Mon 30 Jul 2007
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
The price of rice has increased recently in two western border townships of Burma, to the point that people cannot afford to buy rice from the markets, a businessman said.
The businessman said, “Many ordinary people are facing big trouble maintaining their daily survival since the rice price went up. At the same time, jobs for day laborers are very rare in the area currently as it is the rainy season.”
A source said the number of beggars for remnants of food in the street and rural areas of Buthidaung and Maungdaw have increased greatly since the rainy season started.
Currently at the Buthidaung market, a 50 kilogram sack of two brands of rice – Midon and Ei Matha – is now 19,500 kyats, while Nga Sein brand rice is 16,500 kyats per sack. The high quality brand of rice, Pawsan Mwe, is now 30,000 kyat per 50-kilo sack.
U Hla Thein Tun, a farmer from Buthidaung said not only has the rice price increased, but the price of paddy has also increased in the border area. In the Buthidaung paddy markets, 100 tinns, or 250 baskets, of Mindon brand paddy is 560,000 kyat, and Nga Sein brand paddy is 450,000 kyat for 100 tinns.
In Maungdaw Township on the border with Bangladesh, the prices of rice are 21,500 kyat for a sack of Ei Matha brand rice, 20,000 kyat for a sack of Mi Don brand rice, 19,500 for a sack of Nga Sein brand rice, and 30,000 kyat for the high-quality Pawsan Mwe brand rice.
Due to the high price of rice in the border area, government servicemen are also suffering to maintain their daily survival. The local authority has to provide rice to the government officials at a lower price in order to prevent hunger.
However, the government authority has no plans to provide subsidized rice at a lower price to local residents, the businessman said.