Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 - 1:44 AM
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The longstanding LPG rip-off

Have the liquid petroleum gas (LPG) distributors been cheating their clients for years?  A special audit on import and distribution of LPG in the country indicates so. For 15 years, from 1999 to 2014, consumers were over-charged, through collection of loading and unloading charges, home delivery and depreciation cost, which the distributors included in the final price of the LPG cylinder.  The three distributors have collected Nu 29.11 million in this period.

Meeting the meat eater’s whim

A lot of air was cleared yesterday, when members of the government, including the Prime Minister, said that the government had never planned to set up slaughterhouses in the country. The government is even willing to stop the meat-processing unit, which is nearing completion, if people are against the idea.  This will come as a relief to the people, who expressed strong resentment against the idea.

Being prepared

It was all about “what ifs” at a meeting of heads of agencies and organisations to discuss our disaster preparedness. The picture presented was gloomy as members discussed worst-case scenarios.  What if our buildings in the city collapsed, mobile network got clogged or road network were disrupted severely when an earthquake of a huge magnitude hit us?  As they brainstormed for ideas, there are not many things in place.  But it was a good beginning and an important meeting.

The proof of the pudding

On Friday, the Bank of Bhutan added yet another facility, as it keeps up with technology and the varying needs of its clients. The two latest services, mobile banking and agency banking, like its many other services, will make banking friendlier and easier.  Without having to bunk office for a visit to the nearest branch, clients could pay bills from their mobile phones, check account balance, and apply for credit card.  This will also save time, as they need not wait in long queues to [... Read More]

A meaty issue

Bhutanese have never debated so well on anything than on the ongoing issue of the government’s plan to start a meat-processing unit, and therefore slaughterhouses. Most are against it, with religious sentiment gaining momentum being the reason.  The dratshang’s plea to the government has added firepower.  Buddhist country, GNH country, and some even linking the recent earthquakes to the slaughter of animals, seem to be convincing many.

Tenancy Act’s Second Coming

A joint sitting of Parliament has passed the Tenancy Act (amended) yesterday.  It will come into force once it receives Royal Assent. But the parliament endorsing the Act didn’t stir a public discussion like when it was first proposed in 2004.  Forced by urban growth and pressure on housing, the need for a legislation to streamline house rent was felt more than a decade ago.  The Act was passed in 2004.  Not much has changed since, except that the Act was a good reference point [... Read More]

Lest we forget

Not long ago, when we were not what we are today, one thing that really didn’t bother us was what we consumed. Some cultivated land, some reared cattle and others bartered what they grew or produced.  Rice, corn, wheat or barley was in short supply, but we were happy.  Farmers grew vegetables in summer and dried them to save for winter, when supply was scarce and import non-existent.

Another reminder

Alone at home with her five-year-old daughter, a mother texted her husband to come home early, if he could.  She was scared.  With the gossip mill churning out stories of another big one coming soon, the second big earthquake in Nepal yesterday afternoon shook us again. There are no reports of major damages in the country, although we felt the tremors of the quake that happened 350km away.  Yesterday’s was closer to us and rumours are fast spreading that the next mishap could be on [... Read More]

Bringing our posterity well

Our cities and towns are rapidly becoming home to increasing number of desperate young people. Our young people are our hope, our guardians of peace and leaders of our prosperity. But, how are our young people really growing up? Youth crime is growing in our cities and our towns. We have records available from certain ministries and government agencies. Alas, records we have access to are way too old and irrelevant! Some of the government websites that are supposed to give us fresh information have [... Read More]

For the convenience of us all

In what will be a welcome change on the Thimhu-Babesa expressway, the Thimphu thromde will start designating pick up and drop off stands to ease traffic congestion. This is one facility conspicuously missing on our roads, whether it is in small towns or the capital. Without such a facility, taxis abruptly stop on seeing a passenger, causing panic to the driver behind. Often, this leads to accidents. During rush hours especially, we can see drivers eye-balling at each other as they manoeuvre the little space [... Read More]

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