It is an open secret in Burma that the key to business success in the country is close ties to the ruling generals. But it is less well understood just how much this chronic cronyism affects the lives of ordinary Burmese. Recently, however, the junta's habit of awarding lucrative contracts to regime-connected companies has been blamed for the ongoing failure of efforts to improve Rangoon's access to electricity. Officials say that a plan to build a pipeline from the Gulf of Martaban to Burma's former capital and largest city has stalled due to quality-control issues. The pipeline project, which is estimated to be worth about US $500 million, is being carried out by IGE Co Ltd, run by Nay Aung and Pyi Aung, sons of Minister of Industry 1 Aung Thaung.