The Myanmar military takes responsibility for the economic crisis

The Myanmar military takes responsibility for the economic crisis ...

Myanmar's ongoing economic difficulties were exacerbated by "outside factors" and two waves of COVID-19 infections on September 30, but the military government takes full responsibility and is working hard to address them, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Speaking after the kyat currency reached new lows this week, the ruling military council's spokesman Zaw Min Tun said the central bank was unable to meet local demand for dollars.

Myanmar's currency has lost more than 60% of its value since the beginning of September, boosting food and fuel prices in an economy that has remained stable since a Feb. 1 military coup. read more

"The government is working its hardest to resolve this issue as best possible," Zaw Min Tun told a regular news conference.

"As it is happening under this government, the current government will have to take responsibility."

Many gold shops and money exchanges have shut in Myanmar because of the crisis, while the low kyat has been a hot topic on social media networks, where users on Thursday posted images of panic-buying of fuel or gas stations closing because they were in shortages.

Rising goods and fuel prices have posed major challenges to previous military governments in Myanmar, with the cost of cooking gas among the causes of a monk-led "Saffron Revolution" in 2007.

Zaw Min Tun stated that the economy had worsened as well as due to external factors as as the coronavirus, but did not specify what those were.

"We have the duty to resurrect it," he added of the economy.

The World Bank predicted that the economy will fall 18% this year, and Myanmar will see Southeast Asia's biggest employment decrease.

The Central Bank of Myanmar attempted to tether the kyat 0.8% either side of its reference rate against the dollar in August, but pushed the exchange rate downwards earlier this month.

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