Burma’s gem industry: profit that fills the generals’ pockets

mizzima,by Mungpi & Solomon
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 23:21

New Delhi (Mizzima) – To promote production of gems and jewellery, Burma’s Ministry of Mines said it is allocating six blocks in three states to local entrepreneurs to mine gems, an official at the ministry said.

An official at the Ministry of Mines in Naypyitaw said, the six blocks, located in Shan state’s Mongshu and Namhyar, Kachin state’s Moenyin and Sagaing division’s Mawhan, Mawlu and Hkamti will be leased out to private entrepreneurs for a three-year term.

“These areas are regular mining zones and we are giving out new blocks in these areas. Those who are interested can apply now,” the official told Mizzima.

While Burma’s military government by occasionally granting gem mining blocks claims that it is promoting domestic entrepreneurs, local residents in the mining areas said mining and the gem trade has largely deteriorated since the current batch of generals grabbed power in 1988.

A local businessman in Mogoke in Mandalay division, a mining town which produces one of the world’s finest rubies, said, mining business has largely been monopolized by a few businessmen who maintain a close relationship with the junta. continue http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/1545-burmas-gem-industry-profit-that-fills-the-generals-pockets.html

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