Nay Pyi Taw, 11 October
Vice-Senior General Soe Win said he heard illegal trade are being carried out using vehicles, vessels, trains, and trucks following the coup.
He made this comment at the meeting of the Steering Committee for Illegal Trade Eradication held in Nay Pyi Taw on October 9.
The Vice-Senior General called for a thorough investigation of illegal trade as more illegal trades have been arrested than last year and the value of the seizures has increased.
In addition, as there is still illegal trade in the import and export sectors, he urged special task forces to try to make more arrests than before.
A businessman said, “Strict rules set by the military council make it difficult to do trade legally, and illegal trade has also arisen due to the wrong policies of the military council. Illegal trade first arose as a result of the military council’s refusal to issue dollars. The dollar received from exports have to be exchanged at the rate of 2100 kyats, and income tax is borne by the taxpayers.”
He added that illegal trade is growing because there are difficulties and delays due to unnecessary restrictions, even if trade is conducted legally.
Entrepreneurs have to pay the military council forces and departments under the military council depending on the amount of goods, which is the reason for the growth of illegal trade.
An economist also opined, “While the country shows a budget deficit, the military council is cracking down on illegal trade in order to obtain taxes, and if the deficit problem is not resolved, commodity prices and foreign exchange rates may rise.”
Moreover, the military council needs to withdraw its unnecessary statements and allow free trade without restrictions on imports and exports in order to eliminate illegal trade, he added.
The vice-senior general warned that the country’s illegal trade would be dealt with severely, as it has been rooted and growing for ages.
Since the staff of the relevant department are involved in illegal trade, the ministries should implement a reward and punishment system and honor the outstanding civil staff as they deserve, and take strict action against those who break the rules.
According to the military regime, in July, 611 cases of illegal trade were found, with a value of K 10,000 million, and in August, 540 cases were identified, with a value of more than K 12,000 million.
News-Than Lwin Times