Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Rangoon shops lose customers due to license order

New Delhi (Mizzima) - Teashops, restaurants and beauty parlours in Rangoon have started removing television sets from their shops as the Video Association has ordered that those using TV in the shops would have to have a  license by paying 45,000 Kyat (US$ 45).

According to several shop owners, the new rule was circulated by the Video Association ordering teashops, restaurants and beauty parlours that use television or videos to attract customers, to apply for license within a week.

“Normally we use TV or video in our shop, and our family also watches. But since last month we were given a notice asking us to apply for a license. Since we are not using it for commercial purposes, we shifted our TV in to our house from the shop,” a teashop owner in Latha Township of Rangoon told Mizzima.

Similarly, a teashop owner in Insein Township said, most shops on the street have removed their TV sets as they do not want to apply for a license.

“We do not want to pay for the license, so we removed our TV from the shop,” he added.

In Burma, where people often spend their leisure time in teashops and restaurants, many shop owners have a TV set to lure them in and entertain their customers with movies and TV programmes.

Besides, with most people unable to afford a TV set, customers often visit teashops in order to watch TV programmes including international football matches.

Video license is normally applicable for commercial video parlours. But the new order since the beginning of August requires teashops, restaurants and beauty parlours to apply for license.    

The order, read out to Mizzima by a shop owner over telephone, states that owners in three categories of shops should apply for video license within a week, and in case of failing to obtain it, the shop owners could be charged under the Television and Video Act resulting in a three year prison term or a fine of Kyat 100,000 (US$ 1000) or both.

A teashop owner in Tharmwe Township said since he removed his TV set from the shop, he had lost customers and business has been plummeting.

“Earlier, we use to attract customers by showing videos or TV programmes. But after the order, since we have not been making good profit, I do not want to spend money on the license. But since then sales have dropped with fewer customers,” the shop owner added.

While most shops do not want to apply for the license and have removed their TV sets, a few, however, have applied for a license.

A teashop owner in Bahan Township told Mizzima that she had applied for the license by paying 45,000 Kyat.

“I did it as they ordered it,” she added.

While licenses for TV, Satellites TV and radio have to be applied for at the Post and Telecommunication Ministry, video screening license applications are made at the Myanmar Movies Association office in Bahan Township.

The video association, a department under the Myanmar Movie Association, has its branch offices in all the 44 townships of Rangoon.

Editing by Ye Yint Aung


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