Parliament approves plan to accept US$260 million loan from World Bank

Parliament approves plan to accept US$260 million loan from World Bank

Burma’s Union Parliament has approved a plan, recommended by President Thein Sein, to agree a US$261.5 million loan from the World Bank to support various development projects.

The 40-year loan – at a fixed 0.75 percent interest rate – would be used to develop the communications sector and to improve schools, as well as pay for the construction of a compressed natural gas and biogas power plant in Mon state’s Thaton township.

In January, the World Bank announced that it would clear Burma’s outstanding debt of some $900 million, allowing the country to reapply for grants and loans from international institutions.

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Meanwhile, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on Monday that it will administer a Japanese loan of $1.2 million to help Burma improve statistics collection.

The technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction aims “to strengthen institutional, strategic, and technical capacity for collecting better statistics to chart the country’s development and progress” the bank said in a statement.

“Timely, relevant, and accurate data is essential to understanding where the country [Burma] is today, and for future evidence-based decision making both within and outside government,” said Kaushal Joshi, the senior statistician with the Economics and Research Department at ADB. “Statistics help policymakers understand the economic, social, and environmental conditions, make decisions on economic growth, and design efforts to promote poverty reduction.”

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