Price Hikes as Gas and Transport Charges Go Up in Burma

According to travelers, as a direct impact of the rise in fuel prices, the cost for a ticket of Yangon – Mawlamying passenger bus increased from 5000 kyat to 5500 kyat in last few days.

As a consequence of political instability started in mid January in Middle East countries, the price of a barrel of crude oil rocketed to US $120, and so the domestic fuel cost followed it.

“As the payload restriction for lorries called Asean Standard enforced in last month, transport charges between Yangon and rural regions almost doubled,” said merchants from countryside.

A tobacco dealer from Mawlamying complained that costs of transport became almost double for that Asean Standard rule since last month. “The tobacco price was high because the transport charge for a bale of it currently rose up to 3000 kyat (over US $3) from its previous price of 1800 kyat (around US $2),” that tobacconist added.

Despite the privatization of fuel trading by the military junta in the middle of last year, prices of petrol and diesel vary two kinds ‘Station Price and Black Market’s’ as private gasoline station are told to sell petrol at the fixed-price 2500 kyat. Black market rate costs 1400 kyat more than the price of stations.

The figures in this news are based on the currency exchange rate of American dollar and Burmese Kyat in illegal trading. According to the statistics of January 2011, the basic pay of an ordinary worker from Yangon clothing industry ranges from 10,000 kyat to 50,000, meanwhile, a factory worker of neighbor country ‘India’ earns US$ 50 at least monthly, and petrol price is only US$ 1.50 there.