Myanmar’s stabs at reform test public’s patience

Myanmar’s year-old government has drawn stiff pushback from its sudden cuts to a national holiday and crackdown on unlicensed buses, burning up goodwill won with the promise of change. The government said last month that the public holiday period for the Thingyan water festival marking the new year would be shortened to five days from […]

Yangon Chief Unveils Thingyan Strategy

Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein confirmed on March 24 that the government will be cracking down on several key issues related to Thingyan and increasing bus fares. Phyo Min Thein, at a press conference regarding the water festival, claimed that controversial issues such as commercial water pavilions, sky-rocketing travel costs, over consumption of alcohol, drug use as well as the hot […]

Thingyan Permits Will Be Revoked if Resold

​​ Mandalay authorities warned that they will revoke Thingyan pandal permits that are resold to third parties by winning bidders. Mandalay City Development Committee revenue department head U Win Maung said the authority was now auctioning off the building permits for pandals near the Mandalay moat, and discouraged successful bidders against selling the permits. “If […]

Yangon to Boost Revenue by Taxing for-Profit Pandals

​​ Despite a government ban on for-profit pandals in public areas, the Yangon Region government will allow them in private areas during Thingyan, or water festival, according to Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein on March 24. “We’ve received applications to hold entertainment pandals at The One Entertainment [in Thuwunna township], People’s park and […]

Govt Stands by Thingyan Holiday Cut

​​ Despite complaints and emergency and meetings being held, Myanmar’s government will stand by its decision to cut the 10-dayThingyan holiday by half. According to Director-General Zaw Htay from the President’s Office, the government had already made its case and any organisations that wish to close for 10 days can do so of their own […]

Farmers call for urgent intervention as rice price plummets

The price of rice has fallen dramatically over recent weeks leading farmers to call for an urgent intervention by authorities. Farmers are struggling, U Thein Aung, chair of the Free Farmers Association, told The Myanmar Times. Prices began to fall when Indonesian buyers discovered pests in a shipment of rice from Myanmar, and refused to pay […]

Myanmar spelling disrupts Carlsberg’s marketing plan

MYANMAR Carlsberg has learned a lesson the hard way: It should have been wiser in picking a local term for its marketing plan. The company, the brewer of Tuborg beer, has been embroiled in widespread criticism this past week, after its decision to use a popular Myanmar term – tu po – on the label. […]

Jade market slumps as buyers stay away

More than two years into the slump, jade prices show no sign of recovery at Mandalay’s Maha Aung Myay jade market. Though some traders say they have made small profits, many others are holding back their stock to avoid selling at a loss. The two sales highlights of the year – the Chinese New Year […]

New property tax rates can spur demand for real estate market

Real estate agents are extending a cautious welcome to a change in the tax laws that could stimulate the torpid property market. A combination of anxiety over the coming election and backlash against huge price surges over the past few years has had a significant cooling effect on the property market since at least the […]

Thailand’s Index halts Myanmar projects

Index Creative Village Plc, Thailand’s largest event organiser, has temporarily suspended its Myanmar projects due to stricter licensing requirements by that country’s government. The move comes amid growing political uncertainty in Myanmar this year that has prompted the government to impose stricter guidelines against people gathering in a bid to prevent potential protests. Kriengkrai Karnchanapokin, […]