Yangon Region MP questions handouts by former USDP ministers

Prominent anti-corruption campaigner Daw Sandar Min has raised questions in the Yangon regional assembly about the legality of “development” payments made by former government ministers weeks before the change of power this year.

The National League for Democracy MP (Seikgyikanaung-1) told the Hluttaw on October 12 the money was handed out by former Union Solidarity and Development Party ministers in 10 Yangon Region townships in March.

Sandar Min said there was no record of the payments in the regional government’s budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

If the payments involved the use of government revenue they should have first been approved by the parliament to ensure transparency, she said, adding that she had doubts about their legality.

She said the money had been handed out by the Union government ministers to local administrators when the ministers visited those areas. The funds were used for wells, libraries and other local infrastructure projects.

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However, the new government has not yet explained how much money was left from the development funds, so the Hluttaw needs to watch that the money is spent correctly, she said.

Yangon Region Minister for Finance U Myint Thaung said the previous government had allocated K536 billion to be used for development in Yangon Region, of which K19.3 billion had been left over when power was transferred.

However, he refused to answer the question any further, as he said it did not concern the current government and only involved the previous administration.

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