Government needs to provide more info when seeking foreign loan approvals

Insufficient documentation when the Union government submits proposals seeking Parliamentary approval on foreign loans have made decisions difficult, some MPs pointed out Monday when discussing loans from the Asia Development Bank (ADB) and ASEAN Infrastructure Development Fund in Parliament.

MP U Than Soe from Constituency 4 of Yangon Region said he had to search for data online as the Union government had not submitted sufficient information about several road upgrading projects which will be implemented with a $ 340 million ADB loan and $ 20 million loan from the ASEAN Infrastructure Development Fund.

“This need not be the case if the government included details of the loans,” he said. These include financial statements and details on governance which facilitate decision-making.

U Nyan Lin, a Pyithu Hluttaw representative from Shwe Pyithar township said information presented by the government is usually limited to details of which project the funds would be allocated to.

“But no detailed information is given when the government presents their case for accepting foreign loans,” he said. That weakens Parliament’s ability to conduct checks and balances on the funds involved.

U Khin Cho, Pyithu Hluttaw representative from Hlaingbwe township, agreed that government officials did not provide enough information when submitting their proposal to receive loans for urban development projects in Myawady, Mawlamyaing and Hpa-an.

He suggested that an independent committee should be formed to scrutinise the details and make sure that there is no wastage of public finances.

Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin and Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win had made presentations and submitted proposals for foreign loans to Parliament on February 22.

The ministers will respond to the MP’s discussions and Parliament will decide on whether to approve acceptance of the foreign loans on March 15.

Source : Myanmar Times

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