KuenselOnline

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - 1:01 PM
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Looking forward to rising prices

There are two extreme developments taking place with regard to the government’s recent decisions on green tax and import of vehicles. We will soon see at least a hundred brand new vehicles hit the road, judging by demands and enquiries vehicle dealers in the country are dealing with.  Notwithstanding the revised tax, which makes all types of vehicles expensive, there is, it seems, no dearth of buyers. The government had made a wise decision in raising taxes, as it is now evident that Bhutanese have [... Read More]

Let’s talk about it

It was breaking news on most websites yesterday.  Social media picked it up and spread the word.  A few hours after the news release from the health ministry on the number of people detected HIV positive, everybody was talking about it. HIV/AIDS news interests the public.  Whenever a new figure is released, it is talked about for days.  It is good that we are talking, but it is also important to know what people are exactly talking about. In many cases, there is nothing good [... Read More]

Banking on rain

Less rain this summer is taking its toll not only on rice growing farmers, but on the exchequer as well. With hydropower projects falling short of power generation targets, it is obvious the government’s spending power, especially on current expenses, will be affected.  The last time it rained heavily in the capital was when the Indian Prime Minister visited the country, and the recent one, when a furniture business literally drowned in water from an excessive, if brief, downpour. Similarly, throughout the country, the hydromet [... Read More]

A dangerous game

At an intensive care unit in a hospital in Kolkata, an 11-year-boy is suffering for no fault of his own. The boy has been unconscious since he was airlifted to the hospital on July 11.  Although the metal arrow that pierced his skull was removed, the boy has not regained consciousness.  Doctors have reduced sedation to assess the condition of the boy to external stimulation.  The boy is in a vegetative state. On that fateful day, had he been a metre ahead or behind, he [... Read More]

What we eat

Bhutanese are spoilt for choice when it comes to imported food items.  Our shops, from Thimphu to Dorokha, are now laden with a range of goodies, as our importers explore new places for variety, to stay ahead of the competition. But like we say, more does not mean better always.  We have to look at the quality of what is sold and consumed.  And at some stage, consider steps to control the quality of items being sold to protect the health and safety of the [... Read More]

Post the World Cup

Expect many sick leaves or excuses to come late to office today.  The World Cup finals just finished this morning. The month-long football festival has finally got over and, like everyone else around the world we lost much sleep watching the most watched sports event on earth. From Thimphu to Maracana, the FIFA World Cup gets the attention of millions of fans all over the world.  While there were heartbreaks and jubilant fans, including among Bhutanese, the world’s best sporting event, although only 32 nations [... Read More]

Stuck-up or stoked

The idea of a stakeholders consultation meeting is to encourage and engage in dialogue, so what’s proposed is effectively communicated, reviewed and agreed upon based on consensus.  This will promote accountability. In the past three days, at the information and communication ministry’s conference room, stakeholders and ministry officials reviewed the draft for the revised Bhutan Information Communication and Media (BICM) Act. In this case, since it is an amendment Act, the draft, once finalised, will be presented to a Parliament, and supposedly speak for itself [... Read More]

On cars again

To the relief of aspiring car owners, the government will finally lift the ban on import of vehicles from next week.  The finance minister will notify relevant agencies to do the needful. It has been more than two years since import of vehicles was banned, which initially started as a temporary measure to curb the outflow of Indian rupees.  The government was under pressure to lift the ban and, to be fair, it was never a wise decision to stop citizens from buying vehicles.  Vehicles [... Read More]

Financing further education

The education ministry’s idea of lending cheaper education loans, made possible through the economic stimulus plan (ESP), is a welcome idea. Each year, for the next five years, about 40 high school graduates wishing to pursue higher education can avail loan at a throwaway rate from the government.  Nu 30M will be allocated for education loan scheme. The catch is that the student has to have a minimum of 60 percent in academics, should come from a financially poor background, and pursue a course that [... Read More]

Daring to be decisive

The government is clear and firm on the pay revision decision the Assembly made. Notwithstanding the debate and criticism, the government said it would stick by what was endorsed.  There is less than three weeks for civil servants, constitutional post holders, and parliamentarians to receive their revised salary.  There is not going to be any turnaround. What we can take from, and after, the summer session of Parliament is that everybody played their role well.  The opposition, the National Council, the public and the political [... Read More]

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