Min­galar Mar­ket shops shut­ter as rents in­crease

The Myanmar Times - - Business - MYAT NOE OO my­at­noeoo@mm­times.com

SHOP own­ers re­lo­cated fol­low­ing the fire at Yan­gon’s Min­galar Mar­ket con­tinue to face rent hikes in their tem­po­rary mar­ket space, while some busi­ness have been forced to close due to the higher costs, shop­keep­ers said yes­ter­day.

A blaze ripped through the mar­ket’s third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors on Jan­uary 9 de­stroy­ing more than 1630 shops sell­ing mostly phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, cos­met­ics, elec­tron­ics and food.

The gov­ern­ment then moved shop own­ers at the mar­ket to tem­po­rary stalls at the mar­ket’s car park and sur­round­ing com­pound. At the time of the re­lo­ca­tion, shop­keep­ers drew straws to de­ter­mine where they would be lo­cated, with many orig­i­nally lo­cated on the more ex­pen­sive ground floor, where foot traf­fic is more com­mon, re­lo­cated higher up in the car park where few shop­pers ven­ture.

But rental hikes for those that did re­tain a prime lo­ca­tion have also been cause for con­cern.

Daw Htwe Htwe Khaing. owner of a bag shop, said she orig­i­nally paid 1 lakh prior to the fire, but now rent in the new spot had crept up to 10 lakhs.

“I would like the gov­ern­ment to please in­ter­vene and ask for a more sta­ble rental price,” she said. “The stall own­ers have upped the rent more and more, and if the new build­ing takes two years to build the price will con­tinue to go up even more than now.”

Daw Khin Than Htay, the owner of Nan Htike tex­tile shop, said shops had been clos­ing due to the rental in­crease.

“At some of the shops on the ground floor and in front of the mar­ket the rent has gone up to around 40 lakhs per month,” she said.

For Daw Thi­dar, who used to make and sell clothes at the mar­ket, the rent be­came too much.

“Now I make clothes in my small fac­tory and sell to the cus­tomers I con­tact over the phone,” she said. “I will open up again when the new build­ing is fin­ished,” she said.

Yan­gon City Devel­op­ment Com­mit­tee de­clined to com­ment.

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