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Govt asks ACC to investigate former MoWHS minister’s conflict of interest in granting fiscal incentives

The government wrote to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on January 25 to look into a case of conflict of interest involving the former works and human settlement minister Yeshey Zimba in connection to fiscal incentives the last government had granted.

“The present Government is of the view that there were elements of policy corruption, abuse of official power and functions, failure to declare obvious conflict of interest and official misconducts involved in granting the additional fiscal incentive,” a press release issued today from the Prime Minister’s office states.

It states that, the former minister’s daughter is the owner (partner) of an FDI incorporated hotel venture in Thimphu town called M/s Bhutan Hotel Ltd. (now operated as Le Meridien) which was under active construction at the time of approving the additional fiscal incentive.

“As the Prime Minister was absent during 156th Session of the Lhengye Zhungtsog, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba chaired the Session at which the additional fiscal incentive was approved,” the press release states. “ Hence, Yeshey Zimba had not only failed willfully to ‘Declare Conflict of Interest’ as required by law but had even chaired the very 156th Lhengye Zhungtsog which allowed him to exercise edge over other members in leading towards the approval of additional fiscal incentives.”

It states that according to official records, M/s Bhutan Hotel Ltd. (Le Meridien) alone had benefited by Nu 76.88 million from the additional incentives. Hence, out of 92 hotels, M/s Bhutan Hotel Ltd. (Le Meridien) alone had benefitted by 41.20 percent of the total tax exemption amount, it states.

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