Mawlamyine, 3 August

The military council formed a committee for stabilizing commodity prices, but businessmen and dealers have condemned it as ineffective in practice.

On July 27, the military council formed the Union Steering Committee to ensure commodity price stability, particularly basic food prices, and for the convenience of the people.

Among the committee’s ten tasks and responsibilities are to prioritize the stabilization of dry groceries, especially staple foods such as rice and edible oil, and to develop organizations for coordination matters to stabilize commodity prices in regions and states.

A trader said, “No matter what committee the military council forms, it will not be able to stabilize commodity prices as long as the continuous decline in the value of the Myanmar currency is not resolved. The value of one Thai baht has now risen from 85 to 100 kyats. Mainly, if the military council changes policies and enables the value of Myanmar currency to rise, everything will be fine”.

The military council has established a price stabilization committee, but commodity prices haven’t decreased until now, and the introduction of new 20,000-kyat banknotes has increased the price of essential goods even more.

A gold trader told Than Lwin Times that the price of gold and the dollar remained high due to the circulation of 20,000 kyats banknotes.

The cost of a bag of Emahta coarse rice increased to more than 70,000 kyats, while the price of Paw Hsan rice increased from about 87,000 kyats to about 100,000 kyats per bag. Similarly, the price of cooking oil, rice, medicine, and salt has surged by 3,000 kyats to 10,000 kyats depending on the type.

A housewife told the Than Lwin Times that increasing commodity costs had made it harder for her family to survive.

According to economists, the military council’s printing of 20,000-kyat banknotes could lead to inflation and unemployment, and the people may once again face the impacts of high commodity prices.

News-Than Lwin Times

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