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Yangon government earns big from karaoke

Karaoke parlours are doing good business in Yangon, with a total of 326 parlours licensed to operate in the region since the year 2000, according to Karen ethnic minister Daw Naw Pan Thinzar Myo at a Yangon Regional Parliament session on Wednesday.

Karaoke parlours have gained in popularity in Yangon and other cities like Mandalay since 2000, as singing is a common pastime for many local regardless of generation. More recently, karaoke outlets and bars have opened in hotels as well.

Between April and December 2017, the Yangon Regional Government generated K41.1 million in revenues from issuing licenses to new karaoke businesses and extending the licenses of existing outlets.

As business grows, the government’s licensing procedures for such outlets are now being scrutinised. “The Ministry of Information issues the licenses for this business. But we should know the exact procedure and how much the government is earning from issuing the licenses each year,” said Daw Kyi Pyar, MP from Kyauktada township.

The government is currently charging license fees totaling K30,000 for the commercial use of a karaoke set and K20,000 to extend the license. Under the current licensing structure, all karaoke businesses are issued a one-year license. The fees are the same across the States and Regions.

“With all the fees and fines included, we expect the government to earn an additional K54.8 million by the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year,” said Daw Naw Pan Thinzar Myo.

Daw Kyi Pyar added that the government should be more diligent in issuing and extending the licenses. “I am concerned that some karaoke businesses may not be paying sufficient fees to the government. With growth rising fast, many outlets no longer just have 1 or 2 karaoke sets and many are extending their licenses for existing sets. So the government should do a thorough check on the licensing procedures to make sure they are collecting the right amount,” she said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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