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April 02, 2020

Minimum wage crucial for country’s stability

Food alone is not enough for survival. This might seem obvious, but many people in Myanmar have nothing left over once they put food on the table.  Many ordinary families with three or four school children do not have enough money for medical treatment, or even nutritious meals, if both parents do not have regular incomes.
For such a family, around K10,000 (US $10) per day will cover food, transportation costs and snack-money for children in major cities.
The household costs in rural areas will differ from urban areas. However, medical charges in villages of remote areas are sometimes higher in relation to income. Therefore, minimum wages should not be different from rural areas to cities.
An appropriate minimum wage could increase the standard of living of workers, reduce poverty, reduce inequality, boost morale and promote the country’s business sector.
Living costs in major cities need to be considered when a minimum wage is calculated. For long-term sustainability, the wage level should not damage businesses or the lives of workers from government agencies or private firms.
Businesses need modern technology to be able to manufacture quality products to penetrate international markets. Only then will they be able to provide reasonable minimum wages to their workers.
It will be difficult to set a reasonable minimum wage for workers who have to spend a lot of money due to the country’s high living costs. However, responsible government agencies and private organizations need to work together for the welfare of workers to ensure the economic and political stability of the country.

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