Yangon city disagrees with criticism of park rentals

Yangon city officials dispute the findings of the region’s Accountant General’s Office for fiscal year 2017-2018, which said guidelines had not been followed in collecting rental fees at public parks.

The Accountant General’s Office questioned the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) about rents at public parks and the use of city money.

It said 138 markets were not registered with the YCDC, each of which had 40 to 400 shops, so the government had lost money on rent and taxes.

The office said the city’s mismanagement had led to loss of revenue from night markets.

It said that rental fees paid by businesses in city parks are much lower than current market rates, which had cost the government billions in lost revenue.

Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe disagreed with the office’s findings.

The YCDC is not a commercial company that follows current market prices in renting out shops, “so we have a little difference in prices,” he told a press briefing last week.

A senior city official said the YCDC has already increased the rental fees for shops in city parks.

U Ko Ko Lin, head of the YCDC’s Playgrounds, Parks and Gardens Department, said the increase reflects market prices in the areas where parks are located.

“For example, the rent for shops at People’s Park ranged from K22 million (US$15,000) to K25 million during the previous administration,” he said. “Under this government, the rates have been raised to K1.47 billion a year.”

Daw Hlaing Oo Maw, YCDC secretary, said the city sometimes has to make allowances for tenants who cannot fully utilise the space rented to them.

“So the rental rates are a little lower.”

U Maung Maung Soe said the YCDC has updated the rental fees in city parks, and that his administration had addressed other issues raised in the report.

Source: Myanmar Times

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