Friday, August 5, 2011

Some USDP officials paid ‘stipends’ for work

Friday, 05 August 2011 21:05 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) General-Secretary Htay Oo confirmed reports that some party members receive cash stipends or allowances for their work.

USDP General-Secretary Htay Oo receives Chinese Politburo
member Li Yuanchao of the Communist Party of China
Central Committee, in this file photo. Photo: Mizzima
Htay Oo’s comments on Friday were made in reply to reporters’ questions after reports appeared saying salaries were paid to party leaders in township, region and state branches.
The following are unofficial allowances for USDP party officials in regions, states and township branches:
Allowance for Region/State branch chiefs – 300,000 kyat per month (US$ 385)

Allowance for secretary of Region/States – 120,000 kyat pm (US$ 154)

Allowance for joint secretary of Regions/States – 100,000 kyat pm (US$ 128)

Allowance for EC of Regions/States – 80,000 kyat (US$ 103)

Allowance for district branch secretary – 80,000 kyat (US$ 103)

Allowance for EC of district branches – 70,000 kyat (US$ 90)

Allowance for township branch secretary – 70,000 kyat (US$ 90)

Allowance for township branch EC – 60,000 kyat (US$ 77)

Allowance for sub-township branch EC – 50,000 kyat (US$ 64)
“We cannot give them a salary, we just collect party membership fees from our party members at 1,000 kyat (US$ 1.28). But some of our full-time members who are working for the party are given allowances or a stipend,” he said.
Htay Oo didn’t disclose the amount of the stipends, but a party MP said that the figure varied from 50,000 to 300,000 kyat (US$ 64-385) per month depending on rank in the party. He said the payments started in July.

Htay Oo made his remarks following a meeting at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce in Rangoon.

Meanwhile, Htay Oo denied a report that the government-backed USDP party had received a permit to import 5,000 vehicles from Thailand to reward party officials. The report appeared on The Irrawaddy web site.

“We don’t import luxury cars,” he said. “Please ask other parties if they received this permit. We will get this permit only if other parties get it too. Now we are in a multi-party system not a one-party rule system. So we don’t get such privileges. This news of getting a permit for importing vehicles is not true.” Under the Constitution, Burmese political parties can operate as businesses to raise operating funds.

Htay Oo also denied reports that Russia was awarded a contract to building a 50-km long underground rail network in Naypyitaw, which was reported on Voice of Russia.

The Russian news agency said that Russian experts were doing survey and design work and cited an unidentified chief architect.

Earlier, the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) also reported on a planned underground rail network in Naypyitaw based on a military master plan. DVB said the underground rail network would be close to a underground military bunker near the War Office.

When contacted by Mizzima, the Rail Ministry in Naypyitaw also denied the report saying it had no plan to build a rail network in Naypyitaw.

Htay Oo has also denied reports that the USDP would take over the water transport service in Rakhine State. Water transport is a major mode of transportation in coastal Rakhine State. USDP party Rangoon Region branch Chief Aung Thein Lin said in July that the USDP party had loaned 1 billion kyat (US$ 1.28 million) in Rangoon Region alone.

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