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Burmese government wants to ‘modernize’ Rangoon

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) –  In a move to solve increasing traffic jams in areas of Rangoon, the Burmese government wants to construct four flyovers, but it lacks funds for the projects so it plans to borrow money from local banks.

Areas of Rangoon are experiencing traffic tie-ups at a time when the government lacks funds, but wants to modernize Rangoon. Photo: Mizzima
Areas of Rangoon are experiencing traffic tie-ups at a time when the government lacks funds, but wants to modernize Rangoon. Photo: Mizzima
Minister Soe Thein of Industry No. 1 and Industry No. 2 said the flyovers will be built at crossroads in Hledan, Shwegondine, Bayintnaung and Tarmway townships in Rangoon within four months. He made the announcement during a press conference at the Ministry of Industry in Naypyitaw on Monday.

The money would be borrowed from Kanbawza Bank, Myanmar Industrial Development Bank and a construction company, he said. He did not name the company.

“We will not use government money to build the flyovers. The government lacks the money. The government cannot spend money on this so we will borrow the money from banks. We want Rangoon to be a modern city,” Soe Thein said.

President Thein Sein wants Rangoon to be developed like Singapore, Soe Thein said. In spite of budget shortfalls, he said, “The president told us to modernize Rangoon.” The city now has about six million residents.

The minister said the Rangoon government is preparing to draw up a plan for Rangoon development projects including the extension of railroad and road networks, and improving the water distribution system and sewage system.

“We have to work within the budget realities, but we cannot wait five or six years. The faster, the better,” he said.

The secretary of the Public Accounts Committee of the Lower House, Maung Toe, told Mizzima that the deficit for the central government budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year is 2,201.45 billion kyat while the deficit for regional and state governments is 170.495 billion kyat.

The government sent an official message to the Parliament on November 25, saying the Industry No. 1 and Industry No. 2 ministries will be combined.

At the press conference, Soe Thein said: “We have to streamline the government. We have to reduce costs.”

Meanwhile, the government is also trying to find foreigner investors to participate in building a sky train in Rangoon.


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