Myanmar parliament votes to reduce number of ministries

Myanmar's new parliament has voted to reduce the number of government ministries, with President-elect Htin Kyaw assuring lawmakers that no civil servants will lose their jobs and that the nation will save $4 million by getting rid of 15 ministers.

The 611-3 vote Monday was the first legislative act by Aung San Suu Kyi's party, which won the Nov. 8 general election after decades of struggle for democracy.

Htin Kyaw, who will formally take office on April 1, said he intends to combine "a lot of different ministries" doing duplicate work, to reduce their number from 36 currently to 21.

He said the move won't reduce the number of civil servants, and that eliminating ministers' salaries will save the government 5,000 million kyats ($4 million) during its five-year term.