Highway Express businesses in Mon State on brink of collapse

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Mawlamyine, November (12)

The overall crisis and the military takeover may soon put Mon State’s Highway Express Services on the verge of collapse, the business owners told Than Lwin Times.

After the military coup, highway companies are struggling to continue operating due to rising fuel prices and a decline in passenger numbers.

Additionally, the highway bus companies are losing money due to the delayed travel caused by the junta’s curfew and the extortion money collected at the checkpoints by the military personnel.

On the other hand, the vehicles are being confiscated since the hard-hit bus companies are unable to repay the loans for the vehicles bought with bank loans.

“Many buses can no longer operate. We have also returned the cars that we purchased in installments, and banks are confiscating autos purchased on bank loans,” stated one owner.

The companies purchased the vehicles with a 30 to 40% down payment, and because of the military coup and the COVID-19 pandemic, the cars were confiscated since they could not make monthly payments.

According to the owner of Highway Express, when banks seize automobiles purchased with loans, they will not reimburse the initial deposit, citing contract requirements.

Due to vehicle confiscation, some bus lines have reduced the number of trips, while others have ceased operations entirely.

Mon State has at least 100 express and trucking services connecting Mawlamyine to other regions and states.

But Highway Express companies are suffering from the military coup like other industries, which has severely affected the livelihoods of thousands of workers who depend on them.

News-Than Lwin Times

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