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Need to look beyond violation of trade rules and penal law

It has been found that Gopal Waiba Lama and RD Subha, the duo who called for applications to form an Integrated Farming and Food Processing Project in Tsirang using the name of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), violated trade rules in offering their services to obtain loans from REDCL.

Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) has now asked the Department of Trade (DoT) to penalise the loan promoters, PDP party workers both. It is curious how DoT should even come to the picture. If DoT trade must do that, how about the many business that run without licence from home?

In 2016, the two called for applications to form an Integrated Farming and Food Processing Project in Tsirang. But their attempts to establish the cooperatives failed because Royal Monetary Authority rejected the proposal because of legal framework. The Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives too did not accept the cooperative proposals due to procedural deviances from the Cooperatives Act and its regulations.

After they were unable to process loan, the two promoters closed the office and stopped responding to the calls of the applicants. What the applicants say is that the promoters should have at least come and explained why they couldn’t fulfil their promise. Because the duo operated from the office of PDP, the scam could have dragged the party in the mire.

The two promoters have been asked to return the forms and other enclosed documents to each applicant, through respective gewog administrations. The OAG also established that the duo must pay fine for violating rule one of RREOI and CVB.

The OAG has established that Gopal Waiba Lama and RD Subha did not breach the penal law. But what they did tantamount to scam. What is more, by operating from an office of a political party, they gave the impression that they were working on the behest of a political party. And this is dangerous.

Leaving up to the applicants to file civil suit if the promoters don’t refund the fees is no good solution. The danger is that if we fail to deal appropriately with this case, many such cases will arise in the future, which will only create disharmony in the society.

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