Narinjara News


Arakan rice trade restricted by the military junta


Sittwe, November 12:  The local authority of the Arakan state asked the rice traders to make a contribution to the Arakan State Peace and Development Council and for the Border Security Forces Nasaka


A rice trader from Sittwe said a rice bag (50 kg) incurs 200 kyats for the fund of Arakan SPDC and 300 kyats at the Nasaka checkpoint No 25 on the Rangoon- Sittwe ( Akyab) highway. 


These “contributions” are organised at Sittwe Truck Depot Shwe See Tharrn, because Nasaka does not want the public to know about this forced “contribution.”


To reduce the high price of rice, the central State Peace and Development Council opened up the domestic trading, which had been strictly controlled by the state, and rice-trading permits are given to many private businesses.


Therefore, low quality rice is sent from Rangoon, Magwe, Prone (all from the mainland Burma) to Arakan.  This low quality rice is priced at 6000 kyats a bag in mainland Burma while it is priced at 9000 kyats in Arakan.


“The low quality rice cost 9000 kyats a bag on retail.  The rice price in Sittwe has not fallen yet.  “Better quality rices are the worst, because they can cost 15000 kyats a bag,” said a Sittwe resident.


Though there are mass imports into Arakan from other parts of Burma, the rice price is still high.  The reasons has been the high price of transportation into Arakan due to its distance as well as poor access, as well as the additive cost of bribes such as the “forced contribution” by the local authority. #