Sunday, March 29th, 2015 - 6:26 PM
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Progress in combating an epidemic

The good thing about events like the World AIDS day is that it accords us a moment to reflect on the epidemic that began to unfold some two decades ago in the country and measure progress it made and challenges it faces today. Thereon, it helps us plan and strengthen policies and measures we take to better fight this disease from further spreading in a small society like ours. In the early ‘90s when the epidemic was first detected in a Bhutanese, the reaction was [... Read More]

All for want of a raise

Elected representatives discussing and determining their own salary seldom sits well with the electorate. This was proven true during deliberations both at the National Council and the National Assembly in the past when members discussed their entitlements and other perquisites. Perhaps having realised this, the government chose to have a neutral committee comprising senior members from the bureaucracy to make recommendations on the prime minister’s pay and those of the Cabinet ministers. Until recently, it was thought the government had instituted the committee to look [... Read More]

More than a taxi parking

A no trespassing signboard put up yesterday at the taxi parking, adjacent Lungtenzampa fuel station, left many curious passersby, especially passengers, wondering what it was about. Behind the signboard is a line of taxis, with drivers calling out for passengers. Following the Supreme Court verdict, Thimphu thromde was asked to hand over the taxi parking area to its rightful owner, Tashi Commercial Corporation (TCC).  The signboard indicates TCC is asserting its rights over the 49.9 decimals of land in the heart of the capital city, [... Read More]

Don’t just amend, improve Tenancy Act

After almost a decade since the Tenancy Act came into effect, it is up for amendment today. However, this time the move is triggered not so much because tenants complain about erratic rent hikes, but it is seen as an embarrassment to legislators who framed the law that is made out to be a joke. Although the Act was crafted at a different time, it is this law that people associate parliamentarians with to mock the many legislations they make. It has stayed like permanent [... Read More]

Pool vehicle proposal

There is much lively discourse, both online and offline, on the government’s proposal to do away with the pool vehicle system and replace it with an allowance. A majority is convinced that pool vehicles are misused, and that doing away with the practice would save the government millions.  This group wants to be ruthless and lauds the government idea of replacing all pool vehicles.  The other group, while at one on the misuse, is concerned about the thousands of drivers and their families, who would [... Read More]

Bureaucracy equals hurdles?

The need to strengthen and promote private sector – the prime minister believes in it, politician agree with it, international experts endorse it, above all, the country needs it. At a time when the country is faced with issues of youth unemployment and economic uncertainty, it becomes all the more pertinent to turn to private sector for solutions. But what people in the private sector say is the country makes it hard to create businesses and for it to thrive. Unfortunately, it is again the [... Read More]

Local news from abroad

The local media was beaten hands down last week when they missed an important development in the government’s policy on electric vehicles. Foreign media broke the news about the government’s policy to make the “capital city an electric vehicle hotspot”.  Many papers and blogs picked up the news, where lyonchhoen was reported to have met the chief executive of Renault-Nissan to discuss supplying electric cars and charging system. Lyonchhoen was also quoted as saying, to kick off the plan, 100 taxis and some government vehicles [... Read More]

Spreading the scholarship

Australia, apart from India, Japan and Switzerland was one of the first few nations that assisted the country in its early development stages. Today, besides other assistance it provides, its kind gesture towards developing the country’s human capital is seen as one of the most prominent supports. Many senior civil servants, holding key positions in the bureaucracy today did diploma, under graduation, post graduation or higher in Australia through its many scholarship schemes. This assistance, over the years, has grown and in the words of [... Read More]

On the traffic of traffic

We can surmise that the government will not lift the ban on import of vehicles for a long time. This is evident from the cautious step it took in relaxing the ban on imports of some vehicles.  With immediate effect, Bhutanese can buy electric cars while farmers, farmers group, rural businesses and cooperatives can import “utility” vehicles. This move is expected to help rural development and encourage people to use eco-friendly cars.  Only time will tell if this interim measure was a wise decision. The [... Read More]

Overpowering unemployment

The word “mismatch” has become a catchword among authorities that have been musing over the country’s unemployment situation for quite some time as they continue to do even today. The term was used in reference to jobs available in the market, but ones that did not fit in with what graduates had to offer in terms of skills and qualification. Besides, even college graduates were seeking desk jobs and not those the market had in offer. School dropouts lacked the required skills to profit the [... Read More]