The military regime is set to drop meaningful structural reforms from an economic recovery plan initiated by the former National League for Democracy government, and is instead promising to slash red tape in a bid to shore up collapsing business confidence.
Some factory owners have been accused of exploiting and failing to protect their employees during the latest COVID-19 outbreak, and with unions lying low since the coup, workers are unable to seek redress.
The World Bank has warned in a new report that Myanmar faces severe economic losses and a doubling of poverty as a result of the combined impact of the coup and COVID-19, with the military regime unable to govern effectively.
The business community has welcomed interest rate cuts and other stimulus measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the coronavirus, but there’s consensus that more needs to be done to avert business closures and massive job losses.
Digital rights groups and journalists have criticised a recent government order to block more than 50 sites accused of spreading fake news, including prominent Rakhine-based media organisations – an instruction that mobile operator Telenor has defied, saying it has “no legal basis”.
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.