Proposed New Minimum Wage Between 4,000 to 4,800 Kyats a Day

By Thazin Hlaing 4 October 2017

YANGON — The National Minimum Wage Committee has tentatively suggested Myanmar’s new minimum wage should fall between 4,000 and 4,800 kyats (US$2.93 to $3.53) for an eight-hour working day.

The committee tasked with determining minimum wage was reformed in February and includes economists, officials of concerned ministries and representatives from labor and employer groups.

Since then it has met three times—the last time was on Monday where minimum wage committees at region and state levels discussed their survey results, and tentatively agreed a new rate of between 4,000 and 4,800 kyats, said economist U Khin Maung Kyo who is a member of National Minimum Wage Committee.

“Region and state level minimum wage committees proposed their rates, and the average was 4,000 to 4,800 kyats,” U Khin Maung Nyo told The Irrawaddy.

The National Minimum Wage Committee is set to meet in December to finalize the rate, said U Nyunt Win, deputy director-general of the Factories and General Labor Laws Inspection Department.

“Region and state level minimum wage committees will listen to the feedback of employers and employees in their respective regions about the new proposed rate. We hope to work out a final rate at the December meeting,” he told The Irrawaddy.

The new rate will then be put forward to parliament for approval, according to the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population.

The new rate is an appropriate amount because there is little difference between the amounts proposed by employer and labor groups, said U Khin Maung Nyo.

The minimum wage law was enacted in March, 2013, and respective by-laws in July that year. The new wage—3,600 kyats for an eight-hour working day—came into effect on Sept. 1 the same year.

It was applied to workers across all sectors nationwide, except small and family-run businesses that employ fewer than 15 people.