Yangon auditor-general two years behind on government accounts

Two members of the Yangon Region parliament – an MP from the Union Solidarity and Development Party and one independent – are calling for the release of audits into regional government spending for the past two years.

So far MPs say they have only received audited reports for spending in 2012-13 – the fiscal year that ended 24 months ago.

Independent Daw Nyo Nyo Thin is also seeking a detailed account of how the regional government spent more than K1 billion budgeted for poverty reduction and rural development in Yangon Region.

“The government reported how much they spent on poverty reduction, but not what they spent it on. I have asked, but received no answer,” she said.

“And the fiscal report of the auditor-general is very late. All we’ve seen is the 2012-13 report.”

An outspoken critic of the regional government, Daw Nyo Nyo Thin’s complaints have been echoed by U Nay Myo Aung, the USDP representative for Seikkan.

He also wants to know why the audit reports on spending on Yangon Region are produced later than any other regional government, as well as the Union government.

“I will raise a question concerning the fiscal report to the auditor-general at the next meeting,” he said. “I think he should make the fiscal reports for 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 within this parliament’s term.”
But Yangon Region auditor-general U Myint Aung said he needed more time to perform the necessary detailed checks on spending at every level. “It is very difficult to check [all reports] within this parliament’s term,” he said.

The MPs raised their questions as they prepare to meet to consider the 2015-16 budget for Yangon Region. One item concerns a proposed allocation of more than K50 billion (US$48.3 million) on three flyovers – projects opposed by Daw Nyo Nyo Thin.

“The cost is too high. The government should spend the money instead on low-cost housing for illegal residents,” she said.

The flyovers are intended for Tarmwe township, 8-Mile junction in Mayangone township and Kokkine junction in Bahan township.

In September, Yangon Mayor U Hla Myint said that no more flyovers would be constructed after the bridge at Myaynigone junction, which is nearly complete. He said that similar gains could be achieved much more cheaply through better traffic management.

It is unclear why the regional government has changed its policy. Officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The regional government’s draft budget is now being reviewed by the Financial Commission, after which it will be submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw for approval as part of the Union government budget. The size of this year’s draft budget has not yet been revealed.

In 2014-15, the Yangon Region government received 0.33 percent of the Union government budget, behind only Mandalay Region and Kayah and Mon states, according to budget figures released by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Myanmar Development Resource Institute’s Centre for Economic and Social Development.

Source: Myanmar Times

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