Yangon – Myanmar plans to privatize its state-owned petrol and diesel stations by end of March, according to business community source.“We have been informed by authorities that private companies are to take over all state-owned fuel stations by March 31,” a prominent businessman who requested anonymity said.

The military government has strictly controlled all fuel-related business including filling stations since 1962.

“It was very surprising to learn the importing and selling of petrol and diesel was to be transferred suddenly to the private sector,” he said.

The ruling junta recently announced the privatization of more than 100 businesses and properties, but petrol stations were not included in the list.

“We have just formed an association under the Union of Myanmar federation of chambers of commerce and industries to take it over
from government and run this business,” a businessman involved in the discussions told the German Press Agency dpa.

Tay Za, a leading tycoon in Myanmar with close ties to top junta generals, will head the new association, the source said.

“I think we will see more privatizations in various sectors before election,” he said.

There are more than 250 fuel stations nationwide, according to the official website of the Energy Ministry.