Economy Coup-d'etat by Generals

written by Kyae-Mohn U Thaung
translated by Rebound88

It is said that reecently, Junta handed out the boundless economic favours to handful of opportunistic businessmen who still enjoys the monopoly of Burma's economy. Considering the immense opportunities given by the regime, the future of the country economy and yield of mineral resources is expected to be fallen to the hands of this small group of elite business people very soon.

There are about 40 people , dominating the current country economy . They are not the descents from the sky, but foster babes of Junta. Actually,these so-called new-class of people were the product of open-door economic policy introduced by SLORC. In February 19 1990, the leading economic organizations were incorporated by law and sold out its shares to only army officials.

Under this law, the Ministry of Defense will provide 40% of the foreign exchange to any army officials who wish to set up their own business with the Burmese currency Kyat. So the army generals, also members of SLORC became instant millionaire tycoons as if immersed themself in Nat Yae Kan. They owned the all sorts of trade business by joint venture with the foreign companies. In this regard, how much of foreign exchange the Ministry of Defense provided is kept confidential. Our tax payers citizens are kept in the dark of how much of their money was spent , all the news were gagged.

On the other hand, these generals also never let the opium warlords off, twisted their arms to finance the army business take-off. Because they knows that the warlords are of great wealth with the opium trade, deposited the large amount of money in numerous banks around the world. To them, this is like a scorpion gives one of his many legs. In return, generals had to create the business environments which particularly favoured to the opium warlords after taking their protection money.

When Myawaddy Bank opened in Jan 4, 1991, they decleared that there would be no questioning to the depositers of how to earn, how much tax already paid for their deposit. Along with that all the monies that came by in racketeering, taking bribes,stealing can be laundered officially in this way.

As a result, Opium money rolled in to the Burma economic world in large amount, and army generals and their partners, warlords are able to monopolize the wide range of business.

In giving favour to them, for example, the beds, kitchen utensils, electrical appliances were allowed to import for a person investing in hotel industry.In this case, this person imported all the items three or four times more than necessary, and made a huge profit by selling them to the black market.In such a way, he did not need to take out his own money to build a hotel.

Later, the leaders of surrendered ethnic minority rebel groups also took part in this investment spree with their money hoarded by opium trade and illegal business,so as to jump in the bandwagon of opportunists. Now, it is believed that the magnates not more than 50 in number are controlling the economy.

As per latest news, much of the arable lands have been appropriated for this small group of elite to establish the massive capital agribusiness.

In the newspapers published in Bangkok on Jan 20,it mentioned that 500,000 acres of barren land are given to the newly formed 19 agriculture companies. The owners of these companies are not someone but SPDC generals, their predecessor SLORC generals who got the boot and ethnic rebel group leaders.

In the recent interview with the Reuters correspondent, U Thinn Maung, managing director for Investment Company Enterprise, said that any investors will be exempted from tax, and it will not impose the custom tax to the import of the machinery, raw material. It is of great chances to the entrepreneurs to become instant millionaires.

Actually, this kind of favour should be granted to the foreign companies which brought in the foreign capital for the benefit of getting hard currency, not to the local entrepreneurs investing with Kyat currency.

In the past, BEDC organization which set up the business for the sake of Tatmadaw's welfare, was also given this kind of tax ememption. During the three years period of military caretaker government, it was legalized and subsequently its business grew so fast to the extent that it had possessed 14 enterprises including the shipping, banking industry. Later, General Ne win himself was frightened and all were nationalized in 1963.

Now, the similar favours are being given to the company owners, andwith a growing trend, possibly they will be capable of controlling Burma's economy within three years.

30 years later, our 50 million citizens may be subjected to their manipulation and could be the economic slave labours of these 50 persons. Afterthat,surely, it can not be rebound socially and politically.