Myanmar parliament approves borrowing of $400 million for poverty reduction


$400 to be borrowed for poorest villages Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

$400 to be borrowed for poorest villages Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

The Union Parliament has agreed to borrow $400 million to give to the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Rural Development for people-centered projects to reduce poverty. The money will be borrowed from the World Bank to develop people-centered projects in villages in the 76 poorest townships belonging to states and regions including Naypyidaw Council.

On 44th day of the 12th meeting of the Union Parliament's first conference, 14 representatives discussed the matter with most of them supporting it.

The ministry of livestock, fisheries and rural development has requested an increased budget for the 2015-2016 financial year. The ministry can borrow $400 million from the World Bank with zero interest rate for six years the loan must be repaid within 32 years.

Because choosing the poorest townships was carried out systematically, the project would really make the villages develop, said most of representatives in support of the project. And, after signing a peace agreement, the villages in question will develop, representatives agreed. The $400 million will be used for the project from 2015 to 2022. $10 million of the loan can be used this year and the rest will be managed by the next government.

The World Bank has supported a people-centered test project in nine townships worth $80 million, but the report on whether it was successful or not hasn't come out said representatives.

"A report needs to be released on whether poverty can be reduced to let people know in a transparent way. The ministry should involve representatives in the process." said Khin San Hlaing, a representative. 

According to a report of the auditor general’s office, the ministry of livestock, fisheries and rural development carried out tasks inconsistent with financial regulations 52 times, representative said.

The Union Parliament approved the loan by 492-5 with no votes of 12.

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