Asia Briefs: Myanmar to raise minimum wage by 33%

Myanmar to raise minimum wage by 33%

YANGON • Myanmar is set to raise the minimum wage to around US$3.60 (S$4.80) a day, state media announced yesterday, as Ms Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government struggles to project economic progress after almost two years in power.

The new daily figure of 4,800 kyats represents a 33 per cent increase on Myanmar's first-ever minimum wage introduced in 2015 by the previous army-backed administration.


India to limit number of locals visiting Taj Mahal

AGRA • India is to restrict the number of daily visitors to the Taj Mahal in an attempt to preserve the iconic 17th century monument to love, its biggest tourist attraction.

In future, only 40,000 local tourists will be allowed to enter the historic complex per day, authorities said yesterday.

The restrictions will not apply to foreigners, who pay 1,000 rupees (S$21) to enter.

Indian visitors normally pay just 40 rupees, but will be able to buy the more expensive ticket if they want to get around the limit.


Beijing meets air quality targets last year

BEIJING • China's smog-prone capital, Beijing, met its air quality targets last year following a crackdown on polluters and a sustained period of favourable weather, the local environmental agency said in a statement yesterday. The yearly average concentrations of particulate matter with a length of 2.5 microns or less, which damages the lungs when inhaled, dropped by 35.6 per cent in 2017 from 2012 to 58 micrograms per cubic m, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said. REUTERS

Manila bars expansion of US call centre firm

MANILA • The Philippines has barred a branch of a US call centre firm from expanding in the country following a pre-Christmas fire that killed dozens of its employees.

Ms Charito Plaza, director-general of the government's Philippine Economic Zone Authority, said yesterday that the agency had suspended the operations of Research Now SSI, as well as the shopping mall hosting it, for failing to meet certain safety requirements since 2013.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe