Whenever demands for additional grants had been made, they will not be granted. It must be performed for budget deficit not to exceed 5 per cent of GDP and for original estimates not to have a large gap more than the ratio of deficit and GDP. Departments and organizations need to collectively help the performances of Hluttaw, while discussing lists of demands for fulfilled grants sent by Union Government after the approval of the financial commission in Hluttaw. It is necessary to take responsibility and accountability for respective demands for additional grants.”—Myanmar News Agency

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