Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - 4:10 AM
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The Year of the Sheep is upon us

Before we knew it, the Year of the Horse has galloped away. It was a fairly successful year. Disasters were minimum, we enjoyed peace and prosperity, and even with a lot of hurdles on the economic front, the year sailed through smoothly. But what do we do at the end of any year? We look ahead to a new year! Bhutan this year has special reasons to do so. It is a year of celebrations. We are already in the mood. Celebrations to mark the [... Read More]

The SOE salary revision

The suspense is at last over.  Salary revision for employees working in state-owned enterprises has been finally finalised.  The revision between 19 and 25 percent at various levels will come into effect from July 1, 2014. In other words, many will feel that it was worth the wait.  The decision to pay them an almost eight-month revised amount in arrears will come as a generous Losar gift.  With the corporate allowance also increased from 20 to 25 percent, it is a significant revision. And the [... Read More]

Does it take a disaster to eliminate delay?

It was windy and the sky was overcast in Sarpang on Sunday. Some were expecting rain as thunder roared in the distance. The rain didn’t come. Nearby Gelephu was welcoming light showers, and the last thing residents expected was news of a major fire accident in their neighbouring town. But it did happen. Sarpang bazaar was nearly wiped out when a fire broke out at around 8:30pm on Sunday. The fire destroyed 81 shops along with the goods inside. There are 132 such shops, all [... Read More]

Need to tackle the symptoms first, not the malaise

Night is a time of behaviours dark and wild and bright.  Night is a time of privacy.  This day in the country, however, what is time of peace for one is also a time of violence for a growing number of young people.  We live in a time of change that compels us to look deeper into our own souls. Our small and happy society is no longer at peace with itself.  This is no exaggeration.  We should be able to accept this much, at [... Read More]

Trimming the TA/DA sails

Call it a poor decision, or putting the cart before the horse, the decision to increase the daily sustenance allowance by 100 percent, without increasing the budget, has not gone well for civil servants. If the idea of increasing the allowance was to meet the cost of being away from home on official duty, it has served the purpose.  Cost of living has increased.  With Nu 500, one cannot even rent a decent hotel in almost all the towns in the country.  It would be [... Read More]

Need for a sustainable pension plan

The news is that the National Pension & Provident Fund (NPPF) stands at precarious spur. If there is no significant reform, civil pension scheme will last only until 2042, and the armed forces’ pension scheme until 2039. As we report on pension schemes and its sustainability in our paper today, the message is that we should be begging for a major reform. It is a new dawn today and not all mornings are sunny indeed. Mists and clouds of prosperity often have us looking for [... Read More]

Finding a cure for the ‘number’ phobia

This year’s board exam results give us reasons to celebrate.  At the same time, we are compelled to engage ourselves in some deep soul-searching.  We had the best class XII result in eight years with a pass percentage of 89.38.  But this year’s class X result is the worst in eight years.  About 30 percent of the students failed in mathematics, which means some 5,972 students missed the 61 percent cut-off point. While there is a small comfort that there are many private schools, they [... Read More]

Healers sans Hippocratic oath

Sonam sprained two fingers at a football match in Changlimithang on Saturday.  As he was being substituted, his friends brought out the names of at least three local healers he should immediately visit. The nearest was the national referral hospital with x-ray machines, orthopedists and painkillers available all round the clock.  But Sonam went to see a school caretaker, reputed for fixing sprains and fractures.  Yesterday, he had to go to the referral hospital, as one finger was not fixed. This is in the capital [... Read More]

An unhealthy trend

Kuensel on Sunday received an invitation to cover an inauguration of a community centre. It is a normal routine to receive invitations to cover events, except that this one had a warning attached to it. If the event were not covered, they would not cooperate with Kuensel in future! The future cooperation here could be about not “giving” information or even advertising, that newspapers depend so much on for sustenance and survival. The event was covered. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Our newsmakers [... Read More]

Give DDM its right of place

More than three years after the enactment of the Disaster Management Act, we hear that we do not even have an emergency operation centre. Why we do not have an instant command centre yet, we would like to know. The centre is a critical component of disaster management system in the country. What has taken us too long to establish one for the benefit of our nation and the people is indeed wonderful. Lack of fund is an excuse by far inadequate. We spend close [... Read More]

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