Hluttaw panel cuts K1b of ministry funding

NAY PYI TAW — A total of more than K1 billion (US$773,000) has been cut from budget allocations to the ministries of Culture, Information and Sports, a parliamentary scrutiny panel said last week.

The cuts, from allocations for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, were outlined in a report to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw from the budget draft law checking panel No. 11 on January 8.

The panel cut the proposed allocations to the ministries of Culture, Information and Sports by K470 million, nearly K467 million and K137.5 million, respectively.

The total allocations for the Culture, Information and Sports ministries were K9.320 billion, K7.353 billion and K2.751 billion, respectively.

The panel said it cut K470 million from an allocation of K3.754 billion sought by the Culture Ministry for projects at the National Museum in Nay Pyi Taw because it was excessive and some of the work could be deferred to the following fiscal year.

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The K466.9 million trimmed from the Information Ministry allocation included funding to renovate the ageing Yayku broadcasting station in Yangon’s Mayangone Township. The panel also cut K31.7 million from an allocation of K348.5 million to build hostel accommodation for single men because it regarded the quoted construction cost as too high, and K3 million from K48.48 million earmarked for a public relations office at Kawa Township, Bago Region. It also imposed limits on equipment sought by Myanma Radio and Television, approving the purchase of three FM radio transmitters rather than five as requested, and 30 of the 42 digital multifunction copiers that MRTV wanted to buy.

The amounts cut from the Sports Ministry’s allocation included K33.529 million to build a fence around the Institute of Sport in Mawlamyine because the project was included in the budget of the Mon State government. A proposed allocation of K200.68 million for extra buildings at a training camp at Pyin Oo Lwin was slashed by K104 million because time constraints meant it could not be completed in 2016-2017.

“This is the last opportunity for the current hluttaw and government to consider budget proposals and we do not want either of them to make a mistake,” said panel member, U Khin Maung Yee (National Democratic Force, Ahlone Township, Yangon Region).

“Some of the projects cannot be finished in 2016 and must be continued by the next hluttaw and next government,” the MP said.

The panel, chaired by Thura U Aye Myint (Union Solidarity and Development Party, Wetlet Township,Sagaing Region), is one of 19 created by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to check and evaluate budget allocations.

The panels that evaluated the budgets of the ministries of Defence, Industry, Electrical Power and Nay Pyi Taw Council approved them without making any cuts.

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