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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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The Myanmar Times

Public Account Committee to examine budget: MP

The newly formed Public Account Committees of the Pyithu and Amyotha Hluttaws will have the authority to scrutinise the new government’s budget and issue a report to the auditor general, a member of the Pyithu Hluttaw said last week.

Both the lower and upper houses of the national parliament formed a Public Account Committee on March 3, with 15 members – mostly Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) representatives – selected for each committee.

U Mann Maung Maung Nyan, a National Unity Party representative from Pantanaw township, was among those selected on the Pyithu Hluttaw Public Account Committee. He told The Myanmar Times last week the committees most important duty was to investigate government departments and enterprises to ascertain whether the budget was being allocated and spent efficiently.

The duties, powers and rights of the committees were prescribed by the speakers of the upper and lower houses on March 3.

The committees, according to the hluttaw speakers, have the power to submit reports to their respective hluttaws on inconsistencies in the budget, which is approved by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. They also have a responsibility to uncover any problems with budget spending and submit reports on the budget to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw as requested by the Ministry of Finance and Revenue.

“Duties and powers were endorsed on [March 3] but as the hluttaw sessions are still being held, we can’t begin our work yet,” U Mann Maung Maung Nyan said. “After power is transferred to the new government we can start examining the budget spending of government departments.”

He said he though the Pyithu Hluttaw Public Account Committee had been formed fairly, as it contained some opposition candidates.

Chairman of the Pyithu Hluttaw committee will be U Thurein Zaw, the current deputy minister of National Planning and Economic Development, while U Maung Toe, a retired managing director of the Myanmar Pearl Enterprise, will be secretary.

Chairman of the Amyotha Hluttaw Public Account Committee is U Aung Htun, a former deputy minister of commerce, while U Khin Maung Aye, a former director general of the Department of Fisheries, will be the secretary.

Members of the all the committees formed last week will be working on behalf of all hluttaw representatives, Shan Nationalities Democratic Party chairman U Hsaung Hsi said.

“When the hluttaw sessions take a break I think the four committees will begin working on parliamentary issues,” he said. “We can see that the multi-party system is taking shape.”

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