Number of Ministries to Be Nearly Halved: NLD Official

By The Irrawaddy 7 March 2016

RANGOON — The incoming National League for Democracy (NLD) government intends to nearly halve the number of ministries that make up Burma’s executive branch, according to a senior party member.

Win Htein, an NLD central committee member, confirmed to media on Friday that there would be just over 20 ministries within the government it leads, down from the 36 ministries that currently exist.

“The six ministries from the President’s Office will be merged into one. The other 30 will be reduced to around 20. So, there will be only 21 or 22 ministries,” he said in Naypyidaw.

He added that staff from ministries on the chopping block would not need to worry about their jobs as they would be shifted to relevant ministries or departments that survive the downsizing, echoing what party chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi said in December of the NLD’s plans for bureaucratic streamlining.

Win Htein also said only 30 to 40 percent of the incoming cabinet would be comprised of NLD members, with the rest of the posts going to relevant experts, technocrats and people from other political parties.

“The NLD members will a minority in terms of Union ministers, let’s say between 30 and 40 percent,” he said.

The NLD government will take office on April 1, with its highly anticipated selection of the country’s next president expected this week.