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Kachin Gems Road Tax Challenged by Lawmakers

11 March 2014

Parliamentarians are questioning the legality of a tax levied by the Kachin State government that requires gems miners there to contribute 1 percent, or 10 million kyats (US$10,200) of their profits to a fund for the construction of a road linking Hpakant to Moe Kaung, Myanmar Freedom Daily reports. “Some mine owners just cannot afford to make the contribution,” said lawmaker Ye Tun. Miners who fail to pay up are reportedly threatened with the revocation of their licenses and blacklisting. Lawmakers have demanded a response from the Union government, which Ye Tun said must “systematically supervise state governments.”