Myanmar’s new government restricts license on draft beer

The new government of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi enforces an old law to restrict license on draft beer in the country. Shortly after her administration took power in April, authorities sent letters to bar and shop owners that an existing license known as FL17, which is needed to sell canned and bottled beer, was not sufficient to serve beer from the tap. Instead a FL9 or FL10 license is required, which costs about MMK120 ($100) per year on top of the MMK240 ($200) for the FL17 license.  In the past authorities did not care about this law.

 

What people now upset is not the additional money but the fact that the authorities say that no additional licenses are available. Restaurants and bars which applied for a new license but did not get it are now unsure how to handle the situation. Some are still serving draft beer and hope for a quick solution. Others have stopped it and now serving only bottled and canned beer.

 

The government has given no reason for the move. Observers believe that Aung San Suu Kyi wants to be seen as a strong leader but might relieve restrictions soon.

 

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