August 19, 2016

MPs more focused on projects than laws: report

A research paper launched on Wednesday on Local Development Funds (LDFs) has identified a number of concerns regarding the implementation of funds in Myanmar, which are over-shadowing the primary duty of lawmakers.
Parliamentarians have become too focused on the implementation of their CDF projects and are investing less effort in their main duty of passing laws, said Ms Cindy Joelene of The Myanmar Development Resource Institute’s Centre for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD), which is an independent think tank.
She made the remarks during the launch of the report at the Novotel Hotel in Yangon on Wednesday.
Ms Joelene said that the roles and responsibilities of members of the legislative and executive bodies involved in implementing the fund’s projects are unclear.
“As the work of committees formed for project implementation appears to overlap with that of departments concerned engaged in public works, the capacity of ministries and departments is eroded in the long term.”
Another concern, she said, was a possible scenario in which funds could be misappropriated and used for political gain, as well as creating a pervasive mindset of ‘clientelism’ in Myanmar politics.
With the aim of supporting the construction and maintenance of small-scale infrastructure and other development projects, the Constituency Development Fund made its debut in Myanmar in 2013-14 financial year.
The fund has a total amount of K33 billion (US$2.57 million), which is shared equally among Myanmar’s 330 townships, which amounts to K100 million ($78,100) per township.


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