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People in Myanmar facing cash shortage, rising prices of goods and services under military rule

Amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Myanmar due to the February 1 military coup, people are facing a shortage of cash and rising prices of goods and services as they are withdrawing their savings from banks out of concern for the future.

Four months into military rule since a February 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and with a weakening local currency, the junta has yet to rein in the economic woes precipitated by the power grab, reported Kyodo News.

In the country’s largest city Yangon, people are forming long lines outside banks every day before dawn, to get cash.

Moreover, the country’s financial institutions became paralyzed in the early days of military rule as bank employees and others refused to report to work as part of growing civil disobedience movements.

Financial institutions have since begun resuming operations gradually, but the military has kept restrictions on the amount of withdrawals people can make, to prevent a run on banks.

Those who managed to withdraw money from their bank accounts have converted it into US dollars on the black market, or kept it under their mattresses, Kyodo News reported.

It further reported that the shortage of cash has also made it difficult for the military to pay soldiers on time, driving some of them into looting.

As violence continues to intensify in Myanmar, over 800 people have been killed and 4,330 people are currently under detention.

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