Commodity prices increase as govt to give pay rise
23 April 2014: A surge in prices of consumer goods has hit markets in Chin State following the announcement of pay increase to civil servants by the government of Burma since February this year.
Prices of basic commodities including rice have gone up to more than 25 percent although the pay rise of 20,000 Kyats to government employees excluding ministers will start from the end of this month.
The cost of a bag (about 50 kg) of ‘Shwe Toe’ rice, one of the cheapest, has increased from 18,000 to 25,000 while ‘Paw San Hmwe’ of a better quality now costs 43,000, having jumped from 35,000.
A shop-owner in Hakha told the Chinland Guardian: “As soon as we heard about the news, the prices started going up even before the actual pay rise. Locals who are not in the civil service suffer most.”
Salai Lian, a local construction worker, said that their wages remained the same, adding: “Our daily living costs are increasing and we are in a difficult situation.”
Government employees from the rank of an office assistant up to a gazetted officer will receive 20,000 Kyats each on top of their monthly salary in the April payment.
“Previously, an office assistant got a salary of 30,000 Kyats and will now get 50,000. A gazetted officer will receive 150,000 Kyats after the pay rise,” said a Hakha civil servant.
Each government employee in Chin State, the country’s least developed region, has since about two years ago been provided with a twofold monthly salary as a form of additional financial assistance.
According to local shop-owners, prices are likely to continue on the rise over the next few months.#