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Cremation fees to be hiked sevenfold

Rangoon, Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Cremation fees are poised to experience a sevenfold increase in price come March, according to a reliable source in the municipal office.

Though the municipal official later denied the news of cremation fees being hiked to a domestic weekly journal, a source in the office told Mizzima that mortuary and cremation fees are to be increased from 1,500 kyat (US$ 1 = 1,000 kyat) and 1,000 kyat, respectively, by sevenfold.

“As far as we know, I’d like to say this news is true,” a staff member from the Yangon (Rangoon) City Development Committee (YCDC), who wished not to be named, told Mizzima.

However, the head of the YCDC Environment Department, Retired Colonel Cho Tun Aung, soon after the news broke denied the truth to the story in an interview given to the domestic 7-Days Journal.

Meanwhile, mortuary officials at the Ye Wei and Htein Bin cemeteries say they are not authorized to speak on the matter.

If fees are hiked there will be many difficulties in running free funeral services, Free Funeral Service director Kyaw Thu revealed to Mizzima.

“There will be many problems for us. If the donations we can collect are not enough, we cannot run our service anymore. The common people will face many difficulties in the cremation of their loved ones,” he told Mizzima.

He further said that their association cremated at least 50 dead bodies a day and each corpse costs them about 20,000 kyat, so that daily expenses for the free service run to at least 1 million kyat.

Each corpse presently carries a charge of 6,000 kyat for the corpse tray, 1,500 kyat for daily mortuary fees, a cremation fee of 1,000 kyat and other assorted expenses, bringing the total to approximately 20,000 kyat per cremation.

There are 10 cemeteries in Rangoon, with Ye Wei witnessing the highest volume of cremations at 70 to 100 per day.

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 February 2010 14:22 )  

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