Farmers in Arakan State ‘Forced to Pay $100 Bribes’ to Secure Loans
5 June 2013
Farmers in Burma’s southwestern state of Arakan are being forced to pay up to 100,000 kyat (US $112) in administrative fees, which they say are bribes, before applying for an agricultural loan, the local Narinjara news agency quoted farmers as saying on Wednesday. The fees, which come in the form of paperwork and identification documentation, are not part of the central Burmese government’s policy for agricultural development and could provide insight into the gap between President Thein Sein’s government’s anti-corruption policies and facts on the ground in rural areas. The amount of interest payable on the loans has also not been made clear, farmers allege.