Friday, July 25th, 2014 - 6:45 PM

Bhutan backs bid for SAARC development bank …

DSC_8190For a free trade: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay with commerce ministers and delegations from SAARC countries at the 8th SAFTA ministerial council meeting yesterday at the convention centre

… with branches in all eight member countries, if secretariat’s proposal is approved 

SAFTA: SAARC countries will have a development bank with branches in all eight countries, if the proposal from the SAARC secretariat gets approved.

Following the 8th South Asian free trade area (SAFTA) ministerial council meet yesterday in the capital, the economic affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk said the SAARC Development Bank (SDB) was important for Bhutan.

The proposal will be tabled and decided at [... Read More]

13 minors raped in five months

Crime: The royal Bhutan army (RBA) has detained a soldier in their quarter guard for allegedly raping his daughters.

While RBA was not available for comment, it has been learnt that the case surfaced when one of the daughters, a class X student, confided in her friends.

The girl has said that she did not want to go home for the mid-term break, and alleged that her father had been sexually abusing and assaulting her [... Read More]

Bhutan and Nepal hold bilateral discussions

DSC_8280Economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk met Nepal’s minister for commerce and supplies, Sunil Bahadur Thapa, yesterday

Diplomacy: Tourism, indigenous crafts, and hydropower are the three areas, which Bhutan and Nepal have identified to explore for expertise and resources.

This was discussed at the bilateral meeting between the economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk and the Nepalese minister for commerce and supplies, Sunil Bahadur Thapa, yesterday in Thimphu, after the SAFTA ministerial council meeting concluded.

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said these three sectors were among the many important issues discussed.

“Nepal is very strong in [... Read More]

First e-taxi makes a quiet start

Kencho-TsheringKencho Tshering

Kencho Tshering, the pioneer e-cabbie, says he’s yet to catch the passenger’s eye

Transport: The car is neat and clean, both inside and out.  The dashboard almost reflects the afternoon sun.  There is enough room for the head and the legs, even for a six-footer.

The gear looks like a small joystick and, when Kencho Tshering, the first electric taxi driver, puts it into drive, there is no noise of an engine starting.  The Nissan [... Read More]


Major minor issue

Going by the figures of rape of minors, we should be ashamed as a society.  The figures are alarming – 13 minors in five months and 35 in a year.  This is more than three minor rapes every month.

In most societies, this is reason enough to bring down a government, or strip authorities of their responsibilities and power.

We don’t call for public outrage or encourage people to come out on the street to stop the [... Read More]

Bid to raise land tax resubmitted

DT-members-discussing-each-other-during-tea-breakDT members continue discussion during tea break

Despite NA’s earlier rejection of the same, LG feels there is a strong case for a reappraisal 

Mongar DT: Mongar dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) has decided to resubmit the proposal to increase land tax, which was shot down by the National Assembly during the parliamentary session recently.

DT members said land tax was minimal and had not been revised for over 30 years.  Increasing the tax marginally would not make much difference to the farmers, but [... Read More]

Nikachu project to ensure minimal damage

Lessons have been learnt from the ramifications of the Mangdechu project

Hydropower: Taking lessons from the Mangdechu project, the Nikachhu hydropower project (NHP) in Trongsa will install proper vibration systems, and initiate preventive and mitigation measures, to ensure minimal social and environmental damage in the communities from its work.

Druk Green Power corporation (DGPC) managing director, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, said a lot of issues had been raised by the Mangdechu project, although precautions as stipulated [... Read More]

Modern processing units to commercialise rice farming

Rice.mill.test.run2014-034Modern rice processing unit during test-run conducted in June, at Research Development Centre, Bajo

DoA has so far set up three half-tonne capacity mills in Mithun, Phuntshothang and Bajo

Agriculture: Farmers in Wangdue and Punakha will now process their paddy in a modern rice-processing unit that the department of agriculture installed in Bajo.

The half-tonne capacity rice-processing unit in Bajo is one of three rice mills installed and tested for operation in June by the department, with two others in Mithun, Tsirang and Phuntshothang, Samdrupjongkhar.

Installation of modern rice mills [... Read More]

Country’s first diploma course in survey

First batch begins program this month at Jigme Namgyel polytechnic

Dewathang: The first batch of 39 students is all set to start their diploma course in survey at the Jigme Namgyel polytechnic in Dewathang.

The program, which began this month, is the first designed in Bhutan where students will be trained to become surveyors.

Jigme Namgyel polytechnic’s director, (Dr) Andu Dukpa, said the course was introduced, based on studies conducted by the institute in 2008 and [... Read More]

Paro farmers appeal for tax rollback

WP_20140724_005Farmers wait outside the finance minister’s office

Dogar: Ten farmers from Paro appealed to the finance minister yesterday to do away with the sales and green tax imposed on utility vehicles.

The farmers, most of them from Dogar gewog, had placed orders for the Indian-made Bolero pick-up trucks from Zimdra, before the vehicle tax was revised in July 1.  The sales tax on utility vehicles was also not decided at that time.

However, when their vehicles had arrived and were ready for [... Read More]

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