Narinjara News

Auctioning means more pain for the Arakanese People

Akyab, April 14 :  The military junta in Arakan is auctioning permits to operate markets, ports, bus stations and even to sell alcohol.  The price of all the permits has been rising and the public is facing economic hardship.

These permits do not have any guidelines in acquiring fees from the ventures, the permit winners are charging as much as they like.

According to a local source, Ko Aung Tha and Ko Khin Maung Wae from Myo Thu Gree Quarter in Akyab, who won the permits to use Pha Du and Soe Mae Gee rivers by giving a very high price to the junta.  They stop all the boats passing through the river to Akyab and force them to sell Nga Nee Du dried fish at 50 % the market price, collecting 500 kyats for a Ru Za Na fish and 130 kyats from the fisherman for a small amount of fish. The fishermen had enough of the fee collection and attack those who are working for the businessman Ko Aung Tha, and the latter have been hospitalised due to injuries suffered during such an attack.

Similarly, the use of sea near Akyab has been won in an auction by U Sein Kyaw Maung for a price of 70 million kyats. The businessman is trying to recover his costs by demanding high tolls from the fishing boats. When the boats canít pay the full fee, he takes the fish away.  Hence, Lawyer U Saw Maung is suing U Kyaw Sein Maung with a charge of robbery.

According to a businessman from Kyae Bin Gree quarter, U Kuran Khan Aung and U Nga Mee Daung won a permit to operate the central Municipal Market when they bid 20 million Kyats.  On top of the normal fees, the quay of the market is left in ruin so that they can charge traders 50 kyats each by using smaller boats to transport people and goods from the larger boats to the market.

The local authority has turned a blind eye to the permit winners charging such high prices.  Hence an auctioning system has been a great impediment for the economic life of the ordinary Arakanese.

Through the auctioning, the military junta can get the money from the people via the contractors.  The system is an attempt by the junta to make the Arakanese people poor, an Arakanese politician told Narinjara.#

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