Mandalay Govt to Receive 3rd Repayment of Development Funds

By Myat Pyae Phyo 21 January 2019

MANDALAY — The previous Mandalay Region government will make its third and penultimate repayment of suspect development funds to the current administration by the end of the month, regional Planning and Finance Minister U Myat Thu told The Irrawaddy.

“They said they would pay back 500 million kyats [$327,000] next week. This will be their third repayment, and all the money will have been repaid by next month,” he said.

Mandalay Region Chief Minister U Zaw Myint Maung said in June that a 2017 audit found discrepancies and incomplete reports relating to the use of regional development funds amounting to more than 2 billion kyats ($1.3 million) between 2012 and 2016, before the current administration took office.

“Since this money belongs to the nation and its citizens, it should not be neglected or misused. Those responsible must take care of this and explain how these funds were used,” said U Zaw Myint Maung. “A debt that they owe to the public can’t be written off. They must repay.”

Officials of the previous administration held a press conference in July at which the former regional chief minister, U Ye Myint, said the administration could not pay back the money because it had been provided by private donors for the purpose of developing the region. The former officials sent a letter to the President’s Office asking it to review the case.

The former officials later agreed to pay back the money by installments, according to U Myat Thu.

“In fact, they should give back all the money at once. But the chief minister, at their request, agreed to accept installments,” he said.

They paid the first 500 million kyats installment in November. The minister said the fourth and final installment, which will come to more than 500 million kyats, will be made by the end of February.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.