Today workers in Myanmar is getting paid with a few salaries. For average, it is still under 100 USD. Even for University graduated workers, they would only be paid 150 USD in average. Let me calculate you monthly cost of a person who live in the city.
Renting an apartment to live in the city cost – 150 USD
For meal, it costs – 3 USD a day at least, so we can count it for a month – 100 USD
Transportation cost – 30 USD
Extra 100 USD should be saved for healthy and any unexpected cost.
So Total 380 USD is the minimum income for everyone else who live in the city to survive.
Then you would claim that living doesn’t cost if you are having own house or living in cheap hostel, but many hostel in Yangon are low in standard such as having small voltage of electricity, little water support, very, very small room and so on. We can, however, still cut the minimum income to 300 USD. But unluckily basic salary for anyone else in Myanmar is always around 100 USD and 300 USD is the highest average money for high rank officer. The employees who get paid above 300 USD and under 600 USD are very rare in Myanmar. There are also some local people who get paid more than 1000 USD, but they are highly educated by support of parent’s money and foreign experienced.
In this condition, on early March, the government announced law to increase on income tax of each person in Myanmar. The law said that yearly income tax would be 5 percent for anyone else who have income between 20 and 50 Lakh of Kyat. 20 Lakh of Myanmar Kyat could be nearly the same with 2000 USD in US currency. For those who have income between 5000 and 10,000 USD yearly, the tax is 10 percent and who have income above 30,000 USD, the tax is 25 percent.
Unless people in Myanmar still have been educated for any kind of tax and law, signing a new policy for income tax should not happened. Many Myanmar people said against on the law including economic experts. Even if someone got paid 300 USD per month (3600 USD per year), he have to spend 15 USD monthly (180 USD yearly) for income tax. The government is responsible to show the information where they are going to spend the taxes also.
Author: Aung Kham
Image source: lollitop.blogspot.com