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Myanmar Debt Ballooning: MOC Secretary

Myanmar has $9.29 billion in foreign debt and K10.617 in internal debt, according to U Maung Maung Win, secretary of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

“Debt to China totals $ 4.2 billion, with an interest rate of 2 to 5 percent,” he said. Additionally, Myanmar owes $821 million to the World Bank, $546 million to the Asian Development Bank, and over $3 billion to the Paris Club, an informal group of creditor countries.

The budget in Myanmar is now running a deficit because income is low and the expenditure is high, a problem being patched by taking loans from foreign countries. The budget of states and regions are also running deficits.

Economist U Than Soe said that the income from mining, gas, services, agriculture and other industries should be disclosed.

“The problem is not that Myanmar has been taking loans. America also has debt. But the income has to be declared,” he said.

He continued that the amount of investment used in government projects has to be announced legally by the respective departments.

“Foreign loan totalling $3.38 billion was taken since the new government came to power in 2011, but only $1.93 billion of it was actually used. The loans were not used in the way they were stated to be [used],” U Maung Maung Win said.

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