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Small businesses hit hardest by Myanmar's electricity hikes
Publication Date : 04-04-2014
Local business owners have complained that new electricity hikes will have a negative impact on consumers, and that the new prices will hinder smaller businesses.
Some business owners also criticised the increase of power shortages in many industrial areas, claiming that the new prices have not created a more stable supply.
“The government should provide the electricity regularly if the electricity fees are to be hiked. But the electricity is now cut off about one hour regularly. That’s why we are now running our businesses using generators,” said Kyaw Thiha, Managing Director of International Trading Limited.
Many state-owned factories that use large amounts of electricity are under the control of crony companies and conglomerates with close links to the government.
According to some industry experts, the new electricity rates approved by parliament will have a disproportionate impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while the big factories and conglomerates will have a greater advantage.
“The SMEs are struggling at present. The problems may affect the long-term plans of businesses. It will not only affect the competition of our entrepreneurs but also the competitions among Asean Free Trade Region in 2015,” said an industrialist from Dagon Seikkan Industrial Zone.
Residents from Yangon and Mandalay have already held protests against the government’s plan after parliament approved the raise in electricity fees as of April 1.