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Monday, January 26th, 2015 - 8:19 AM
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PM stays true to type

Lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay is not known as an eloquent speaker.  But he did steal the hearts of those attending the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, among who were influential world leaders and India’s top-drawer businesspeople. The short address was punctuated with loud applause as lyonchhoen mixed his speech with chaste Hindi to the astonishment of the audience and the leaders.  Rave reviews, together with videos of the address, appeared on many websites, both local and Indian.  And he didn’t read that from a speech copy. But what [... Read More]

Look beyond civil service

There was a time when you did not have to worry about getting a job. You only had to finish school or graduate with a degree. There were always jobs available. We are living in a very different time today. Jobs in the government sectors are becoming scarce year after year. Our private sector is too small and weak to be able to create employment opportunities. Thousands of young people graduate from colleges and universities every year. Soaring youth unemployment is one of the major [... Read More]

Speed breaking the vehicle number

If the number of cars is any yardstick for development, we are speeding. From about 12,000 vehicles in the country two decades ago, there are almost 68,700 vehicles in the country. This is a huge number. We have one vehicle for every 11 people or 90 vehicles for every 1,000 people, topping the motor vehicle per capita in the SAARC region. But this is nothing to be proud of. While there had certainly been improvement is socioeconomic developments, we are experiencing a lot of problems [... Read More]

The corporate salary revision

The suspense continues.  It has been six months since the civil servants’ salary was revised with the 20 percent housing allowance they enjoyed getting clubbed to the raise. The trend in the past was that an automatic raise followed for the thousands working in companies under the Druk Holding and Investment (DHI) and the state owned enterprises or corporations. The silence on the raise for the corporations is speaking volumes. Should there be an automatic raise for the corporations?  What should the corporations be paid [... Read More]

Sharing information

Information is power. In the democratic establishment we are in today, providing timely and relevant information is vital for transparency and accountability and for people to make informed decisions. The highest law, the Constitution, guarantees the right to information to all citizens. This means that it is the birth right of individuals in the society to have access to information. Media is there just as a vehicle to carry information to the citizens. As individual citizens cannot approach agencies or ministries for information on a [... Read More]

Thinking beyond cost

English I is a subject that is different from English II. That’s why students have to sit two different exams. If the two subjects were the same, or almost, as BCSEA would like us believe, why are we taxing our teachers by making them teach two different things that are in essence just one and the same? This is the question parents and students are asking  in the wake of BCSEA’s decision to not conduct English II exam again. Authorities owe an honest answer to [... Read More]

Plugging the loopholes

In settling a long legal battle amongst four businessmen, the High Court has revealed several loopholes in the system of governance. They have found that the litigants had not paid income tax for years and expressed grave concerns of how businesses are getting away evading taxes. The High Court has also asked the department of revenue and customs to calculate and collect taxes based on income tax rules from the four businessmen. Going by the figures presented at the court, the amount not collected or [... Read More]

Fairly unfair

There will be no re-examination of the English paper II, says the Bhutan Council for School Examination and Assessment (BCSEA) board. The board unanimously decided that the best option at the moment is to validate the results based on marks students obtained in the sister paper, English I. This means that if a student scored 70 in English I, it will be considered the same for English II. The board had, after much consultations and thought, decided that this is the best way forward in [... Read More]

Letting private sector grow

Bhutan’s private sector has come of age. At a time when the country is increasingly facing unemployment problem, youth unemployment in particular, the news that our private companies are now poised to taken on bigger projects like hydropower, is highly encouraging. This is a sign of economic growth that we have been able to achieve since we launched our first planned development programmes some 50 years ago. Economic growth is necessary in that our very sovereignty rests on it. But our economy should grow in [... Read More]

Rumour: what cost?

Where fear is, happiness is not, said one Roman stoic philosopher many, many moons ago. When terror is put on the people, either physically or psychologically, it is peace that takes to the corner rattling and sheds copious tears. This is happening to our country today. Our people are under siege. Rumourmongers are terrorising our people in the south. The nation is called to be on full alert. Kidnapping has happened in the south because of porous borders we share with our neighbours. Across the [... Read More]

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