Friday, July 11, 2014

Ministries mired in foreign loans: Finance Minister

A large number of ministries have taken foreign loans at alarming rate and China is the main creditor, said Win Shein, Union minister for finance.

Among government agencies, the Energy Ministry is a largest debtor, said Win Shein at the upper house session on July 2.
His comments were part of the reply to a legislative query on aids from World Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture Development given to the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry.

Based on the government statistics as of March 31, the Energy Ministry has the outstanding foreign loans worth US$2.6 billion.
The Finance Ministry has incurred foreign debt worth $2.5 billion, followed by the Industry Ministry ($1.8 billion).
The government’s foreign loans amounted to $9.7 billion which accounts for the country’s total foreign debt.

The issue of foreign debt came up after the upper house’s public account committee submitted its report and recommendations regarding the government finance to parliament.

Myanmar has borrowed $4.1 billion from China, $1.9 billion from Japan and $919 million from Germany.
Among creditors, China has charged a highest interest rate, particularly on cooperative loans, said ThureinZaw, chairperson of the lower house’s public account committee.

The Finance Ministry has acknowledged the inefficiency of the budgeting system and pledged to improve on the fiscal performance.
A lawmaker has claimed that foreign loans fail to benefit the people at the grass-roots level.

Eleven Myanmar