YANGON—Yangon Auditor General Daw Khin Than Hla said the two public-private partnership bus companies — majority owned by the Yangon Region government—made 3.5 billion kyats ($2.3 million) in losses during the 2017-18 fiscal year.
In 2017, the regional government’s 70-billion-kyat ($45 million) investment in the two companies Yangon Bus Public Co. Ltd. (YBPC) and Yangon Urban Public Transport Co. Ltd. (YUPT), was met with some skepticism among lawmakers. In May this year, MPs requested that the auditor general examine the government’s spending.
The auditor general Daw Khin Than Hla said the companies haven’t made any profit yet, using the report for the 2016-17 fiscal year to prove her point in parliament on Friday.
She said a total of 3.5 billion kyats was made in losses during the 2017-18 fiscal year. The YBPC made a loss of nearly 3 billion kyats ($1.9 million) while the YUPT made 603 million kyats ($390,000) in losses.
In the 2016-17 fiscal year, the YBPC made 1.1 billion kyats ($710,000) in losses, while YUPT gained 25.5 million kyats ($16,500) in profits.
Daw Khin Than Hla suggested that it is necessary to ask for more realistic bus fares based on the distance of a passenger’s journey in order to earn a profit.
The regular maintenance of buses, enforcing rules and regulations along bus lines and expanding bus routes are also needed in order to make the service for more convenient for commuters, she added.
Yangon regional lawmaker U Kyaw Zay Ya said the MPs will ask for accountability and responsibility from the government for losing billions of public budget in the upcoming session.
“We can’t just allow this loss of public budget. We need to find ways to reduce the losses,” he said.
Currently, there are 25 bus companies including YBPC and YUPT operating 119 bus lines in Yangon with more than 6,000 buses.
The lawmakers are set to discuss the auditor general’s report in an upcoming session of parliament.