National Planning bill for six-month transition period before new FY discussed
A National Planning Bill to be used during the six-month period from April to September, which is considered a transitional period for the 2018-2019 financial year that now runs from 1 October to 30 September, should maintain the current needs of the people, sustain development and stay within the budget allowed by the government, said President U Htin Kyaw yesterday.
The plan is necessary because the fiscal year in Myanmar changed from 1 April to 31 March to 1 October to 30 September for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, creating a six-month gap.
The President’s remarks came at the National Planning Commission meeting 1/2018 at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, convened for the purpose of discussing the bill before it is submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
“The six-month period from April to September is the rainy season. Farmers plant crops in this season in rain-fed fields. Meanwhile, in the industry sector, there is lack of post-harvest businesses in this season. Also, the rainy season causes limitations in the construction sector,” the President said.
But small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to be developed due to flow of foreign investment, granting loans to SMEs and measures for development of the private sector, he added.
“In the National Planning for the six-month period, it is found that the country’s GDP is expected to see 7.2 per cent growth in the six month period from April to September in 2018 since transportation, hotels and tourism and financial services are expected to see progress,” he said.
Though the country’s economy has not accelerated, the economic growth of the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year is expected to reach 6.8 per cent due to favourable weather in the time of harvest, flow of foreign investment, increasing production of SMEs, better transportation and tourism services, communications, financial services and other services.
“The aims of planning for the six-month period should focus on the projects which are urgently needed to be implemented for the people and for the projects which are considered essential for the National Planning of the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year,” said the President.
Speaking at the meeting, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called for stronger linkages between the Union Government and regional/ state governments for making the projects a success.
“Just more than 6 per cent to 7 per cent growth for our country is not enough for Myanmar, which is just on track for development,” said the State Counsellor.
She also highlighted the lack of progress in the agriculture sector, putting the blame on problems related with land rights.
“Without seeing satisfactory solutions to the land rights issues in the agriculture sector on which 70 per cent of the country’s population are relying, we cannot say that the development of the country is adequate,” she added.
She also called for innovation for the market-oriented economic system in terms of penetrating foreign markets and establishing a market for local products in attempts to overcome the challenges for trade deficit.
She also called on regional and state governments for taking political and economic approaches to their projects in order to make the projects a success.
The State Counsellor also called for stepping up efforts for disaster preparedness as the country was suffering the impacts of climate change.
“Before implementation, all projects should be viewed on whether they would benefit the emergence of a Democratic Federal Republic, because we are marching towards a Democratic Federal Republic,” said the State Counsellor. — Myanmar News Agency