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Burmese Government Calls 800 Percent Fuel Price Hike 'Reasonable'

Burmese officials have defended the recent 800 percent increase in fuel prices, saying the hike is a reasonable move to keep pace with world oil prices.

The overnight increase last week raised prices for gasoline from less than four cents per liter to more than 30 cents per liter. The rate is still much lower than many other countries, but is relatively expensive for Burmese consumers.

Burma's information minister Brigadier General Kyaw Hsann said the government has been subsidizing gasoline at a loss for years.

Reports indicate prices on everyday goods have jumped following the gas price hike. The information minister denied the rise was linked to fuel prices, blaming the increase on what he called greedy business people.

Some information for this report provided by AP.