Friday, April 18th, 2014 - 4:34 PM

Let’s eat our own

Agriculture is Bhutan’s mainstay. And this requires the country to give it a boost, not just in terms of policies and dreams, but in shape and weight that is real.

We are an agricultural country with over 79 percent of population involved in the sector. Yet the irony is that we do not produce enough to feed ourselves. This must necessitate us to think, earnestly and in good faith.

Not being able to produce our own and [... Read More]

Mining loopholes

Villagers of Khariphu in Thimphu are at loggerheads with a mining company over the renewal of the lease they granted years ago to mine limestone above the village.

The proprietor wants to renew the licence. He had done it for the last 10 years. But villagers have changed their mind and are not willing to sign documents that would allow him to continue mining.

Villagers say that mining activities are affecting health of the village people and [... Read More]

Managing water

Bhutan joined the international community to observe the World Water Day on Saturday.

Besides the songs, dances and skits schools performed to observe the Day, the focus this year was on a rural community in Mongar. About 157 households of remote Kengkhar and Jurmey received water filters as a solution to their water shortage problem.

Depending on rain for drinking water, the community will, as long as the filters last, have safe drinking water. Jurmey and Kengkhar [... Read More]

Putting the brake on electric cars

There is a twist in the electric car story with the central bank directing banks not to sanction loans to buy electric or utility cars.

A ban on vehicle loan already stands and the central bank decision has come as a disappointment to those waiting to drive a new car, electric or motor driven.

But more than to individuals, it comes as a slap to the government’s policy of switching to electric cars. The government is promoting [... Read More]

Unsustainable consumption?

A highlight of the discussion yesterday at the Imagine Change local forum in Thimphu was on a concept called sustainable consumption, that is “largely unexplored” in the country.

Although only a handful of local participants attended, hopefully not an indication of lack of interest in the concept, it should be explored even as we discuss the New Development Paradigm.

The first question that springs is should Bhutanese be concerned about sustainable or unsustainable consumption? Are we consuming [... Read More]

The cordyceps issue

The agriculture ministry’s proposal to increase permit fee for cordyceps collection and royalty from exporters didn’t go well with the local leaders from the highlands. Nor did the idea of limiting collectors from each household.

Vocal and sometimes even over excited, the local leaders voiced the concerns of the people they represent, with good reasons, at the stakeholder meeting in Thimphu. Cordyceps doesn’t grow on trees nor can it be cultivated. Ask a highlander and he [... Read More]

Welcoming Spring

The frost has fled and the chill is gone. And the yesterday’s evening rain settled the dust to bring a perfect morning.

If spring is the other name of freshness and a new beginning; it brings with it ample prayers and hopes. The peach blossoms, plants and flowers, waking from a long slumber, fields starting to wear green and the days getting longer, is indeed the season to look forward to.

Some may say that the peach [... Read More]

Beyond the website contest

The prime minister’s initiative to hold a contest among government websites and grade them is a smart move to improve public service delivery.

The contest will grade websites on a number of criteria including spelling and grammar. And while information technology experts and content providers put in effort, to win the competition or save faces, the public will be the winner of the contest.

Government websites, the Lyonchhoen, who is active on social media like twitter and [... Read More]

Awaiting the pay raise

There is a lot of expectation, suspense and speculation among civil servants with the Pay Commission’s report now resting with the government.

Will there be a raise? How much will be the raise? Will we get housing allowance? When will it come into effect? These are some of the burning questions on civil servants’ mind even as they wait for the government to review the report and make the final decision.

The government and the Pay Commission [... Read More]

A lasting solution, at last?

There is no better time for farmer Kinzang of Bidung to look forward to a fruitful year.

Having heard herself that the government had approved the installation of electric fences to protect their crops from wild and stray animals, she can relax and prepare for the busy season ahead.

Wild animals depredating crops had been a perennial problem for Bhutanese farmers.  From Sipsu to Nganglam, Laya to Sarpang, farmers complaining of losing crops, some their entire harvest, [... Read More]

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