Saturday, July 26th, 2014 - 5:02 AM

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]

13 minors raped in five months

Crime: The royal Bhutan army (RBA) has detained a soldier in their quarter guard for allegedly raping his daughters. While RBA was not available for comment, it has been learnt that the case surfaced when one of the daughters, a class X student, confided in her friends. The girl has said that she did not want to go home for the mid-term break, and alleged that her father had been sexually abusing and assaulting her for over eight years. An internal inquiry conducted by the [... 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]

First e-taxi makes a quiet start

Kencho-TsheringKencho Tshering

Kencho Tshering, the pioneer e-cabbie, says he’s yet to catch the passenger’s eye Transport: The car is neat and clean, both inside and out.  The dashboard almost reflects the afternoon sun.  There is enough room for the head and the legs, even for a six-footer. The gear looks like a small joystick and, when Kencho Tshering, the first electric taxi driver, puts it into drive, there is no noise of an engine starting.  The Nissan Leaf pulls out of the Changlimithang taxi parking silently, under [... 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]

Nikachu project to ensure minimal damage

Lessons have been learnt from the ramifications of the Mangdechu project Hydropower: Taking lessons from the Mangdechu project, the Nikachhu hydropower project (NHP) in Trongsa will install proper vibration systems, and initiate preventive and mitigation measures, to ensure minimal social and environmental damage in the communities from its work. Druk Green Power corporation (DGPC) managing director, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, said a lot of issues had been raised by the Mangdechu project, although precautions as stipulated in the environmental and social impact assessments and the mitigation [... 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]

Country’s first diploma course in survey

First batch begins program this month at Jigme Namgyel polytechnic Dewathang: The first batch of 39 students is all set to start their diploma course in survey at the Jigme Namgyel polytechnic in Dewathang. The program, which began this month, is the first designed in Bhutan where students will be trained to become surveyors. Jigme Namgyel polytechnic’s director, (Dr) Andu Dukpa, said the course was introduced, based on studies conducted by the institute in 2008 and 2010.  The study found that most organisations in the [... 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]

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