The Irrawaddy

Rangoon Lawmakers Demand Action from Officials over Lost Billions in Business Dealings

Rangoon Parliament (Photo: Moe Myint / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Rangoon Parliament’s bill and public accounts committees on Wednesday urged the regional government to take action against officials responsible for billion kyat losses in state-private joint ventures under the previous government.

Parliamentarians discussed joint venture projects that favored certain companies by offering reduced leases on government land and other mismanagement following the committees’ reviews of the 2015-16 fiscal year report submitted to Parliament by Daw Khin Hla Than of the Auditor General’s Office for Rangoon Division.

According to the auditor general’s 2015-16 fiscal year report, the divisional government lost 13 billion kyats in leasing commercial space to construction companies and suffered a whopping 58 billion kyats loss from long-term reduced rent leasing of public lands and parks.

Leader of the bill committee U Tint Lwin pointed out that the construction ministry had mismanaged 40 million kyats of loans and neglected to provide a detailed report of projects with the military-owned Myanmar Economic Corporation.

The government should investigate the mismanagement as it dented the treasury, he said.

He also suggested the regional government review the long-term profit sharing projects that were established by ex-Rangoon chief minister U Myint Swe, which gave private companies very favorable leases.

Some projects were allocated by the Yangon City Committee Development (YCDC) without approval from the regional cabinet, he said.

Lawmaker for Kyauktada Township Daw Kyi Pyar said: “We understand that the new government cannot terminate contracts which were signed by the previous government, but to fill gaps in the country, the government can negotiate new terms and conditions of joint venture projects with private companies.”

Lawmakers criticized the fact that the majority of public land leasing and profit-sharing projects were given to Burma’s notorious tycoons and cronies, calling instead for transparent processes.

Lawmaker U Kyaw Zeya of Dagon constituency suggested that the government consult experts and introduce new rules and regulations for the concerned companies.

Hlaing Township lawmaker Daw Khaing Mar Htay said: “I am shocked that joint venture partners were leased land very cheaply.”