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Burmese Junta Announces End of Procurement Policy On Rice - 2003-04-24


Burma's military government says it will end its procurement policy on rice, allowing Burmese citizens to purchase and sell rice freely.

A government spokesman (Lieutenant General Soe Win) says state-run organizations would no longer be involved in the sale and purchase of rice.

Under the procurement policy, Rangoon buys up to 10 percent of overall rice production at fixed, below-market prices. The rice is then re-distributed to government employees, military personnel and their families.

Under the new plan, Burmese farmers will no longer have to sell part of their rice crop to the government at fixed prices.

Analysts say the plan is aimed at helping Burma change to a more market-based economy.

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