Year ender (Aviation) Competition on the popular Bangkok route caused airfares to hit a record low in 2013.
A price war between new entrant Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air pvt ltd) and Drukair led to fares dropping as low as Nu 10,000 on the Paro-Bangkok sector.
With Bhutan Airlines planning to add more international routes this year, more drops in airfares could occur.
While prices will bounce back to normal rates in the tourist [... Read More]
To a large extent, in both council and assembly, voters went for change
Year ender (Elections) In keeping with the character of the reptile, Bhutan went through a moulting process in the year of the snake, shedding the first democratically government and ushering in a new one.
The country last year voted former opposition party, People’s Democratic party, as the second government. A new set of National Council was also put in place.
The process, though, [... Read More]
Year ender (Tourism) Bhutan’s infinite charms were able to draw only 10 percent more tourists last year – the lowest growth in five years. But the rise in the dollar, and the minimum daily tariff brought some relief.
In all, 116,224 international and regional tourists visited last year.
The international or dollar-paying tourists arrival was 52,798, an increase of only 329 tourists from the previous year.
Bhutan is facing rising competition from destinations, such as Myanmar and [... Read More]
Year ender (Wildlife) The year of the snake came to the rescue of its kin, the reptilian tokay gecko.
The nocturnal Asian lizard, believed to be prized for its medicinal value in the illegal wildlife trade circuit, kept foresters in the southern belt busy, and the mainstream and social media active.
The reptile came into the limelight in October, when foresters of Gelephu range office rescued a 14-inch long tokay gecko from the Gelephu tsachu caretaker.
While [... Read More]
Year ender (Crime) As a part of its ongoing drug bust, 364 people from across the country were arrested for possession, consumption, and trafficking of controlled substances, Thimphu police revealed yesterday.
Of the total, 152 were charged for drug abuse, 145 for abuse and possession, and the rest for trafficking.
The crackdown began since last December. Police seized about 59kg of marijuana, 910g of brown sugar, and 550g of dendrite. Police also found 22,917 spasmoproxyvon capsules, [... Read More]
Year ender (Football) What could be more exciting than watching LIVE one’s favourite football team thrash the other, whoever that may be? The FIFA World Cup? Of course!
While football dominated the sports arena in the year of the snake, the World Cup was the highlight with thousands lining up at the Changlimithang stadium to get a glimpse of the 18 carat gold trophy, deemed more valuable than its worth in gold.
As Brazil prepares to [... Read More]
Vegetable exports have more than doubled since the liquidity crisis first hit
Year ender (Agriculture) The upside of the rupee crunch was that the agriculture sector doubled vegetable exports to India.
The goal in 11th five-year Plan (FYP) is to halve what comes into the country, and triple what goes out. Bhutan exported 1,563MT of vegetables from January to August in the year of the snake, earning more than Nu 24M. This was the highest export [... Read More]
Year ender (Hydropower) The hydropower sector met with one of the biggest problems so far, resulting in delay of the Punatshangchu I hydropower project by over a year, and project cost soaring by Nu 3.5B.
In July, the project came across a ‘geological surprise’, one that halted works on the dam site and resulted in removal of certain installations. The area above the dam site on the right bank of Punatsangchhu slid five metres vertically [... Read More]
Year ender (Health) When the Snake Year slithered in, the health sector had claimed to shed some of its old skin, especially the problem of drug shortages, controversies and corruption.
The snake, which appears prominently in the logos of the health ministry, the medical council, and its partner, the world health organisation, is believed to symbolise rejuvenation, and is closely linked with poison and medicine.
While the 226 snakebites recorded in 2013 across the country may [... Read More]
Year ender (Judiciary)It was a trial of the judiciary, this year of the snake.
This arm of government was criticised, its judgments challenged by the public, constitutional bodies and private law practitioners.
One of the strong criticisms was the retrospective application of law, particularly in relation to the Gyalpoizhing land allotment case that set precedent for Anti-Corruption Commission to prosecute.
Lawyers felt the very institution meant to provide justice through proper application of laws breached the [... Read More]