Education minister says govt financial rules slow progress

Education Minister U Myo Thein Gyi said the government’s strict financial regulations have hobbled his ministry’s efforts to build more schools and other facilities, especially in remote areas.

He said the ministry had to return more than K55 billion (US$36.33 million) to the government last year for failing to begin construction projects across the country. He said the projects were delayed by tender failures or because nobody submitted bids.

Money allocated for construction of school buildings could not be used for other purposes, so if a construction project is not carried out, the money has to be returned to the government.

He said if the ministry was allowed to use these leftover funds, it could use them to build more toilets at schools or to provide safe drinking water.

“Having to follow financial rules and regulations, we sometimes feel like we are running with a rope tied around our neck,” he said.

“In other countries, they can use these funds to provide other necessities,” he said.

U Hla Moe, MP for Aung Myay Tharzan township, Mandalay Region, agreed with the minister. He said that in Ayeyarwady Region, contractors do not join tenders for construction of school buildings because the expected cost of materials is too low.

Ko Nay Soe, a building contractor, said, “Lawmakers do not understand us. If they were in our shoes they would understand.” He said contractors do not join in tenders for the construction of school buildings in remote areas because the costs are too high.

“A cement bag costs more than K4000, but the transportation costs more than K10,000, so nobody wants to do it,” he said. – Translated

Source : Myanmar Times

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