YANGON: Myanmar’s military has been granted a $2.4bn annual budget, just over 12 percent of total government spending in the poverty-stricken country, according to figures seen yesterday.
It is $100m less than the previous year but still likely to dwarf the money available for the crumbling education and health care systems in the nation of 60 million people. Under the former junta which ruled Myanmar for decades, the budget was not released publicly or put up for scrutiny. Analysts say the army helped itself to the funds, profiting from oil revenues.
But in a sign of sweeping reforms since 2011, lawmakers have reviewed the 2013-14 budget of $19.49bn and in one case queried the amount handed to the army, whose allies dominate parliament. AFP