Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - 10:13 AM

Alternatives before bans

Banning the use of plastic bags has for far too long been a vexed issue in our small society.  We need only hark 15 years back, to 1999, when we made headlines in the international media by imposing a ban on the use of plastic bags.  Sadly, however, we had to reinforce the ban in less than six years. But hope springs eternal.  Recently, the business community of Dewathang in Samdrupjongkhar committed to reduce the use of plastic bags by not making them freely available [... Read More]

Challenge of living up to a profile

Of late, Business Opportunity and Information Centre, the agency created to rev up the country’s stunned economy has been pushed to the limelight. That limelight, however, is not one in which to enjoy, but to beware of public scrutiny and rightly so when it has been lobbed with such a formidable responsibility of stimulating a dwindling economy. Therefore, it is only natural for all eyes to be drawn to the centre’s credibility and the recent incidents and subsequent allegations have done anything but help its [... Read More]

Reforming the education system

For almost nine months, six-year-old Tandin Gyem is separated from her single mother.  The pre-primary student of Dawakha lives with her neighbour and another five children in a temporary shed near the school. As she is from the same gewog where the school is located, she is not eligible for the boarding facility the lower secondary school provides.  She would have to walk 10 kilometres to school every day if she stayed with her mother.  It is a tough choice for Tandin and her mother. [... Read More]

It’s but one responsibility

On the pretext of their dissatisfaction with the acronym GAO used in reference to them, gewog administration officers pointed out the need to sort out roles and responsibilities between them and the gup. Although much of the disparity in functions of the two local government office bearers have been straightened since similar issues first emerged in 2008 when the post was created, there continues to be some confusion still. Perhaps, as some gewog administrative officers put it, it was less of an administrative job they [... Read More]

Lifting the restrictions

Much to the delight of those waiting to construct house and buy new vehicles, the central bank has decided to lift restrictions on both housing loans and import of cars. The restrictions, which initially started as a temporary measure will be in place for exactly two years, when parliamentarians meet to discuss it in the summer session of the Parliament. However, the restrictions will be lifted on the condition that fiscal measures are put in place keeping in mind the current account deficit and import-export [... Read More]

Waste of public fund

Having been known only for cultural tourism, tour operators and tourism authority were pressed for seeking an alternative to keep the industry going. It was only during times of festivals, as continues to be the trend even today, that tourism flourished. For the rest of the months, most tour operators were dormant. The need to diversify the business, especially in terms of attracting tourists during lean periods was greatly felt. That was when the long conceived idea of eco-tourism came in considering the lush untarnished [... Read More]

(De) valuing local festivals

There were not many locals at the Paro dzong courtyard yesterday where the annual tsechu is going on. Like one Thimphu resident who returned after the first day said, there were just as many locals as there were tourists. This is not a trend isolated to Paro alone, but one that has been noticed in many other festivals across the country, more so in dzongkhags surrounding the capital city. Local festivals, especially tsechus, besides being a religious event to feel blessed and cleansed of sins, [... Read More]

Where are we on anti-corruption drive?

Much has been achieved in the country’s efforts towards fighting corruption, yet much remains to be done. In less than a decade since the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was established, many incidents of dishonest and fraudulent conducts, especially in terms of misuse of public money, by those in power including their subordinates, were exposed, charged and taken to task. The embarrassment that brought those involved in corrupt practices, to an extent, acted as a deterrent initially, so much so that the mere mention of ACC or [... Read More]

ESP should not stall the economy

The thrills and spills of economy is now upon us as the government injects 2.1 billion into the financial institutions to stimulate the country’s economy that’s not at all in a good shape. Even as the country’s economy slowed down to the extent that tough measures had to be taken, like stopping the housing loan to reduce Rupee outflow, our banks have excess money – Nu 13 billion altogether. That’s the total money our banks have in excess and is lying idle, and the government [... Read More]

Public confidence shaken?

With misappropriation, embezzlement and corruption cases frequently making headlines, our society may not be shocked nor are they disturbed when misappropriation of government funds are reported. But when government officials are involved in robbing the public that they are supposed to help, it is disturbing. And it can be more disturbing when people in distress are robbed of what they are entitled to recover from disasters. The Anti-Corruption Commission is on a case where dzongkhag and local government officials had allegedly misappropriated about Nu 590,000 [... Read More]

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