Myanmar Junta Increases Military Budget to US$2.7 Billion

By The Irrawaddy 10 April 2023

Myanmar’s junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has approved a military budget of more than 5.6 trillion kyats (around US$2.7 billion) for the 2023-24 fiscal year, which begins this month, up from 3.7 trillion kyats last year.

Min Aung Hlaing promised to crush the resistance movement during his Armed Forces Day speech on March 27.

The junta has approved an overall budget of nearly 20 trillion kyats.

Last year, the military budget totaled over 4 trillion kyats as Min Aung Hlaing added more than 440 billion kyats in December.

Education has a budget of 2 trillion kyats and health just over 800 billion kyats. Electricity has been allocated over 680 billion kyats as regular power cuts continue to blight people’s lives.

Min Aung Hlaing has urged the public to save energy, fuel and cooking oil.

The regime, however, said over 1.1 trillion kyats will be spent outside the budget supplying electricity to Yangon.

Myanmar’s military previously had to seek parliamentary approval for the defense budget from the now-ousted National League for Democracy government.

While the regime manufactures some weapons, it imports more sophisticated arms from China and Russia. Recently deputy junta chief Soe Win called on soldiers to make better use of their weapons.

The regime is engaged in fierce fighting in Myawaddy Township on the Thai border in Karen State.

The junta boss has vowed to take crush the civilian National Unity Government (NUG) and allied resistance groups and ethnic armed organizations.

The NUG said in January that 2023 will be the crucial year for the revolution.

The regime is fighting a multi-front war and admits it only controls around half the country.