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Parliament approves US$749m Japan loan for Yangon, Mandalay

The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Assembly of the Union) has approved a ¥82.27 billion (US$748.5 million) loan for urban development projects in Yangon and Mandalay.

The loan would finance sewage pipe system development in Yangon, as well as electricity distribution in Yangon and Mandalay, among others, according to U Maung Maung Win, deputy minister of Planning and Finance.

He said ¥45.9 billion will be used for Yangon’s sewage pipe system, as the sewers in the city are 130 years old and no longer able to serve its needs.

Another ¥24.58 billion is set aside to improve water drainage in Yangon, and several other Yangon urban development projects.

The loans will be paid back by the Yangon City Development Committee.

MP U Aung Min of the Joint Public Account Committee said the loan is appropriate as it is capital intensive and can help reduce health care and labour costs and facilitate transportation in the city.

A total ¥12.29 billion will be spent on implementing the metropolitan power distribution improvement plans in Yangon and Mandalay. It will be supervised by the Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

As electricity consumption in the two regions is growing 10-15 percent annually, it is a supplemental plan to meet future demands, said U Tun Naing.

Power grids will be built and transformers installed in six townships in Yangon and five townships in Mandalay using funds from the loan. A tender for the purchase of construction materials will be held in accordance with the specifications of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, he said.

The loan will be obtained from JICA on behalf of the Japanese government and will be payable in 30 years, with a 10-year grace period and an annual interest rate of 0.01pc, said U Maung Maung Win.

Source: Myanmar Times

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