Food Prices Rising in Mon State
By Network Media Group
Monday, October 19, 2020
Prices for basic food items in Mon State are rising after the government implemented new measures for transport trucks entering the state during the pandemic, said traders from Mon State.
Khin Aung Thwin, the head of Mon State’s consumer department, said price increases are happening because transportation into the state is being delayed. “To control the spread of COVID-19, trucks and drivers are being inspected at checkpoints. Transportation has slowed down, although it’s not completely stopped.”
Ma Yee Aung, who lives in Zaygyo ward in Mawlamyine, told NMG that it’s primarily basic food items that are getting more expensive to buy. But with everyone struggling during the pandemic, it’s a concern. “Some people don’t have anything to eat. If food prices continue to rise, people will soon starve.”
Onions increased from 1,000 kyat (77 cents) per viss (1.6 kg) to 1,300 (85 cents) kyat per viss. Cooking oil costs 200 kyat (16 cents) more than it used to.
Aung, a wholesaler in Mon State’s capital Mawlamyine, said there are a number of checkpoints that trucks must pass along the highway. It is delaying the arrival of goods by two days, which is doubling fuel costs and causing price increases. To make matters worse for food merchants, trade has slowed because of the pandemic.
Khin Aung Thwi said they’re trying to stabilize food prices, while speeding up the transportation of goods into the state from Yangon, Mandalay and Myawaddy. For now, he’s monitoring the prices of basic food items, medicine and personal protective equipment and sending the information to the state government.