Burmese Authorities Collect Paddy from Mills


Narinjara News 



Burmese authorities have been extorting paddy from rice mill owners in exchange for permission to mill rice in the region, reported one rice mill owner.  He said, "The authority had collected 200 baskets of paddy from rice mill owners fro permission for this year's paddy season."   A source said the collection is for the township level administration fund, and authorities from several townships in Arakan State are collecting paddy from rice mill owners.   The rice mill owner said that even though he has a government license and pays tax to the government every year, the township authorities have collected an extra 200 baskets of paddy from him for the so-called permission to operate.   Since the authorities have been collecting paddy from the rice mill owners, the rice mill owners have increased their prices for milling rice, and the cost of rice in the market has subsequently increased around Arakan, reported one trader.   The collection of paddy by authorities is occurring in townships around Arakan State.   In Arakan State, the price of paddy is going up by the day, and in Maungdaw Township, 100 tinns, or 250 baskets, of paddy is currently at 375,000 kyats.