Friday, December 19, 2008

Tumbling Kelly!

By Ko Soe
Rangoon - Mizzima News
18 December 2008

At the time of global financial crisis, our backward and underdeveloped country Burma could not find appropriate ways and means to face this crisis. It is like sailing on the rough sea with the boat having a hole at the bottom. I can't help laughing when I see 'Billiken State, Billiken nationals, no need to worry about' article by columnist 'Kyaw Ye Min' appearing in 'The Mirror' paper.

The recession is Burma's economy is following in tandem with global economy while it is in the worst phase. This is witnessed by every Burmese in the country. But the junta doesn't lower the fuel prices, forgetting the overpriced palm oil, exporting more gas by having blackouts in former capital Rangoon, relying heavily on the UN and aid agencies for cyclone relief and rehabilitation operation and stopping their own efforts. Moreover they (junta) pretend to relax their export restriction on rice and timber only when their cronies could not do business as the prices are falling. All these activities have one and only intention. Lowering deficit in its budget!

However hard they tried, as everyone knows, the Burmese economy has crash landed from vacillating in an economic rough sea. But even at that time, it's hard to believe 'Naypyidaw' (capital city) is saying 'no rise in vegetable price, falling price cannot harm us'. Everybody knows this is unwise and unrealistic saying of an idiot.

Aren't they concerned over the farmers who have to abandon their farmland because of falling prices which resulted in huge losses to them? What will happen to our country when the farmers are starving in an agricultural economy? Now we are seeing a million dollar scam in pulses and beans trading in our country. The price of these pulses and beans fell by 60 per cent to an unprecedented level. Similarly onions and garlic prices are experiencing the same fate. Astonishingly it fell to the level between Kyat 120-240. So these farmers cannot grow these crops again.

All construction works have been stopped. The USD exchange rate has also fallen to just over Kyat 1,100 as the global economic downturn and slowdown has started to bite the Burmese economy. The car dealers can hardly sell a single car a day in the entire market. The tourism industry has almost ground to a halt with an almost 70 per cent fall. The jewellery market is at a standstill. The electronic and home appliances markets have almost stopped too with nearly 50 per cent fall in prices.

In this situation, saying electric supply is normal and the economy is good only in newspapers cannot help our economy. They should discuss with other ASEAN countries, closely monitor how the powerful economies are doing, teach the people how to overcome the current recession, how to cope with their hardships and warn them to take care.

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