Tue 31 Jan 2012
Filed under: Business / Trade
Burma’s Minister of Finance and Revenue, U Hla Tun, formally presented the government’s budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year (FY) to Parliament on Tuesday. The budget reportedly allocates an increased percentage of spending to health and education and a decrease in percentage spending to the military.
U Hla Tun visited Parliament on Tuesday and presented each MP with a copy of the FY 2012-13 budget for all of the government’s 34 ministries, as well as for “national projects.”
The minister also provided MPs with an overview of the budget, during which he said that military spending would comprise an estimated 14.4 percent of total government spending, down from 23.6 percent in FY2011-12, according to Dr Aye Maung, an MP representing the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party.
Aye Maung said that Parliament would review the details of each ministry budget to determine if additional military spending had been allocated to the budgets of particular ministries.
U Hla Tun also reported that spending on health and education would be a combined estimated 7.5 percent of government spending, up from 5.4 percent in FY 2011-12, with education spending at 4.7 percent and health spending at 2.8 percent.
Sai Sao See, an MP from the Shan Nationalities Development Party, said that based on his initial review of the education budget, the amount allocated for salaries and benefits will increase by a factor of 2x over the previous fiscal year and the amount allocated for buildings and infrastructure by a factor of 6.5x.
With respect to spending on health, he said that the amount allocated to salaries and benefits will increase by a factor of 4x and spending on buildings and infrastructure will increase by a factor of 8x.
There was no time allocated to MPs on Tuesday for questions and answers regarding the budget, but on Wednesday the ministers from the ministries of Finance and Revenue, Livestock and Fisheries, Post and Telecommunications, Industry-1 and Industry-2, Hotels and Tourism, and Forestry are expected to attend Parliament to explain their budgets.
“The MPs will listen and may have questions,” said Sai Sao See. “We will review the budget for each ministry and for national projects and then see if the description fits with the aim of the ministry or project.”
He said that the debate on the FY2012-13 budget is scheduled for Feb. 10 and Feb. 17, and he expects that Parliament will be allowed to discuss the budget freely and approve the overall budget.
U Hla Tun also presented Parliament with a supplemental budget for the remaining two months of FY2011-12, which will be debated on Feb. 6.