Southeast Asia

Myanmar Junta Hits Migrant Workers With Remittance Fee – I’waddy


Myanmar’s military regime is so strapped for cash it has demanded that citizens who travel abroad to work must send back 25% of their foreign currency income through the national banking system, according to a report by the Irrawaddy exile media news-site, which said CB Bank, one of the largest private banks, told migrant workers they must remit a quarter of their salaries through official channels either every month or once every three months.

Workers who do not agree to adhere to this new rule – imposed at the start of September – would be prevented from working outside the country for three years, the report said. Labour activists said this was “unacceptable” exploitation as registered workers already pay tax on their income in Thailand and their remittances will be converted at an official exchange rate of just 2,100 kyat per US dollar, which far less than the market rate of about 3,400 kyat. Up to five million registered and unregistered Myanmar citizens are believed to be working in Thailand currently, it said.

Read the full report: Irrawaddy.




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.

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