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Thein Sein calls for action against poverty

Though rural development and poverty alleviation remain the government's most important tasks, it had yet to tackle them effectively, President Thein Sein said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Project Commission in Nay Pyi Taw, Thein Sein said what the poor were most urgently in need of was financial capital. The systematic delivery of capital loans and the creation of jobs would lead to a significant drop in poverty alleviation, he added.

Citizens were expecting speedy development for the country, he said, and were criticising pointing to the lack of progress in raising living standards for the poorest in society as evidence the government was not making progress. Therefore, the government had to redouble efforts in implementing the reform processes, and pay special attention to the people's desire, he said.

Thein Sein called for authorities, over the remaining 31 months of his presidency, to take full responsibility for ensuring enough electricity and water supplies, food security, good transportation, more jobs, sound education and health conditions for every citizen.

Tourists, investment fuelling rent spike

Rents in Yangon have shot up because of the rapid inflow of investment from abroad, say local real-estate agents.

"House rent has doubled in some parts of Kabaraye Road, Bahan and Mayangone Townships. People can no longer rent an apartment for 100,000 kyats [Bt3,230] per month," said Kyaw Swar Lin from Shwe U Daung Min Real Estate Agency. The spike in rent was due to the rapid inflow of foreign investment and the high number of foreign tourists coming to Myanmar, he added.

Monthly rent for a house in high-end parts of Kabaraye Road, Bahan and Mayangone townships increased to 5 or 6 million kyats (Bt161, 500 to Bt191,700) recently. The rental fee for an apartment has also gone up, to between 120,000 and 150,000 kyats (Bt3,870 to Bt4,840).

Land plots in Thakayta and Dawpone Townships, which are located near downtown, are now worth between 150,000 and 300,000 kyats per square foot.

Thailand deports over 1,000 per month

Thai authorities have deported a large batch of Myanmar illegal migrant workers after mounting an operation against human trafficking. Immigration officials and border guards in the border province of Tak arrested 150 illegal migrant workers from Myanmar, including women and children, who sneaked into a refugee camp on the Thai border. They were handed to Myanmar authorities in Myawady last Friday.

"Thailand has tightened its border security after a spate of human-trafficking cases," said Ei Mon Soe, deputy director at the Myanmar Ministry of Labour, Employment and Security. "Most of the workers were arrested because they had no legal documents. Human trafficking had until recently been seen mostly in Tachilek, but Myawady has now seen its first cases."

More than 1.2 million migrant workers from Myanmar are now working in Thailand. The ministry has opened 11 service centres to issue legal documentation to more than one million migrant workers who have not yet registered to work abroad.

Thailand deported more than 26,000 illegal migrant workers to Myanmar between November 19, 2010 and June 21 this year.






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