Friday, August 1st, 2014 - 5:50 PM

Dialogue for better democracy

DSC_8316Representatives at the forum yesterday

ECB: To promote a culture of dialogue and cooperation among political parties, and to build leadership in party members, a Bhutan democracy dialogue will be held annually starting this year. This was one of the ideas proposed by a team of 15 former members of Parliament, and top-level party executives from the five political parties, who visited Denmark on a 10-day trip last month. The chief election commissioner, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, announced it yesterday at a half-day meeting the commission and the parties organised on [... Read More]

Tomatoes become dearer

IMG_8814Hike surprise: A customer at the Centenary Farmer’s Market yesterday

Trade: The price of imported tomatoes in the local vegetable market has almost doubled because of the price hike in India. Until last week, a kilogram of tomatoes would cost about Nu 40 but now it has soared to about Nu 65 or more. It is estimated that the price has increased by about 200 percent in New Delhi and 300 percent in Mumbai because of scarce rainfall this year. Kinley Dem, 59, a customer at the vegetable market said it was surprising that the [... Read More]

Bhutan backs bid for SAARC development bank …

DSC_8190For a free trade: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay with commerce ministers and delegations from SAARC countries at the 8th SAFTA ministerial council meeting yesterday at the convention centre

… with branches in all eight member countries, if secretariat’s proposal is approved  SAFTA: SAARC countries will have a development bank with branches in all eight countries, if the proposal from the SAARC secretariat gets approved. Following the 8th South Asian free trade area (SAFTA) ministerial council meet yesterday in the capital, the economic affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk said the SAARC Development Bank (SDB) was important for Bhutan. The proposal will be tabled and decided at the 18th SAARC summit, which is scheduled for November [... Read More]

Bhutan and Nepal hold bilateral discussions

DSC_8280Economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk met Nepal’s minister for commerce and supplies, Sunil Bahadur Thapa, yesterday

Diplomacy: Tourism, indigenous crafts, and hydropower are the three areas, which Bhutan and Nepal have identified to explore for expertise and resources. This was discussed at the bilateral meeting between the economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk and the Nepalese minister for commerce and supplies, Sunil Bahadur Thapa, yesterday in Thimphu, after the SAFTA ministerial council meeting concluded. Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said these three sectors were among the many important issues discussed. “Nepal is very strong in tourism, just as Bhutan is,” lyonpo said, explaining that [... Read More]

Bid to raise land tax resubmitted

DT-members-discussing-each-other-during-tea-breakDT members continue discussion during tea break

Despite NA’s earlier rejection of the same, LG feels there is a strong case for a reappraisal  Mongar DT: Mongar dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) has decided to resubmit the proposal to increase land tax, which was shot down by the National Assembly during the parliamentary session recently. DT members said land tax was minimal and had not been revised for over 30 years.  Increasing the tax marginally would not make much difference to the farmers, but the additional revenue would benefit the gewog. Local government leaders [... Read More]

Modern processing units to commercialise rice farming

Rice.mill.test.run2014-034Modern rice processing unit during test-run conducted in June, at Research Development Centre, Bajo

DoA has so far set up three half-tonne capacity mills in Mithun, Phuntshothang and Bajo Agriculture: Farmers in Wangdue and Punakha will now process their paddy in a modern rice-processing unit that the department of agriculture installed in Bajo. The half-tonne capacity rice-processing unit in Bajo is one of three rice mills installed and tested for operation in June by the department, with two others in Mithun, Tsirang and Phuntshothang, Samdrupjongkhar. Installation of modern rice mills was initiated since last year to help reduce import [... Read More]

Paro farmers appeal for tax rollback

WP_20140724_005Farmers wait outside the finance minister’s office

Dogar: Ten farmers from Paro appealed to the finance minister yesterday to do away with the sales and green tax imposed on utility vehicles. The farmers, most of them from Dogar gewog, had placed orders for the Indian-made Bolero pick-up trucks from Zimdra, before the vehicle tax was revised in July 1.  The sales tax on utility vehicles was also not decided at that time. However, when their vehicles had arrived and were ready for delivery, the farmers were asked to pay the sales tax [... Read More]

Nganglam’s milky way

photo2Good business: The farmers’ dairy cooperative has been a commercial success since the start

A group of former orchard farmers has hit upon a winning formula Cooperative: By 7am, 36-year-old Tao Zangmo is ready to deliver her milk. She pulls a wide brimmed white hat off the mud wall of her house, tosses a bag of milk on her back, and marches out. “I have to reach Nganglam by at least 8am,” she says as she walks briskly under a blazing sun. She is delivering five litres of milk to a one-stop shop established in Nganglam town, an hour’s [... Read More]

Bhutan and Bangladesh to consider free trade agreement

DSC_8110Economics affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk and Bangladesh’s commerce minister, Tofail Ahmed

The two countries have met on the sidelines of the SAFTA meeting towards this effect SAARC: While the SAFTA ministerial council meeting begins today in the capital, economic affairs and commerce ministers from Bhutan and Bangladesh have already met to consider the free trade agreement to further strengthen its trade ties. Economics affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk and Bangladesh’s commerce minister, Tofail Ahmed met yesterday. Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said the free trade agreement would eliminate the tariff barriers and address non-tariff barriers. The first bilateral trade [... Read More]

Relocation delay worries Duksum residents

IMG_20140720_154428Missing out: Constructions suspended and waiting to be relocated

With a hydroelectric project in the offing, town dwellers are concerned they may miss out Khitshang:  Like a station awaiting a train delayed by hours, Duksum town has been in a slumber as long as its residents can remember. The little town at the confluence of the Kholongchu and Drangmechu, Duksum  is slowly waking from its sleep.  The 600MW hydroelectric project is waking up its residents.  They finally smell the prospects of business in the town, which usually went to sleep at sunset for many [... Read More]

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