Home / Lead Story (page 4)

Lead Story

Who spent what on hospitality and entertainment?

Of the Nu 55.01 million (M) spent as hospitality and entertainment (HE) expenses in 2015-16 financial year, the former Prime Minister spent Nu 14.45M, according to the audit report Kuensel obtained. Among the ministers, former health minister spent the highest expenses on HE. He spent Nu 5.26M. The minister for agriculture and forests had the least expense. He spent Nu 1.40M. (See graph)

Read More »

Windstorm causes havoc in eastern Bhutan

The Sunday storm damaged more than 33 structures in Trashigang

A late afternoon windstorm destroyed over 60 residential and public structures in Mongar and Trashigang on Sunday, March 31. The damage to the affected households in two dzongkhags was immediately assessed and affected families received support from the respective disaster management sector yesterday.

Read More »

Students learning without understanding

Curricula of the country’s education system need a major overhaul if findings of the recently released Bhutan PISA-D national report are any to go by. The report calls for strengthening and enhancing competency based activities and assessment in curriculum and recommends teacher-training colleges to incorporate competency-based teaching and learning modules in pre-service training programme.

Read More »

What a waste!

Sometime in June 2017, Thimphu dzongkhag administration constructed several community bins on the outskirts of the city. By September, residents of Kabisa, Begana, Debsi and others had no place to dispose their garbage. The city’s residents had started using these bins causing it to overflow. The community bins were demolished.

Read More »

His Majesty in Bartsham

His Majesty The King graced the consecration of the new Chador Lhakhang in Bartsham, Trashigang, yesterday. Chador Lhakhang is among the most sacred religious sites in eastern Bhutan. Thousands of people from across the region and country visit and venerate the relic of Chana Dorji, which gives the monastery its name. The earliest temples and relics of the monastery date back to the 12th century, and are associated with Guru Rinpoche and Pema Lingpa.

Read More »

Plastic ban, no fooling matter

Twenty years after Bhutan first banned the use and sale of plastic carry bags, doma wrappers and ice cream pouches, the ban will be reinforced nationwide again on April 1. The National Environment Commission (NEC) has clarified that the ban is on business establishments and not on customers, who reuse and carry their own plastic bags.

Read More »

300 youth likely to return from Japan

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering has said the government has done enough to resolve issues plaguing the Earn and Learn programme in Japan. However, with about 300 youth returning home by June according to the parents’ committee, the problem appears to be only growing. As more than 100 have already arrived in Bhutan, there will be less than 300 youth in Japan.

Read More »

RCSC terminates contract for 74 gaydrungs 

Although the last National Assembly had resolved to retain the post of gaydrungs, the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) this month terminated the contract of 74 administrative assistants (gaydrung) after their contract ended on March 6. The first session of the third Parliament in January had decided to regularise their service as civil servants if circumstances are favourable or make their service para-regular (long term contract).

Read More »

What children in schools should eat?

Students of Sunshine Primary School present an assortment of healthy food children could carry as snacks to schools during the national school nutrition day on March 23 in Thimphu.

Bhutan today faces a burden of increasing overweight and obesity among children, which places them in the high-risk group of non-communicable diseases (NCD). This is happening at a time when concerns remain on hidden hunger, from malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, according to the education ministry. The 2015 national nutrition survey showed that 21 percent of children under the age of five are stunted, nine percent are underweight, and 4.3 percent are wasted.

Read More »

Fulfilment of pledges up to people’s interpretation: Govt 

The government stands by its interpretation that it has achieved most of the 25 pledges it pledged to fulfill in 120 days in office despite its assessment coming under increased criticism from the media and the Opposition. The Opposition’s assessment stated that only one pledge was achieved and about four achieved partially.

Read More »

Debt to GDP projected to decline to 76 percent

The country’s external debt is expected to fall from 105 percent of GDP in the current fiscal year to 76 percent by the end of 12th Plan, the finance ministry projects. However, in absolute terms, Bhutan’s external debt would increase from Nu 204B to Nu 215B. This is because the country’s GDP is expected to grow by an average of 6 percent in the 12th Plan. Expansion of GDP base would automatically reduce the debt to GDP ratio, meaning the decline in ratio would not translate into absolute decline in external debt.

Read More »

230 youth in Japan register for loan deferment

Representatives of the parents’ committee meet Bhutanese youth recently in Osaka, Japan (Photo: Ngawang Tobgay )

Labour Minister Ugyen Dorji has said that the number of Bhutanese youth placed in Japan under learn and earn programme applying for the newly introduced loan deferment scheme was increasing. He said that about 230 students had applied for the grace period as of March 18, the last date to register online. Deadline was given, he said, to gauge the interest among youth and their parents.

Read More »

Ministry looking to increase feeding schools

Ministry has proposed increase of Nu 2,040 stipend (File photo)

If everything goes as planned, 181 primary, lower and middle secondary schools in rural areas would receive meals from July this year, which is expected to benefit 31,460 students. The Cabinet has approved education ministry’s proposal to increase the number of feeding schools in the 12th Plan and to raise the stipend, according to Education Minister JB Rai.

Read More »