Burma

Deputy Mayor of Myanmar’s Capital Nominated as Yangon Finance Minister

By Nyein Nyein 2 June 2020

The Yangon regional government has nominated U Ye Min Oo, currently the deputy mayor of Naypyitaw, vice chairman of the Naypyitaw Development Committee and chairman of the Naypyitaw Development Bank, as the new Yangon regional planning and finance minister.

If his nomination is approved by the regional parliament, he will replace U Myint Thuang, who died of cancer on April 20.

The ruling National League for Democracy needed to find a new regional minister as the regional parliament is scheduled to debate and vote on the supplementary budget for fiscal 2019-20, as well as the regional budget for FY2020-21, this week.

Yangon regional parliament Speaker U Tin Maung Tun informed regional lawmakers about the nomination on Tuesday, asking anyone who planned to object to the choice to submit their names. If there is no objection, the parliament will approve the nomination in a few days.

U Ye Min Oo, whose expertise is in banking, finance and economic development, is also the head of a task force under the government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Committee, formed in March.

He has been a member of the NLD’s Central Economic Committee since July 2016. On Jan. 3, 2019, he was appointed chairman of the Naypyitaw Development Bank and six months later, on June 25 of that year, he was appointed deputy mayor of Naypyitaw.

He is the former managing director of Htoo Group’s Asia Green Development (AGD) Bank, owned by tycoon U Tay Za. U Tay Za was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department from 2007 to 2016 for helping to prop up the former junta.

U Kyaw Zeya, a regional lawmaker from Dagon’s Constituency 2, told The Irrawaddy that U Ye Min Oo is qualified for the job, given his background working with the AGD Bank and knowledge of development projects. However, the MP said, as the ruling party’s term is coming to an end soon, the government should consider alternative candidates who are more familiar with regional budget issues.

He said there are a couple of lawmakers in the Yangon parliament who are more knowledgeable about Yangon Region’s finances and planning issues than the Naypyitaw deputy mayor.

“It is not that he is not a good person—but he is new to this environment,” added the lawmaker.

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