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YANGON – Myanmar’s National Committee for the Minimum Wage (NCMW) says the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn developments to introduce a new national minimum wage to a standstill, but says discussions could get underway once more by the end of the month.

In February, the country’s authorities started surveys to assess the cost of labour in the garment, food and commodity sectors as it looked to establish a new minimum wage, which must be revised every two years by law.

At that time though, workers and employers were at loggerheads, as business owners accused staff of capitalising on the government’s use of surveys, which it hasn’t used before, to call for a significant increase. At present, hourly rates equate to around US$3.30 (4800 Myanmar Kyat), but workers are wanting US$5 (K7200). 

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