Junta seeks foreign currency

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Nay Pyi Taw, 27 December

The military council has issued a statement that export earnings be deposited into bank accounts sooner than previously set period to address the issue of increasing demand for foreign currency while opening front lines across the country.

Beginning in May of last year, the junta-controlled Central Bank announced that export earnings from Asian countries should be transferred to the bank account within 45 days, and those from other countries should be credited within 90 days.

However, the Central Bank announced on December 25 that the military council, which faces a shortage of foreign currency due to the fighting, has changed the date for depositing export earnings to the bank from 45 days to 30 days and from 90 days to 60 days.

An import and export businessman told Than Lwin Times, “The military council’s attempt to solve the shortage of foreign currency may have a big impact on the export sector.”

In addition, the current restriction on export earnings by the Central Bank is to quickly obtain foreign currency, which shows that the military council has a high demand for foreign currency, he added.

The military council has threatened to take action under the Foreign Exchange Management Law against those who fail to deposit the export earnings into their bank account within the specified date.

According to a businessman, export earnings were formerly received immediately after shipments, and due to remittance delays in some countries, companies and people may be sued if they do not receive export earnings on time.

According to economists, the military council’s restriction on the export sector could leave the country facing a major shortage of basic food and raw materials.

On the other hand, the military council, which desperately needs foreign currency, collects a 2% income tax from Myanmar citizens living abroad and threatens to revoke the passports of those who do not pay.

The World Bank has warned that Myanmar’s dwindling economy has yet to recover since the coup and that repeated wrong policies will permanently damage the country’s economy.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo- Reuter

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