Saturday, May 30th, 2015 - 4:24 PM
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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]

Looking forward to the fest

Thimphu residents will not run short of entertainment for about a week, as a plethora of artists, both local and international, congregate in the capital city for the biggest Bhutan international festival. It is the first time the country is hosting an international festival, that too of film, music, art, food and sports.  It is indeed a big thing to look forward to.  It will be an enthralling experience, as the entertainment-starved city is consumed by a culture that is fast advancing everywhere. For the [... Read More]

Fuel and prices

With the latest price cut, petrol and diesel today are at their cheapest for many years now. The price of petrol, which touched Nu 73 a litre in July 2013, has dropped by a whopping Nu 16 a litre. Diesel prices at one time reached that of petrol in 2013.  It is cheaper by Nu 14 now. The drastic drop is because of the fall in crude oil price.  Experts are analysing the impact of the sudden drop in fuel prices on the global economy. [... Read More]

Post exam angst

Much to the relief of students and school authorities, the class XII results are now out.  With the controversy surrounding the leaked English II paper, there was unease and uncertainties, but surprisingly, the final results have something to cheer about. It is, according to officials, the best results in a long time, with an overall higher pass percentage.  Six of the 10 examination toppers were girls, and pass percentage is higher in the science stream, which is considered to be a difficult subject for Bhutanese.  [... Read More]

Communities comes of age

Pemagatshel may be a backward dzongkhag, economically, but when it comes to expressing their rights, they are not far behind. The villagers of Nangkhor stopped a private mining company from digging below their village.  When villagers were consulted about the mine, not many agreed to the idea.  A vote was called for and only six villagers gave it the green light.  The remaining 53 were adamant that mining was no good for them, even if they understood it would benefit the country’s economy. We can [... Read More]

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