Myanmar orders all workers abroad to remit 25%

Workers from Myanmar who have obtained visas wait at the Ministry of Labour in Tak to undergo training on working in Thailand before receiving their work permits.
Workers from Myanmar who have obtained visas wait at the Ministry of Labour in Tak to undergo training on working in Thailand before receiving their work permits.

The military government in Myanmar is demanding that expatriate workers remit at least 25% of their foreign currency income through the country’s banking system, according to local reports.

The money the workers remit will be converted to kyat at the official rate, which is more than 40% less than the market rate that is widely in use, said The Irrawaddy, an independent Myanmar news agency.

In effect, it said, government-linked financial institutions will have access to a cheap source of funds that the junta will be able to use to increase its shaky finances.

Since Sept 1, migrants who are due to leave Myanmar for jobs abroad must open an account at a bank regulated by the Central Bank of Myanmar, and remit 25% of their earnings to that account, the regulation says.

CB Bank, one of Myanmar’s largest private banks, has told migrant workers already abroad that they must remit a quarter of their salaries either monthly or every three months through “official” channels.

However, while the junta’s reference exchange rate for the Thai currency is just 56 kyats to the baht, the prevailing market rate is around 100 per baht, according to The Irrawaddy.

A migrant who earns 20,000 baht a month will have to remit 5,000 baht through the official banking system. The banks will get 5,000 baht for just 280,000 kyats while unlicensed exchange operators will pay nearly 500,000 kyats for the same amount, the news agency said.

Those who are already abroad and do not follow the new rule will be barred from working abroad for three years, the announcement said.

Recruitment agencies have been advised to revise their contracts with migrant workers and to be responsible for transferring the 25% remittance through the Myanmar banking system.

Ko Nay Lin Thu of the Thailand-based Aid Alliance Committee, which helps migrant workers, has condemned the new requirement.

“We don’t want to give our hard-earned money to them. We have to pay tax on our income in Thailand, and our remittances will be cut now, which is unacceptable. This is an exploitation of us migrant workers,” he told The Irrawaddy.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :


  • condemn: to say publicly that you think someone or something is bad or wrong - ถูกประนาม
  • exchange rate: when you change one currency or money into another currency, how much you get - อัตราการแลกเปลี่ยนเงินตราระหว่างประเทศ
  • exploitation: unfair treatment of someone, or the use of a situation in a way that is wrong - การใช้หาประโยชน์อย่างไม่ถูกต้อง
  • institutions: large and important organizations, such as universities or banks - สถาบัน
  • junta: a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected - รัฐบาลทหาร
  • migrant: someone who travels to another place or country in order to find work (an immigrant is someone who comes to live in a country from another country) - ผู้อพยพ, คนงานต่างถิ่น
  • prevailing (adj): existing or most common at a particular time - ซึ่งมีอยู่ทั่วไป,
  • recruitment: the process of finding people to work for a company or become a new member of an organisation - การสรรหาใหม่
  • remittances: money sent back to their home country and family by workers working in foreign a country -
  • salary: a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job - เงินเดือน
  • shaky: not stable - ไม่มั่นคง
Do you like the content of this article?