Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Excessive taxing on charcoal trucks

The authorities are extracting excessive amounts of money from charcoal truck drivers and normal drivers who are transporting goods between Maiwee village and Namkham town which is located 28 miles north of Namkham Town, Northern Shan State.
The charcoal traders use three axle Trucks, dump trucks, six wheelers, and cars for carriage. There are 28 gates to cross from Maiwee village to Namkham town and each gate requests the drivers to pay money.  We asked to charcoal traders how much of money they have to pay to pass each gate and if the prices were different at each gate?
“Different departments request money between Maiwee village and Namkham and unfairly, some gates ask for money even though it doesn’t concern their responsibilities. They don’t even ask for a small amount of money. So, we have to pay for Maiwee departing gate 26,000 Kyats, Manyong gate 4,000 Kyats, Kyoikhik gate 10,000 Kyats, Manpou 2,000 Kyats, Nampo gate 2,000 Kyats, Sikekin gate 10,000 Kyats, Honar gate 15,000 Kyats, M.V.C 5,000 Kyats, T.P.D.C (Koungkart village) 10,000 Kyat, City militia 5,000 Kyats, S.P 12,000 Kyats, four drug group 40,000 Kyats, Counteracted Trafficking Group 5,000 Kyats, Namkham traffic police 5,000 Kyats, militia (Pansay) 3,000 Kyats, (Ka Nya Na) 8,000 Kyats, forester (Winkan village) 32,000 Kyats, Investigation group 5,000 Kyats, Namkham (forester retirement) 15,000 Kyats, Immigration 6,000, and Pankham police 3,000 Kyats.  In total we have to pay 320,000 Kyats for just one load” said a charcoal trader.
A three axle truck can carry charcoal between 3,000 to 4,000 Viss (used weight in Myanmar). The price of one Viss of charcoal in villages fetches between 250 and 270 Kyats and in Namkham Town is between 500 and 600 and then from there the businessmen transport it to China.
Mostly, the lives of Ta’ang (Palaung) between Maiwee village and Namkham depend on baking charcoal. However, because of the extortionate amount of money the drivers have to pay at the gates it is often not worth anything in the end to the charcoal traders this then directly affects the local charcoal bakers’ livelihoods and the only people who are making a profit are the authorities at the gates.



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