The Union Parliament approved a request sent by President Htin Kyaw to borrow US$185.5 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and €25 million from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) on September 20.
The loans will have to be spent on the health, sports, education, agriculture, livestock breeding and irrigation sectors, the president said in his message sent to the parliament. The MPs discussed the request and the relevant ministries explained the loan requirements.
A sum of $12 million will be allocated for the Ministry of Health And Sports, $98.5 million will go to the Ministry of Education, and $75 million plus €25 million will go to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Irrigation.
According to the terms and conditions of the Asian Development Bank, the suspension period for the loan is eight years. The debt repayment period is 24 years. The interest rate is one per cent during the suspension period and 1.5 per cent during the repayment period.
For the AFD loan, the suspension period is eight years, and the repayment period is 12 years. The interest rate is 0.4 per cent.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Irrigation plans to spend its portion of the loans on improving the agriculture sectors in arid zones in Magway and Mandalay regions.
“Setting up projects in the arid zones will bring about benefits to the cultivation and production of edible crops, beans and pulses and varieties of vegetables. [It will provide] irrigated water, protective dams and all-round management capacity for water resources,” the president said in his address to the Union parliament.
The Ministry of Education will set up projects to promote youth employment and development with its portion of the ADB loan. It will upgrade middle and high school level syllabi to meet KG-12 standards.
“Reforming education will contribute much to the development of technologies and vocational education as well as all-round development of the country,” the president said.
The Ministry of Health and Sports will spend its portion of the loan on health security projects in the Mekong-area townships of Kengtung, Tachilek, Hpa-an, Myawady, Loikaw, Melselt, Dawei, Kawthoung, Muse, Lashio, Mawlamyine and Ye.
“The ministry will set up surveillance measures for infectious diseases in conjunction with the Greater Mekong Sub-region. The surveillance measures will cover TB, HIV, dengue fever and malaria. In the projected regions, surveillance and response measures will be carried out. Natural disaster response measures will be included in the project. Surveillance tasks for infectious diseases can be undertaken at the border gates,” the president said.