MP Questions ‘Unequal’ Budget Allocation in Chin State

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A Lower House parliamentarian for Mindat Township raised concerns this week about what he described as an unequal distribution of the state’s budget throughout the townships.

On May 21, Ne Lin Aung pointed out to the legislature that Hakha, Thantlang, Matupi and Falam received a greater share of the budget than the state’s other townships, including his own. He questioned why this gap existed.

Ne Lin Aung recalled the funding allocated during the 2016-2017 financial year, in which Hakha received 34 billion kyat (US$22.2 million), Matupi received 12 billion ($7.8 million), and Falam got 10 billion ($6.5 million). The following year and in the first six months of the 2018 financial year, he said that these same townships also received the bulk of the budget.

“These townships have gotten the most financial budget in the 2018-2019 financial year,” he said in the parliamentary session. “When we look at the 2016-2017 financial year, the budget for Hakha Township wAs eight times more than Tonzang and Kanpetlet townships. The budget for Hakha is equivalent to an eight-year budget for Tonzang and Kanpetlet.”

Ne Lin Aung also alleged that the funding for Thantlang was nearly three times that of what his own township, Mindat had received, despite Mindat also being a district. Meanwhile, Falam district’s budget was double that of Mindat’s.

Deputy minister of planning and finance U Maung Maung Win responded by saying that local development projects were jointly drawn up by district and township management committees, MPs, and working committees. By identifying development project priorities, the Chin State government had approved the draft financial budget before sending it to the Union government for the final decision.

For the 2018-2019 financial year, Hakha Township received nearly 22.9 billion kyat from the Chin State government, Matupi received 17.3 billion, Falam nearly 14 billion, Mindat 13.1 billion, Thantlang 10.66 billion, Paletwa 9.55 billion, Tedim 9.26 billion, Tonzang 7.38 billion kyat, and Kanpetlet 6.75 billion.

The Union budget for each township was nearly 31.8 billion kyat for Hakha, nearly 18 billion for Matupi, 14.68 billion for Falam, 14.56 for Paletwa, more than 8 billion for Thantlang, 7.8 billion for Tonzang, 6.56 billion for Tedim, 5.1 billion for Mindat, and 3.85 billion for Kanpetlet Township. The figures put Hakha Township’s funding as more than that of Kanpetlet, Mindat and Tedim combined.

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