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MP says corruption, waste risk more debt

Lawmakers takes their seats as parliament gavels in for a session on 2 May 2015. (Photo: DVB)

An ineffective use of foreign assistance and the Burmese government’s reliance on international loans puts the country at risk of falling further in to debt, according to a lower house (pyithu hlyttaw) MP.

Thura Aung Ko, an MP from Chin State’s Kanpatlat Township, put forward a formal question in the pyithu hlyttaw on Monday, querying if checks and balances are in place to ensure effective spending of international assistance and to prevent waste.

Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic Development Lei Lei Thein responded to the question, saying that supervisory units ensure balanced allocation of funds and prevent ministerial wasting of aid and loans. These units provide the government with monthly updates, the minister said.

She added that projects based around electricity, drinking water, agriculture, job creation, tourism, finance, trade and investment receive prioritised cuts of international assistance because of their potential for public benefit.

Reacting to Lei Lei Thein’s comments, Thura Aung Ko said that an increase in graft and corruption of foreign assistance is hampering the country’s economy. The MP suggested that instead of seeking loans, the government should try to secure more foreign investment.