Friday, August 22nd, 2014 - 7:56 AM


Forward to the past?

More than two years after the blanket restriction on loans, the government is, step by step, lifting the restrictions, which many claim has brought many businesses to a halt.

First to go was the restriction on the import of furniture and alcohol.  By the end of next week, restrictions on housing and vehicle loans will be lifted too, undoing all the restrictions put in place by the former government.

A blanket ban on loans is bad for [... Read More]

Stop door-to-door campaign and appointing party tshogpas

IMG_2615Day 1: Punakha’s Dzongkhag Thogdue began yesterday

Local leaders made this proposal at the Punakha DT yesterday

LG elections: Local leaders of Punakha proposed to do away with door-to-door campaigning, and appointing political party coordinators (tshogpas) at the local level during elections, at the dzongkhag tshogdu, yesterday

Barp gup Wangchuk raised the issue, because such practices have caused problems in conducting fair elections, as well as created division among the people.

The issue was discussed earlier with the National Council’s legislative committee, where [... Read More]

Keeping track of tourism’s carbon footprint

The industry will have its own environmental information system to measure emissions, energy use and waste

ABTO: An Environmental Information System (EIS) for the tourism industry will be developed that will maintain data on carbon emissions, energy use and waste.

This is a part of the low carbon tourism project initiated by the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO), with financial support from the European Union ‘switch Asia programme’.

Low carbon project officials said the EIS [... Read More]

Drones (quadcopters, actually) for health

DSC_8735Test flight: Lyonchhoen, health minister, WHO representative and Matternet team watch a drone take off from referral hospital to Chamgang BHU (II) in Thimphu

Two unmanned aerial vehicles were test launched from JDWNRH yesterday

UAV: Matternet, a company based in California, the USA, test launched two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or quadcopters from Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu yesterday.

Considering the country’s difficult terrain, quadcopters are seen as an option for delivering medicines from hospitals and they can take telemedicine in Bhutan to the next level.

What this drone can [... Read More]

Officiating and scarcity allowances done away with

Notification: Starting last month, the finance ministry has withdrawn officiating allowance for civil servants in general, and scarcity allowance for mathematics and physics teachers.

A notification, which the ministry issued on July 18 on revision of allowances and benefits, states that those civil servants officiating higher positions would be issued, instead of officiating allowance, meritorious or outstanding certificates in recognition of the contributions.

The change would also be incorporated in the Bhutan Civil Service Rules [... Read More]

Local and central govt. must work together: PM

Apropos apparent conflict of interest on the issue of unlocking no mine zones

Mines: The government will ensure to abide by all laws that are in place before the state mining corporation, the function of which is still under discussion, starts unlocking no-mining zones in the country, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said.

Lyonchhoen said this at the meet the press session on August 1 on how the government would go about unlocking mining zones, especially [... Read More]

Paro airport stretched beyond capacity

IMG_20140730_093727Crowded: The Paro airport’s capacity has exceeded with six aircraft now operating from the international airport

Aviation: With Tashi Air (Bhutan Airlines) having received its second aircraft last week, capacity at Paro international airport has been exceeded.

A total of six aircraft now operate scheduled services to and fro Paro airport.

The total capacity of the apron, or parking area, of the airport is five aircraft.

“It’s a concern,” said Tashi Air CEO Phala Dorji.  He added that, despite one of Tashi Air’s aircraft being based in Bangkok, more space at Paro [... Read More]

Cut off wall is foolproof

IMG_5264Economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk inspects the work at MHPA

MHPA: Economic affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk, said that the royal audit authority (RAA) is convinced by the technical superiority of the cut off wall to permeation grouting for Mangdechu hydropower project authority’s (MHPA) cofferdam during a visit to the project site on July 31.

“RAA has no issue with the change in the technology because it’s convinced that the cut off wall is a better technology, given the risk factor associated with permeation grouting,” [... Read More]

PM takes ‘brand ambassador’ slur in his stride

DSC_7945Thirty two Leafs have been sold to date

Lyonchhoen said he was happy to be associated with the introduction of electric cars in the country

Transport: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay takes the criticism – that he is acting as the brand ambassador of Tesla electric cars – as a compliment.

“Electric car is the future of transport and I take it as a compliment if people call me the brand ambassador,” he said, during the meet the press meeting on Friday.  The prime [... Read More]

Next budget to await previous one’s analysis

Finance: The Gewog Development Grant (GDG) will be continued, once the first year budget revision is completed.

Finance minister Namgay Dorji said the budget for 2014-15 has been put on hold to study for pros and cons from the previous fiscal year.

The minister said the pause was to examine the previous year’s budget use, and to come up with new procedures, if needed.

“The budget will be resumed a few months after the revision is [... Read More]

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