Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - 5:52 PM
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Parliament to not discuss ACC’s autonomy

Speaker advices ACC and RCSC to suggest solutions

Parliament: The ongoing Parliament will not discuss the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)’s long-standing request for autonomy or complete independence over finance and personnel administration.

The ACC Chairperson, Dasho Neten Zangmo, recently wrote to the National Assembly Speaker requesting the Parliament to resolve the issue in line with the legislative intent of the Constitution. The commission already exercises functional independence, but it wants complete control over financial resources and personnel administration.


Truckers miffed over factory maintenance shutdown

IMG_8582Stranded: About 100 trucks are still waiting for cement at the Dungsam cement plant in Nganglam as cement plant undergoes annual maintenance

They claimed to have not been informed in advance though plant officials say otherwise

DCCL: More than 200 Bhutanese and Indian trucks were stranded for about two weeks in Nganglam when the Dungsam Cement corporation limited (DCCL) could not dispatch cement after the factory was shut down for maintenance since May 1.

Transporters complained of not being informed about the maintenance.  Each transporter had about 50 trucks waiting for the cement to be dispatched to various depots and hydropower projects.

DCCL has about 17 transporters registered with the company.  One of the transporters based in Gelephu said, the DCCL staff informed about such situations verbally only after the trucks reached the factory.  Once there, the staff keep them waiting saying they will get cement the next day.


Joint sitting endorses tenancy bill

The initial reaction of tenants is that the legislation is loaded in favour of landlords

Parliament: Despite a few members of parliament (MPs) disagreeing on some sections, a joint sitting of the Parliament endorsed the Tenancy Bill, 2014 yesterday.

Of the 66 members present, 60 voted in favour of the bill, while two voted ‘No’.  Four members abstained from voting.

Although some house owners are in favour of the endorsed bill, tenants feel that they are either way on the losing end.


Two women get six months each for voting in Indian elections

Crime: Gelephu dungkhag court has convicted two women to six months in prison each for voting in the Indian election in April last year.

Bindu Maya Sapkota, 44, from Puranabasty in Sarpang cast her vote on April 17 last year at Daragaon, Jaigaon, India, while 29-year-old Chandra Kumari Dhungana from Chuzargang voted from Dadgari, Assam.


Tenancy Act’s Second Coming

A joint sitting of Parliament has passed the Tenancy Act (amended) yesterday.  It will come into force once it receives Royal Assent.

But the parliament endorsing the Act didn’t stir a public discussion like when it was first proposed in 2004.  Forced by urban growth and pressure on housing, the need for a legislation to streamline house rent was felt more than a decade ago.  The Act was passed in 2004.  Not much has changed since, except that the Act was a good reference point for failed legislation.


Khoma road to be blacktopped by May

Road: Blacktopping of 5.45km Khoma Gewog Centre Road (KGCR) in Lhuntse is expected to be complete by May 28.

Contractor Sonam Jamtsho has asked for an extension period to blacktop the road.

“Blacktopping 3km road in two weeks is impossible. Rain will now disturb the work,” Sonam Jamtsho said.


More hands suspected in visa forgery case

Thorough investigation on to see if there is a racket behind the affair

Crime: A thorough investigation of the May 4 visa forgery incident, where visas of 19 Thai tourists were forged, is underway, according to the home minister, Damcho Dorji.

Lyonpo Damcho Dorji said that a detailed investigation into the issue was necessary to get to the root of the issue. “It may take some time because it’s not just about catching the people involved and putting behind bars,” lyonpo said.

“One person can’t do it alone without support of more people,” lyonpo said. “We have to see if there’s a fault in the system and for how long the racket has been going on.”


Indian investors explore Bhutan’s potential

The Bhutan and Bengal chambers of commerce signed a MoU towards this effect

FDI: If the visit by the delegation from Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India was any indication of more foreign investment in the country, then education, hospitality, information technology, agri-business and consulting are few areas of interest to India.

The presidents of both the Bhutan and Bengal chambers of commerce and industry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 13.


What’s to become of the two Gamrichu projects?

Sakteng-villageProspects: Sakteng village will benefit if the projects see the light of day

Though techno-economically viable, both encroach core areas of Sakteng wildlife sanctuary

Hydropower: When Druk Green Power corporation (DGPC) dug boreholes to carry out geotechnical studies in some parts of Sakteng last year, villagers assumed that the long awaited Gamrichu hydropower projects were finally taking off.

Today, after about seven months, locals claim they are yet to see any progress.  The issue was also raised during the recent dzongkhag tshogdu in Trashigang, where it was resolved that the matter would be forwarded to DGPC.

Sakteng gup Tshewang Tshering said that the probability of coming up with two hydropower projects, Gamrichu I and Gamrichu II, was planned during the tenure of the former government.


Bhutan not assessed for inclusive growth

Lack of data prevented UNESCAP from making the evaluation

Report: Bhutan performance on inclusive growth, a concept that explains how economic growth translates into improving people’s well being could not be assessed for lack of data.

Inclusive growth is a concept that advances equitable opportunities in terms of access to markets, resources, and an unbiased regulatory environment during economic growth, with benefits incurred by every section of society.  Its ultimate emphasis is on improving the living standards of the people.