EDITORIAL: Myanmar government plans to increase electricity bills by 40 percent for private households

Concerning Tuesday’s government announcement in the New Light of Myanmar, the public was informed of a hike in the price of electricity to be put into effect immediately. The announcement stated that: “In order to cover costs of producing and purchasing electricity to a certain context, Yangon City Electricity Supply Board has set the following unit prices to be charged as of electricity consumption in November 2013.”

Basically, it kindly informs us that the government plans to increase electricity bills by 40 percent for private households and up to double the current rate for businesses.

After the new government formed in 2011, the president made a promise to combat poverty. The average income per person is extremely low and people struggle to cover daily costs. Although reforms are underway, prices are high and people’s living standard is still low. Foreign investment has not had a wide impact and most people still have difficulty in finding jobs.

Public transportation, electricity supply and public health are basic needs for the people. The government cannot be benefitting from public services in a country like Myanmar where most people still live under the poverty line. The government needs to take some responsibility. The amount the government spends on social welfare is still very low.

If the government can’t take full responsibility for the basic needs of the people, the big corporations which are profiting from mega projects should shoulder some responsibility. But big corporations only seek big profits and do not want to operate at a loss. It’s a shame that tycoons don’t want to take social responsibility for the country and its people after exploiting our common resources. The government should handle these cases. If the government wants to give mega projects to the tycoons, it should also ensure that it is providing the social welfare and looking after the public good.

The Daily Eleven urges the government not to seek to benefit from public services and to make tycoons take responsibility as they exploit our natural resources for private gain under the watchful eyes of the government.

Electricity blackout in Yangon on Tuesday nights (Photo - EMG)
Electricity blackout in Yangon on Tuesday nights (Photo – EMG)



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