The 2nd Pyidaungsu Hluttaw’s 9th regular session held its second-day meeting at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw meeting hall yesterday.
Ministers explain use of emergency funds
Deputy Minister for Defence Rear-Admiral Myint Nwe and Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint explained and submitted to the assembly the usage of Ks8,175.272 million from the emergency funds, in accordance with the 2018 Union Budget Law, sent by the President.
Deputy Minister Maj-Gen Myint Nwe said the Inspection Board has approved the withdrawal of Ks4,989.694 million from the fiscal year 2017-2018 emergency funds to rebuild 882 of the 1,009 buildings, within the same fiscal year, destroyed as a result of Cyclone Mora.
He said they are aiming to finish rebuilding the remaining 127 buildings between April and September 2018 (six months of the interim fiscal year). The Office of the Director of Military Engineering has estimated the costs to be around Ks1,897.160 million.
Cyclone Mora was an immediate natural disaster that occurred with no prior warning, and as such, no funds could have been prepared in advance, said the deputy minister. He said the costs for rebuilding the remaining buildings were already submitted to and approved during Union Government meeting No. 11/2018 held on 21 June 2018, and requested that the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw should put this on record.
Union Minister Dr. Pe Myint said Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) received support from the Japanese government to carry out the Project for Expansion of Broadcasting Equipment of Myanmar Radio and Television, worth Japanese Yen (JPY) 2,263 million. He said the Exchange of Notes was carried out on 3 March 2017 and the Grant Agreement was signed on 29 March 2017. He said the costs for broadcasting equipment could not be estimated at the time and were not included in his ministry’s budget proposal for April to September 2018, submitted on 20 November 2017.
The union minister said a tender was requested for the broadcasting equipment on 4 February 2018 and the bid was won by Sumitomo Corporation at JPY1,969 million. A contract was signed between MRTV and Sumitomo Corporation on 9 February. The contract states MRTV has to pay in advance 30 per cent of the equipment costs (JPY469.917 million) and 40 per cent of the building renovation costs (JPY46.8 million), a total of JPY516.717 million, between April and September 2018.
The union minister said neither the Ministry of Information nor the MRTV’s budget could cover the cost of the advance payment since it was not calculated beforehand. Therefore, his ministry followed protocol and negotiated with the Ministry of Planning and Finance, and after multiple levels of negotiations with financial committees and union-level organisations, received permission to withdraw the amount for advance payment (JPY516.717 million, approx. Ks6,278.112 million) from the emergency fund at the Union Government meeting No. 11/2018 on 21 June 2018. He requested the assembly to put the matter on record.
Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than then announced that the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw had put both matters on record.
Joining inter-governmental rubber organisation
Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw explained the executive order to join the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) and to make annual payments for membership. He said membership will allow the exchange of information, technical and technological assistance, and other opportunities for Myanmar’s rubber industry. The Speaker then announced that MPs who wanted to discuss the matter should enroll their names.
Deputy Speaker, ministers explain union budgets
The Pyithu Hluttaw deputy speaker, union ministers and deputy ministers explained to the assembly their respective sector’s budget proposal concerning the FY 2018-2019 National Planning Bill and the Union Budget Bill.
Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin explained the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ budget proposal for the FY 2018-2019. He said the main receipts in the proposal are for services and Ks1,930 million included in the proposal is for the sale of old assets, requests for tenders, bank interest payments and overdue receipts. Collected receipts, such as for visa payments, are proceeds for other respective ministries and not included in the Ministry of International Cooperation’s receipts.
The union minister said the expenditure budget of Ks52,538.262 million included in the budget proposal for common expenditures is the permitted amount in the policy framework. Similarly, the budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was at first considered for proposal at Ks14,199.415 million but after reviews made by committees from the Planning Department, Ministry of Construction and Industrial Supervision, the proposed amount was modified to Ks13,552.993 million.
Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint said the Budget Commission has approved of his ministry’s receipt proposal for Ks80,439.48 million (over Ks80 billion) for the FY 2018-2019.
He said the budget proposal included costs for common expenditure at Ks83,450.847 million and primary budget expenses at Ks35,794.200 million; totalling Ks119,245.047 million (over Ks119 billion).
He said the budget commission has reduced the overall proposal amount by Ks10,585.004 million (over Ks10 billion) and set the amount for common expenditures at Ks80,657.020 million and primary budget expenses at Ks28,003.023 million; totalling Ks108,660.043 million.
Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko said his ministry has submitted receipt proposals for common expenditures at Ks9,500 million and primary expenses at Ks20,231.064 million for October 2018 to September 2019, and as for expenditure budget proposals, the ministry submitted proposals of Ks241,81.900 million for common expenditures and Ks128,14.403 million for primary expenditures.Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win said his ministry has submitted receipt proposals for the FY 2018-2019 at Ks530.550 billion for common expenditures, Ks9.804 billion for primary budget expenditures and Ks30 million as debt receipts, totalling Ks540.384 billion.
Deputy Minister for Defence Rear-Admiral Myint Nwe compared three fiscal year budget proposals at the assembly. Concerning common expenditures, the revised estimate for the FY 2016-2017 is Ks1,653.164 billion, Ks1,765.941 billion for the FY 2017-2018, and Ks1,818.146 billion for the FY 2014-2019.
Concerning primary budget expenditures, the revised estimate for the FY 2016-2017 is Ks1,337.398 billion, Ks1,427.010 billion for the FY 2017-2018, and Ks1,431.919 billion for the FY 2018-2019 (an increase of Ks4.909 billion from the FY 2017-2018).
The deputy minister explained that the increase in the budget proposal is due to the increase in civil servants’ salaries in 2018. He said the actual amount needed is Ks127.517 billion but the ministry only included the absolute necessities in the proposal, which amounted to Ks57.114 billion.
Deputy Minister for Border Affairs Maj-Gen Than Htut said his ministry has submitted receipt proposals for the FY 2018-2019 at Ks32,352.956 million for common expenditures, Ks101,949.368 million for primary budget expenditures; totalling Ks134,302.324
Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw said his ministry has calculated based on current GDP rates in their budget proposal for the FY 2018-2019. He said Ks11,630.046 billion has been proposed for the farming sector with a projected 2.4 per cent development, and Ks5,362.974 billion for the livestock and fishery sector with a projected 4 per cent development.He said his ministry has submitted receipt proposals (including foreign aid receipts) for the FY 2018-2019 at Ks576.586 billion, with Ks141.242 billion for common expenditures, Ks43.878 billion for primary budget expenditures and Ks391.466 billion as debt receipts.
The third-day meeting of the 9th regular session of the 2nd Pyidaungsu Hluttaw will continue today.