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State and region public finances report

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CESD, together with The Asia Foundation and International Growth Centre, launched the latest research paper on sub-national governance on 6 October 2015. The paper, “State and Region Public Finances in Myanmar” is the eighth in the sub-national governance series of papers.

Image source: G Dickenson-Jones

Image source: G Dickenson-Jones

With the legal creation of State and Region governments in the 2008 Constitution and their establishment in 2011, they are increasingly being provided with a range of responsibilities including preparing their own budgets, collecting taxes, and undertaking expenditure.

Despite this, there is still limited information available on the impact of these changes and the administrative, political and fiscal structures that they operate under. Recognizing this, the Asia Foundation, CESD and IGC have developed the report ‘State and Region Public Finances in Myanmar’ to take stock of existing research and provide an initial view of the functioning of sub-national financial systems in Myanmar.

The report recommends the following:

  1. The expected role of subnational governments in public finance should be clarified.
  2. The proposed transfer of public financial management responsibilities to subnational governments should be discussed, decided, and released publicly.
  3. Union transfers should be based on a predictable formula that encourages self-financing.
  4. Current levels of state and region expenditure and revenue are not accurate measures of decentralization but suggest key areas of focus.
  5. Activities undertaken by ministries, departments, and SOEs and their costs should be made publicly available.
  6. Efforts should be made to bring published budget data in line with international standards.
  7. Greater access should be provided to the administrative data currently recorded as part of preparing state and region budgets.
  8. Both submitted and approved subnational budgets should be released publicly.

Publication name: State and region public finances in Myanmar

Author(s): Giles Dickenson-Jones, S Kanay De and Andrea Smurra

Supported by: The Asia Foundation

Publication date: September 2015

Language(s): English and Myanmar

Download the report from the following link(s):