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Upper House Suspects Corruption in State Asset Privatization

22 March 2013

Burma’s Upper House Public Account Committee asked Parliament last week to investigate business cronies of the former military regime on suspicions of tax evasion and illegal payments during the privatization of state assets in recent years, Eleven Media reports. The committee said corruption during the privatization process should be investigated as auction prices for state assets were often far below their value. It pointed to numerous examples, such as central Rangoon’s Kandawgyi Hotel—a large, international hotel with 5.507 acres of land—for a mere US $3.3 million. The committee said 66 percent of state-owned property and enterprises were privatized, but only 15 percent of the owners paid taxes on their assets.