President-elect proposes cuts to number of ministries

President-elect proposes cuts to number of ministries

Burma’s president-elect Htin Kyaw submitted a proposal to parliament today that would reduce the number of government ministries from 36 to just 21 in an effort to streamline the country’s bloated bureaucracy.

Only four ministries (the ministries of sports, cooperatives, science and technology and rail transportation) would be abolished outright under the plan, which is expected to be debated in parliament on Friday.

Further reductions would be made by merging existing ministries, while the number of ministerial positions operating under the President’s Office would be cut from six to one. The only addition to the lineup is the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs.

The National League for Democracy (NLD), which will assume office on April 1, will nominate 18 ministers, while the remaining three will be chosen by Burma’s powerful armed forces, which under the 2008 Constitution controls three key ministries: defense, home affairs and border affairs.

Controversially, the proposal doesn’t call for the abolition of the Ministry of Information, which has been criticized for attempting to muzzle the country’s press despite the lifting of direct censorship after a quasi-civilian government took power in 2011.

The move was widely expected as it had been discussed publicly by NLD officials in recent weeks.

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Here is a complete list of all ministries affected by the proposed plan:

Unchanged ministries:

-Ministry of Commerce

-Ministry of Construction

-Ministry of Education

-Ministry of Ethnic Affairs

-Ministry of Foreign Affairs

-Ministry of Health

-Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

-Ministry of Industry

-Ministry of Information

-Ministry of National Planning and Finance

-Ministry of the President’s Office

-Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement

Merged ministries:

-Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (previously the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development)

-Ministry of Electric Power and Energy (previously the Ministry of Electric Power and the Ministry of Energy)

-Ministry of Transport and Communications (previously the Ministry of Communication and the Ministry of Rail Transport)

-Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs (previously the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Religious Affairs)

-Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (previously the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and the Ministry of Mining)

-Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (previously the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security and the Ministry of Immigration and Population)

Military ministries:

-Ministry of Border Affairs

-Ministry of Defence

-Ministry of Home Affairs

New ministry:

-Ministry of Ethnic Affairs

Abolished ministries:

-Ministry of Cooperatives

-Ministry of Rail Transportation

-Ministry of Science and Technology

-Ministry of Sports

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