Plan for 2017-2018 discussed prior to parliament submission

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Nay Pyi Taw, Jan 9

The National Planning Commission of the Union Government held a meeting this month to seek approval for its plan for the 2017- 2018 fiscal year before it is submitted to the parliament. Myanmar’s economy is estimated to grow at a 5.7 per cent rate in the current fiscal year of 2016-2017, and the country’s GDP growth is expected to rise to 7 per cent. Per capita GDP is expected to reach more than K1.7 million, according to the meeting.

President U Htin Kyaw, in his capacity as Chairman of the commission, called on regional and state governments to attach importance to projects in their respective regions and states in order to be in conformity with the policies laid down by the Union Government.

The Union Government has adopted a 12-point economic policy and has drawn up tasks for implementing the economic policies, said the President.

The National Plan drafted by the Ministry of Planning and Finance in accordance with the objectives and policies of the State is expected to fulfill the expectations of the ministries and regional and state governments, he added.

The plan was drawn up by the incumbent government for the first time during its tenure in office.

The country’s economic growth slowed in the first six months of the current fiscal year due mainly to a slump in agricultural production, foreign investment and the export sector. Political and economic situations in foreign countries also contributed to the economic slowdown, he said.

President U Htin Kyaw stressed the need to draw the projects region-wise and sector-wise under the National Plan of the 2017-2018 fiscal year in terms of short term and long-term visions and to plan big projects within the budget allocation of the State. Assessments should be carried out for the projects to be implemented in the 2017-2018 fiscal year on whether the projects will be successful, benefit the people, contribute to regional development and not harm the environment, he added.

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Deputy Chairperson of the commission, called for the country’s national planning to consist of projects that can contribute to short-term and long-term interests of the Union.

She also stressed the importance of “correctness and accuracy” for national-level planning and flexibility so that projects are adaptable to global changes, pointing out that the global economy and the country’s economy can change from day to day.

The State Counsellor also called for cooperation and coordination between ministries, governments and also between the Union Government and regional and state governments as part of efforts for seeking a solution to differences of opinion.

She also said the plans should be adaptable to suggestions made by the parliament when they are submitted to the parliament for approval, as the government and the parliament have a system of checks and balances.

At the meeting, the Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Kyaw Win clarified the draft of the national-level planning for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, and Union ministers and chief ministers of the regions and states reported on tasks for implementing the projects.

In his concluding remarks, President U Htin Kyaw said the projects should ensure transparency, saying the incumbent government is currently implementing previous projects and would stop some projects that the government cannot afford to continue.

He also urged the participants of the meeting to do their best not to repeat mistakes that occurred in the past when they implement the projects in the time of the new government.