Monday, May 25th, 2015 - 7:15 AM
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Chokhorling goes back to paddy cultivation

IMG_8679Villagers till their paddy fields after more than two decades of leaving it fallow

Improved security and a govt. carrot and stick policy persuades locals to return to the land

Agriculture: Hope and nostalgia is the mood as farmers, young and old, of Bafudar village in Samdrupjongkhar returned to their paddy fields after more than two decades.

The farmers, with the help of the dzongkhag, are trying to revive paddy cultivation on more than 100 acres of land, which was once in abundance in the fertile and vast flatlands of Chokhorling gewog.

Paddy cultivation was abandoned, following the security problem in the early 1990s, and predation on crops and livestock by wild animals.  But this will change.

Started about four days ago, about 94 households have already started cultivating paddy, which, they said, was to save their ancestral land from turning into forest, and also make themselves self sufficient.


Lhamoizingkha branch in-charge goes on the lam

BoBL: The Bank of Bhutan limited’s (BoBL) in-charge in Lhamoizingkha, Dagana has gone missing since May 11, after it was found that he had allegedly misused the bank’s fund.

Following an internal auditing, the in-charge was found to have misused the bank’s fund and had made a shortage of Nu 719,000.  Sources said the in-charge reported to office in Phuentsholing on May 9.  He had promised to refund the money on May 11 but didn’t do so.

Kuensel learnt he had requested for a 10-day leave to visit to India on a personal matter.  Until now, nobody has heard from him.


Maggi samples to be sent for tests in Thai labs

BAFRA: The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) has sent samples of Maggi noodles to test at the authority’s national food testing laboratory in Yusipang after Indian media reported the noodle containing high amount of lead and monosodium glutamate (MGS).

Chief of analytical and certification division, Jamyang Phuntsho, said that two sets of samples will be sent to two reference laboratories in Thailand to test if the noodles contain more than the permissible limit of lead and MSG.


Assembly to review Dzongkha teacher shortage issue

Q-Hour: The social and cultural committee of the National Assembly (NA) was directed to review the shortage of Dzongkha language teachers in some dzongkhags and excess in others.  The report will be discussed at the next (6th) parliament session.

Chukha dzongkhag had submitted the petition, urging the house for a review on the issue.


India to refund Nu 1.943B for 2014 in excise duty

DSC_0914Finance minister Namgay Dorji watches as the excise duty agreement is signed

The reimbursement for 2013 will be released in the current financial year

GoI: The government of India (GoI) yesterday declared a total excise duty refund of Nu 1.943B (billion) to Bhutan for 2014.

This is an increase of Nu 187M (million) from the previous year.  Bhutan received Nu 1.756B as excise duty refund for 2013.

Excise duty is an inland tax imposed only on a commodity consumed within a country.  Hence, if the commodity is exported, the excise duty is waived off.


Man sentenced to three years

Crime: Gelephu dungkhag court yesterday sentenced a 24-year-old man to three years imprisonment for raping and impregnating an 18-year-old last December.

The court found Choki Gyeltshen from Umling, Sarpang guilty of rape and was sentenced in accordance to section 178 of the Penal Code of Bhutan.


23-man squad announced for Hong Kong match

World Cup: Veteran Passang Tshering of Thimphu City FC, FC Tertons’ captain Kinley Wangchuk, Drukstars’ Dawa Tshering, under-19 national player, Yeshi Dorji and Thimphu FC’s goalie Kinzang Gyelrhen are the five new players to join the Dragon Boys.

The final 23-man final squad that will play against Hong Kong on June 11in the first game of the second round of World Cup qualification was announced yesterday.

Head coach of the national team, Tsukitate Norio, said that out of the 30 shortlisted players the top 23 were selected. He added that considering the injuries some of the players the squad had to be changed.


Focus point

The late clarification slaughters the meaty debate


Thanks to the question in the Parliament on the government’s livestock mega projects. It has helped extract the much-needed clarification. Let’s have a closer look at it. This article also revisits the debate, runs through an opportunity we have created through the debate, and enlists some quick thoughts for reflection.

The clarification

The Prime Minister “clarified” that the government doesn’t have any plans to build a slaughterhouse. But it was only a month and a half ago that its very own Department of Livestock (DOL), a government entity, publicly revealed better, humane measures that it will implement for slaughtering livestock.


How Inclusive is Bhutan’s Growth?

Part 1 of 2

1. ESCAP’s Inclusive Growth Index 

In line with the ESCAP’s mandate to bring 743 millions of poor people in Asia and the Pacific region into the economic mainstream, ESCAP’s recently launched 2015 survey report creatively and innovatively proposes a composite index of 15 separate indicators to measure inclusive growth for sustainable development.

This is the first time where inclusiveness has been defined technically and quantitatively.