KuenselOnline

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - 8:39 PM
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Missing the big picture

Apart from the famous mathra and yathra, Bumthang is known for frequent power blackouts.  Just recently, the dzongkhag was left without power for almost 20 hours. The spiritual heartland of the country, and one of the most visited places by tourists, Bumthang is a popular dzongkhag with its vast flatlands providing immense potential for development.  The Achilles heel is the irregular supply of electricity, especially in winter, when the dzongkhag endures temperatures below freezing point for a few months. A lot has improved since the [... Read More]

Balancing revenue and expenditure

We are living beyond our means.  Our current expenditure is increasing every year, while our domestic revenue doesn’t seem to grow apace. The country’s domestic revenue is projected to increase by 12.5 percent from 3.6 percent in the last fiscal year.  At the same time, current expenditure is estimated to grow by 14 percent. The Constitution mandates our internal resources to meet recurrent expenditures.  There is a need to close the gap between revenue and expenditure.  In an ideal situation, growth of domestic revenue should [... Read More]

Murder most foul

It is not often that we hear of cold-blooded murders in the country.  But the once in a while a case is enough to give us the shivers. The now apparent murder of a young man at the Central Plaza shopping complex in Lungtenphu, earlier this week, came as a chilling reminder of safety, or rather how of unsafe Thimphu has become.  It was a gruesome murder.  And it happened at a busy place, with some areas under camera surveillance.  From the way the face [... Read More]

BCSEA must regain public trust

Bhutan Council for School Examination and Assessment (BCSEA) will not reconduct BHSEC-XII English II examination. That is one of the greatest shockers the nation got in recent memory as BCSEA issued a communiqué to the media houses yesterday. The board has decided to evaluate English II paper and award the marks accordingly. What to make of this decision from a highly regarded office, we do not know. Authorities knew of the leakage of the paper on the very day of examination. That was one month [... Read More]

Lack of toilet etiquette

If the level of a society is measured by how public facilities are maintained, we are not very far from being barbaric.  This is particularly true when it comes to public toilets. And there is no denying that when it comes to the toilets at the two football stadiums.  The renovated national stadium boasts of huge sitting capacity and artificial turf with floodlights.  But there is no adjective to describe the state of the toilets located beneath the stadium. Sinks stained with doma juice and [... Read More]

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]

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