Sun, Jan 20, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Myanmar aims to improve lives, president tells donors

Reuters, NAYPYIDAW

Further efforts at transparency will be made in the natural resources sector. The government will disclose the revenue it gets from oil, gas and mining assets, and companies must publish what they pay to the state.

In the telecoms sector, the government will aim for an 80 percent penetration rate for mobile phones by 2015. The rate in 2011 was less than 3 percent.

The tourism industry, which requires “immediate adjustments,” will receive a boost from looser visa rules, modeled on those of successful holiday destinations such as Thailand.

Fiscal proposals include raising the threshold for income tax and introducing a value-added tax, and the government will look at how it can make the national budget more transparent.

As one of the “quick wins” to help ordinary people, the government will improve public transport in the commercial capital, Yangon, perhaps by lifting restrictions on motorcycles, and banks will be able to start offering mortgage financing.

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