14 ministries face budget cuts

14 ministries face budget cuts

Burma’s parliament on Tuesday passed a bill amending the 2016 Union Budget Law to cut spending in 14 government ministries.

The bill, proposed by the Joint Public Accounts Committee, originally suggested cutting almost 500 billion kyat (US$410 million) in total from the budgets of 16 ministries – namely the President’s Office; Home Affairs; Border Affairs; Information; Religious Affairs and Culture; Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Irrigation; Transport and Communication; Natural Resources and Environment Conservation; Electric Power and Energy; Labour, Immigration and Population; Industry; Trade and Commerce; Construction; Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement; Hotel and Tourism; and National Planning and Finance.

However, according to the final version of the bill approved yesterday, the ministries of Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Irrigation, and Natural Resources and Environment Conservation will be spared the cuts.

“The two ministries previously lodged proposals against the budget cutsand won approval,” said Myint Oo, a lawmaker in the lower house.

“But the other 14 ministries will be seeing cuts as recommended in the bill.”

The ministries of Defence; Foreign Affairs; Education; Health; Ethnic Affairs and State Counsellor’s Office will not be affected.

Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister Win Myat Aye said his department would incur a deduction of some 100m kyat ($2.87m).

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“Our ministry’s spending is divided into two parts – regular spending, and bulk spending, and the former will not be affected by the cuts.

“Within our ministry is three main departments: the Minister’s Office; Social Welfare Department; and Relief and Resettlement Department. Of the three, the Relief and Resettlement Department will not have its budget reduced; however the Minister’s Office is facing a 2.85m kyat cut, while the Social Welfare Department will lose 97.6m kyat.”

The Ministry of Information was quoted saying that it would suffer a reduction of almost 50 percent.

 

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