The Mon State government should provide an official, public explanation for its 1,000 million kyat budget discrepancy during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, according to Dr. Aung Naing Oo, the chairman of Mon State’s parliamentary Law Implementation, Observation, and Analysis Committee.

“The State government only explained how much it spent and the place where the money was spent. We urge the government to provide an officially report accounting for not only how much state funds were spent, but also exactly which sector the money was spent on,” said Dr. Aung Naing Oo.

According to the Union government, Mon State has been allocated 35,503,184 kyat for the 2014-2015 fiscal year; however, according to law chart (3) of Mon State’s financial report, the Union government allotted 34,503,184, which is 1,000 million kyat less than the figure reported by the Union government.

When media outlets inquired about this issue the Mon State government claimed the difference between the two budgets is due to additional financial support allocated to fight poverty.

Yet Dr. Aung Naing Oo said that neither the Union Budget Law nor the State Budget Law allocates funds to state governments to fight poverty, so such an explanation cannot account for the incongruity between the two budgets.

The Mon State parliament’s Law Implementation, Observation, and Analysis committee submitted an official letter to Mon State’s chief minister at the end of July requesting an official explanation and clarification of the budget discrepancy. However, no explanation or clarification has been provided to date.

“I explained about this not only in front of the ministers, but also to the media. What we are spending now is civilians’ money.  It is [therefore] necessary to explain [to the people] how much the government is spending and in what sector in order to ensure transparency. If we cannot do this, our  government is not a fair government,” said Dr. Aung Naing Oo.

IMNA attempted to contact Mon State Finance Minister U Khin Maung Thwen about this issue but received no response. IMNA also contacted other Mon State government ministers, but they said that they couldn’t reply because only the finance minister is able to answer such questions.

The Union government and Mon State government budgets did not have any discrepancies during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.