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Saturday, January 31st, 2015 - 12:29 AM
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The climate clock is ticking

Environment officials have given industrialists in Pasakha an ultimatum. They are asked to mitigate pollution or close their shops. The government is serious about pollution, and any violation of standards comes with repercussions. This is good not only for the country but for humanity even as we, part of the global village, fight climate change and global warming, largely blamed for the continuous increase in emissions.  As a country located in a fragile ecosystem, and with guidance from wise leadership, our priority is to protect [... Read More]

Making their courage count

It was a difficult decision for the three people, who went public yesterday with their HIV status.  While we can only imagine what went through their minds when they were called to the podium to share their story, we can only laud and thank them for their effort and decision. The reason was simple, but important.  They hoped their story would change how people view people living with the disease.  There was the risk of family, relatives and society looking at them differently from today, [... Read More]

A bittersweet goodbye

The gloomy weather over Jazam, Thimphu reflected the sense of loss as the government of Denmark officially marked the end of a 35-year long assistance in Bhutan’s development journey. As one of the oldest development partners and the biggest bilateral donor after India, the fruit of the cooperation is today evident across all sectors.  Based on a shared value of promoting the welfare of the people, Danish assistance has made a huge difference to the lives of Bhutanese since it came to Bhutan more than [... Read More]

Flaps over bills

Discussions in the Assembly, where the ruling and opposition parties come face to face, are getting interesting and often polarised as ideas differ on issues.  Those who watch it revel in the intensity. Good debate is an integral part of democracy.  It will give those closely following discussions deeper insight and understanding of national policies and decisions that would impact their lives.  More importantly, both agreements and disagreements, if deliberative and not based on narrow party interests, are signs of a healthy democracy. Yesterday, heated [... Read More]

The law of the land(lord)

The National Council passed the Tenancy Act 2014 yesterday. This is indeed a piece of good news for thousands of tenants and landlords, particularly in the booming towns of the country. For far too long we have had to deal with issues of landlords exploiting tenants, and tenants finding ways to get away with it all. Economic realities change as the sun sets and rises above our heads day after day. So, this reality of all ought to have been at the centre of the [... Read More]

A regional association, sort of

Leaders of the eight SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries have gathered in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, for the 18th summit.  But even before their planes have landed at the Tribhuvan Airport, analysts are already drawing conclusions that it will be another futile marathon of speeches. The verdict on the summit, even before it begins, is damning – that it will not go beyond the everyday rhetoric. A local politician called SAARC the regional association for conversation and not cooperation in a recent [... Read More]

The status quo prevails

The National Assembly yesterday decided that there was no need to amend the Election Act, 2008.  But it was not as straightforward as the result of the secret ballot cast. After more than three hours of disagreement, the Speaker asked for a vote and 27 members voted “nay” to an amendment.  Going by the nature of the discussions, it was mostly the members of the opposition that wanted the Act to be revisited, if not amended, now.  The debate was almost between the members of [... Read More]

From natural to national resources

The government has approved the State Mining Corporation that will operate as a company under the Druk Holding and Investments soon. It may be a mere coincidence, but the timing of the announcement was perfect, as the Royal Audit Authority, on the advice of the National Council, conducted a performance audit on tax of mining and quarrying sector, which revealed a lot of unhealthy trends in the sector in its findings. The decision to establish a state corporation was already made, but the findings of [... Read More]

Growing at GNH not GDP

The poor growth rate of 2.05 percent last year has alarmed some, while some were quick to lambast the government for the poor performance on the economic front. The government had successfully campaigned on reforming the economy, and pledged an average growth rate of 10 percent during their term.  So, when the economy registered its worst growth rate in more than a decade, there was cause for concern. But to be fair, it is the first year of the ruling government, and they took over [... Read More]

The central school comeback

The petition from parents in Jigmeling to the gewog office not to shut down the primary school in the village is a timely reminder to policy makers, who are in the midst of working on centralising schools in the country. Besides the consultation at all levels, the issue raised by the villagers comes as a good feedback, a sincere concern of the centralisation policy.  Parents, especially those in rural areas, are not vocal during consultations, but perhaps they opened up when they realised they were [... Read More]

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