03 April 19 - Source: Myanmar Times

The government is owed more than K9.1 billion for water supplied for irrigation in Mandalay Region, according to Mandalay Auditor General Daw Khin Aye Swe.

From 2006-2007 to 2016-17, K9.14 billion was not paid to the government by township, ward or village tract administrators, she said.

"There is lack of supervision to collect water bills on time. Ward and village tract tax collection teams also failed to compile a list of taxpayer names and their cultivated land, and report unpaid bills," she added.

According to the government, more than K4.5 billion was owed to the Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department, more than K2.87 billion to the General Administration Department, more than K1.13 billion to the Agricultural Land Management and Statistics Department, and more than K600 million to ward and village tract administrators.

Officials failed to collect these charges during a 10-year period – from 2006-2007 to 2016-2017 – which put an added burden on farmers. Farmers are having trouble paying the money because their crop yields were poor due to drought, said U Moe Myint Thein, MP for Thazi township constituency 1.

"As some farmland has been used for a long time, the current owners are not the original owners. Farmers who bought farmland then have to pay for the previous owners' water charges, which is unfair. The officials responsible failed to collect these charges yearly, putting an added burden on farmers," he said.