Additional US$1 million for development in Chin state – but is it enough?

Additional US$1 million for development in Chin state – but is it enough?

An additional one billion kyat (US$1 million) budget was approved for development in Chin state at an emergency meeting of the regional parliament in Hakha on Tuesday.

Hauk Khin Kham, speaker of the Chin state parliament, said the budget will mainly be targeted at improving transportation links and government buildings across the state but would also include development projects.

“An appendix of one billion kyat has been added to the 2013-14 fiscal year budget [for Chin state] to build hospitals, medical centres, roads and bridges, as well as government buildings,” said Hauk Khin Kham, adding that funds will also be set aside to build a road between the towns of Matupi and Kalewa.

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Chin state Financial Minister Nan Zamon said the budget appendix was proposed to implement ongoing development projects in the region but not to start new ones.

“The funds were proposed to make up for a shortage in the 2013-14 fiscal year budget, which is slated for road and bridge construction projects as well as providing electricity and water access,” said Nan Zamon.

Lian Mong Zon, an MP from Htantalan township, said that during parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann’s visit to Chin state on 17 November, he pledged to provide 100 million kyat ($100,000) for development to every township in Chin state. But Lian Mong Zon insisted that the amount promised was “rather insignificant” for all the projects it was needed for in Chin state, the poorest of all administrative regions in Burma.

“Just 100 million kyat will not alleviate any of the poverty in this region,” he said. “There are 90 villages in Htantalan township, so each of them will get only one million kyat ($1,000) and that is basically not much to spend on any project.”

However, he said, although the amount was small, the money would be used to solve transportation and water shortage woes in his area where about 40 villages have limited access to drinking water.

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