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Bell Helicopters bids for country’s chopper service

DSC_6846Ambassador Nadir Patel

Transport: Bell Helicopters, an American rotorcraft manufacturer headquartered in Forth Worth, Texas, has placed a bid and the government is actively considering the overall procurement process.

This is what Canadian ambassador to Bhutan, Nadir Patel, said yesterday. Bell, he said, has an exceptional product and expertise on different types of terrains.

“Bell has exceptional capacity  and [Bhutan government] has announced its intention to acquire helicopters. Bell has placed a bid and it has been actively considered in the overall procurement process…Bell has an exceptional product and expertise on different types of terrains,” said Nadir Patel.


Picture story

From left: The Ambassador of Fiji to Bhutan, Yogesh J Karan and the Ambassador of Canada to Bhutan Nadir Patel presented their credentials to His Majesty The King at the Trashichhodzong on June 18.


Focus point

Proposed electricity act amendment implausible

The NA’s recommendations don’t congeal into cogent arguments for the proposed amendment of the Electricity Act 2001.  Here’s a look at each of them:

Finalise the hydropower policy first, then amend the Act

The Electricity Act 2001 and the Bhutan Sustainable Hydropower Policy (BSHP) 2008 are two separate, guiding documents.  The Act provides for the restructuring of the domestic electricity industry and possible private sector participation in the electricity supply business by way of setting up mechanisms for licensing and regulating companies in the sector.  On the other hand, the BSHP 2008 provides the framework and guidelines for accelerated hydropower development, mainly to mobilise funds and attract investments.  The finalisation of the latter, therefore, shouldn’t necessarily have a bearing on the former.


Bhutan prepares for natural disasters through regional cooperation

Asia-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world. In 2014, natural disasters affected 80 million people and accounted for nearly $60 billion in economic losses. Economic losses from disasters are rising rapidly, due in part to the increasing number of people living in disaster risk areas and rapid urbanization in the region. Asia-Pacific suffers from a variety of hazards, most recently the fatal earthquake in Nepal killing over 8,500 people.


Voter turnout should be the priority, says DNT

The party feels the ECB is barking up the wrong tree

Politics: The Election Commission of Bhutan should focus on building a free and fair election, and strategies to increase voter turnout, instead of arguing on the cost implications of allowing voters to vote from their place of residence, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) said.

Rebutting the estimates worked out by the commission on human resources and budgetary implication for arranging residential voting in the upcoming elections, DNT yesterday wrote to the commission, seeking clarification on why the party was not allowed to present its findings on the same subject.


Diarrhoea outbreak in Tokari, Mongar

A possible cause is suspected to be contamination of the village’s drinking water

Health: An outbreak of diarrhoea in Tokari village, Tsamang, Mongar has affected about 14 people, including eight children, since the first case was reported on June 14.

After seeing nine similar cases since the first case was reported in a three-year-old boy, the Tsamang basic health unit’s health assistant reported the outbreak to the dzongkhag health officer and Mongar regional referral hospital on June 17.


ACC suspends one more business license

Business: The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has suspended one more business license in Phuentsholing yesterday bringing the total number of licenses suspended to 13 since its investigation started on April 20.

The business license of Rabten Pharmaceutical and Medical Supplies, which belongs to Yangki Tshering, was suspended after finding a prima facie case of corruption.  “The notice shall remain effective until further order from the commission,” the suspension order stated.


International Yoga Day to be observed on Sunday

Society: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Indian ambassador to Bhutan, Gautam Bambawale, will get get down on the floor, and stretch, twist and turn their bodies in an attempt to unionise their body and mind, to observe the first ever International Day of Yoga on June 21.

The Indian Embassy in Thimphu in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Management will hold a mega yoga session at 9:30am at the multi-purpose hall of the institute in Semthokha, it was announced at a press conference, yesterday.


Tapping the potential of unemployed rural youth

Workshop: Around 40 unemployed youth, who dropped out of school after classes X and XII from across Punakha district, are attending a two-day consultative meeting on sensitisation of youth cooperative formation at the Khuruthang Technical Training Institute.

While most are helping their parents in the fields, some are running small shops for their families.