Regional government to spend K76.5 billion in April-Sept

The Bago Region government has announced its Citizen’s Budget, under which its expenditure for the six months between April and September is projected to reach K76.6 billion.

The Citizen’s Budget was drawn up with the support of The Asia Foundation and Renaissance Institute, a local NGO.This second budget builds on the momentum of Bago’s inaugural 2017-18 Citizen’s Budget, released in February.

As his government spends almost K250 billion annually, U Win Thein, Bago Regional Chief Minister, said Bago’s aim is to better engage with the public and reflect transparency in its dealings involving the budget, for example explaining the overall macro-economic performance of the government and providing the breakdown of revenue and expenditure as well as information on where taxes are spent.

He added that the Bago Citizen’s Budget will soon be made available in hard copy as well as soft copy on the ebago application on Android and iOS devices soon.

Dr. Kim N.B.Ninh, the Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in Myanmar, said that “by giving the citizens access to budget information, the government has created an avenue to enhance transparency of public finances. In the coming months, we hope to see more and more state and region governments taking similar steps.”

For the six-month period, Bago’s central and municipal organisations are expected to account for 57 percent of budget expenditure. The Ministry of Electricity and Energy is expected to account for 13pc of spending, while the Ministry of Construction will spend about 10pc of the budget.

During the 2017-18 fiscal year, the bulk of the Bago government’s expenditure was channelled towards the construction of transport infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

The government derives income for its budget from tax revenues as well as grants from the Union government. For the six months between April and September, around K63.4 billion, or 83pc, will comprise of grants transferred from the Union government to Bago region. This is up by two percentage points from 2017-18.

On the tax collection front, excise taxes makes up the bulk of taxes collected in Bago region, making up around K1.4 billion, or 41pc, of total tax revenues. The second largest tax contributor is the fisheries sector, accounting for 38pc of total tax revenues. Other taxes include municipal tax, property tax and taxes on forestry products.

The Asia foundation and the Renaissance Institute currently have on-going partnerships with four other states and regions, providing technical support in the area of public financial management in Kayin State, Tanintharyi, Yangon and Ayerwaddy Regions.

Source: Myanmar Times

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