Market vendors protest lottery for new stalls

Stallholders in the old Thiri Yadanar Sanpya Market in Mandalay Region’s Pyin Oo Lwin township say they are prepared to demonstrate against a plan that would deny many of them places in the new market – unless they win a lottery.

Of the more than 400 retailers doing business in the temporary market, only 220 have been allocated stalls in the new market now under construction. Others will have to draw lots for the chance of a place – alongside outsiders who now have no stalls.

U Soe Win, deputy chair of the market stallholders’ committee, said last week that the retailers had originally been promised places in the new market. “But now some vendors will have to draw lots for a permit to buy a stall, as if they were outsiders.”

The new market, located on a municipal-owned 1.6 hectare (4-acre) site near Thiri Padaythar bus terminal in Padaythar new town, is expected to open in June with a total of 934 shops of varying sizes.

“We want to allocate stalls according to the goods they sell. The smaller spaces are not suitable for some types of goods, but the chief minister didn’t respond to our complaint about the inconvenience. We also approached the township management committee for the market. Retailers will demonstrate if there is no change in their position,” said Daw Mon Mon Shein, secretary of the market committee.

But the assistant director of Pyin Oo Lwin City Development Committee, U Khin Maung Tint, refused a request to discuss the matter over the phone. “If you want to know about the market, you have to come to Pyin Oo Lwin in person,” he said.

Depending on size, a vendor’s plot can cost from K1.5 million to K9 million. Only stallholders granted an allocation have the right to buy. The stalls will be sold on instalments, with a 50 percent down payment and subsequent payments of 10pc monthly.


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