Crackdown coming for Yangon’s many unlicensed contractors

Unlincensed contractors are facing a crackdown as the Yangon Region government is spurring municipal authorities into action.

Builders in Thingangyun township were singled out as particularly unlikely to follow licensing rules, though Hlaing, Mayangone and Insein townships also have their fair share of unlicensed contractors, according to Yangon City Development Commission (YCDC) building engineering department official U Nay Win.

The Yangon Region government is pushing YCDC and the township courts slow the rising number of contractors working without a licence, he said.

“Relevant township courts need to take action, and send people to jail, to reduce the problem,” he said.

Under YCDC rules, unlicensed contractors can be fined between K10,000 and K50,000, or sent to jail for a year.

While courts are effective at fining unlicensed contractors, they are more reluctant to send people to jail, he said.

“Contractors who don’t have licenses just pay K10,000 and continue their construction,” he said.

U Nay Win said it is possible for stacked sentences. If a contractor has seven unlicensed projects he or she could face seven jail terms of one year.

YCDC building permits are also expensive for some, leading contractors to take the risk.

Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association (MCEA) vice president U Tha Aye said contractor licences cost K50 million on average in Yangon.

“This amount is too much for small and medium-sized contractors, so they avoid getting licences. YCDC should adjust the amount for smaller contractors,” he said. U Tha Aye added those avoiding the rules should be punished accordingly.

Others say that informal relationships rather than official arrangements are often generally accepted practice in Yangon.

Ko Min Min Soe, senior agent at Mya Pan Thakhin real estate agency, said many people live in buildings without official contracts but with an understanding with the landlord.

Source: Myanmar Times

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