Yangon Parliament Urges Regional Govt to Seek Legislature’s Approval for Projects

By The Irrawaddy 26 September 2019

YANGON—A regional parliament committee that scrutinizes government projects has suggested the Yangon government administration seek the parliament’s approval for 12 projects—worth at least US$10 billion (15.3 trillion kyats)—that the Yangon government aims to build in fiscal 2019-20.

The Yangon government submitted a regional planning bill to the parliament last week that includes 149 projects slated to be continued or started in the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year. The projects include the New Yangon City project, a new city project in Dala, industrial zones in 11 townships on the outskirts of Yangon, upgrades to local markets, affordable housing and other projects.

According to the bill, 14 out of 149 are likely to be started in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The regional parliament’s Finance, Planning and Economic Committee submitted its review and recommendations on Thursday and said that only two out of these 14 projects have the parliament’s approval to procced.

“So, the [remaining 12] projects should be carried out according to Article 251 of the country’s Constitution,” said committee Secretary U Kyaw Zay Ya when he submitted the findings to the parliament.

Article 251 of the Constitution states that “the regional or state government shall, subject to the polices adopted by the union government and union laws, implement projects that are to be undertaken in the region or state with the approval of the region or state Hluttaw [parliament] concerned.”

The 12 projects that haven’t been approved by the regional parliament include the controversial New Yangon City project, a multipurpose port terminal near the mouth of the Yangon River, an elevated road to connect Yangon International Airport to Thilawa Special Economic Zone and others.

The committee also recommended that the government submit feasibility studies and environmental and social impact assessments for each project to the parliament.

“The regional government is supposed to prevent waste when implementing regional projects as they are investments of taxpayers’ money,” the committee secretary told the parliament.

The committee will continue discussion on the findings until early next week. After that, an official from the regional government will have to give explanations to the parliament concerning the findings.