Basketball: The most prestigious basketball tournament in the country, the Coronation Cup, has been deferred considering the vulnerability of the venue, the swimming pool complex in Thimphu.
After the earthquake of April 25, Bhutan Basketball Federation (BBF) officials were cautious of using the old structure that was built in the early 1970s although no damages were reported. BBF has requested Advance Geo-Tech Engineering and Testing, a private company to inspect the safety of the old structure.
The European Union Ambassador to Bhutan, Joao Gomes Cravinho, Ambassador of Latvia to India Aivars Groza, Ambassador of Luxembourg to India, Sam Andre Auguste Schreiner and the Deputy Head of EU Delegation Cesare Onestine called on Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay yesterday in Thimphu.
RAA: More than Nu 251.37M (million) worth of revenue was foregone over the last six years through sale of superior kerosene oil (SKO) at subsidised rate to the Indian communities and business units in the border towns of Gelephu and Samdrupjongkhar.
The Royal Audit Authority (RAA), which conducted a special audit on import and distribution of LGP and SKO on the National Council’s directives, stated that the sale of subsidised SKO to the Indian communities was approved by the ministry of home and cultural affairs (MoHCA) and ministry of finance (MoF).
Most stakeholders feel a liberalisation of the sector will lead to equitable distribution of benefits
Tourism: Talks on whether tourism should be liberalised or not have come up again. This time it came up after the National Council’s economic affairs committee held several meetings with various tourism agencies last month.
Economic affairs committee’s chairman, Pema Tenzin, said tourism could contribute to employment generation, economy and towards poverty elimination. However, unlike in other countries, tourism doesn’t benefit local communities in Bhutan, while hotels and guides bear the brunt of the seasonality issue.
Deliberation: Should the country prosper, governments will have to avail loans even if public debt accumulated over the years seem alarming.
This was what both the former and current ministers said, during a daylong deliberation on the Royal Audit Authority’s report on public debt management.
However a debt management policy has already been drafted which is expected to address most of the audit findings.
It was all about “what ifs” at a meeting of heads of agencies and organisations to discuss our disaster preparedness.
The picture presented was gloomy as members discussed worst-case scenarios. What if our buildings in the city collapsed, mobile network got clogged or road network were disrupted severely when an earthquake of a huge magnitude hit us? As they brainstormed for ideas, there are not many things in place. But it was a good beginning and an important meeting.
Farm Road: To facilitate better market access to farmers and improve the quality of farm inputs including shortage of farm labour, agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji, inaugurated the first “Farm Shop/Sanam Tshongkhang” at Sephu gewog in Wangduephodrang on May 17.
According to a press release from the ministry, the “semi business venture” will have to guarantee the farmers’ a market for their local produce, sell farm inputs like seeds and fertilisers and provide hiring services of farm machineries and retail basic food and essential items.
Crime: Sarpang police last week caught a 17-year old boy in connection with a series of burglaries in Saprang and Thimphu.
The police managed to track him down after he broke into seven houses in Sarpang Tar and one in Hilay.
According to police, the boy was looking for cash and mobile phones.
He is a class VIII drop out and worked as a bouncer in one of the dance clubs in Thimphu. He is from Sarpang town and was living with his disabled father.
Update: Despite a rigorous search along the river Gamri and Drangmechu by a team comprising of policemen and volunteers yesterday, the two missing bodies of a five year-old girl and a 35 year-old driver of the Riju accident, were not recovered.
The search began from Riju until Rolong while villagers of Udzorong also initiated another search within probable areas near their villages. The search will continue today.
Six people were killed on May 17 when a Bolero they were travelling in veered off the road and fell about 1,000 feet into river Gamri. A lone woman survived the accident and was immediately referred to the regional hospital in Mongar. She is reported to be in stable condition.
Dialogue: It is time Bhutan started translating assessments and studies done so far on combating climate change into action, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said.
He said there are already numerous assessments within sectors that point towards strategies and policies for clean and green socio-economic development in Bhutan.
Lyonchoen called for action at the high level opening session of the ‘Dialogue on Climate Resilient and Carbon Neutral Development’ yesterday in Thimphu.
Green transport and clean production in industries, along with capacity building provided to both government and private sector stakeholders, was cited as an example of one of the assessments.