Year ender (Home) Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will head the Bhutanese delegation to the third Bay of Bengal initiative for multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit on March 4 at the Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
The delegation will include the foreign affairs minister and senior government officials.
The 14th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting and the 16th senior officials meeting will precede the summit, a press release from the foreign ministry stated.
During the summit, lyonchhoen will hold [... Read More]
Year ender (Energy) While the snake year charmed the rural lot with free electricity, along with an electricity tariff revision in October, the fangs bit the industrialists.
In keeping with their pledge, the new government announced ‘up to 100 units’ free electricity for rural households.
But nothing is for free. The cost of supply for 100 units a household is subsidised from the royalty energy of 15 percent received from the Druk [... Read More]
Year ender (Aviation) Competition on the popular Bangkok route caused airfares to hit a record low in 2013.
A price war between new entrant Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air pvt ltd) and Drukair led to fares dropping as low as Nu 10,000 on the Paro-Bangkok sector.
With Bhutan Airlines planning to add more international routes this year, more drops in airfares could occur.
While prices will bounce back to normal rates in the tourist [... Read More]
To a large extent, in both council and assembly, voters went for change
Year ender (Elections) In keeping with the character of the reptile, Bhutan went through a moulting process in the year of the snake, shedding the first democratically government and ushering in a new one.
The country last year voted former opposition party, People’s Democratic party, as the second government. A new set of National Council was also put in place.
The process, though, [... Read More]
Year ender (Tourism) Bhutan’s infinite charms were able to draw only 10 percent more tourists last year – the lowest growth in five years. But the rise in the dollar, and the minimum daily tariff brought some relief.
In all, 116,224 international and regional tourists visited last year.
The international or dollar-paying tourists arrival was 52,798, an increase of only 329 tourists from the previous year.
Bhutan is facing rising competition from destinations, such as Myanmar and [... Read More]
Year ender (Wildlife) The year of the snake came to the rescue of its kin, the reptilian tokay gecko.
The nocturnal Asian lizard, believed to be prized for its medicinal value in the illegal wildlife trade circuit, kept foresters in the southern belt busy, and the mainstream and social media active.
The reptile came into the limelight in October, when foresters of Gelephu range office rescued a 14-inch long tokay gecko from the Gelephu tsachu caretaker.
While [... Read More]
Year ender (Crime) As a part of its ongoing drug bust, 364 people from across the country were arrested for possession, consumption, and trafficking of controlled substances, Thimphu police revealed yesterday.
Of the total, 152 were charged for drug abuse, 145 for abuse and possession, and the rest for trafficking.
The crackdown began since last December. Police seized about 59kg of marijuana, 910g of brown sugar, and 550g of dendrite. Police also found 22,917 spasmoproxyvon capsules, [... Read More]
Year ender (Football) What could be more exciting than watching LIVE one’s favourite football team thrash the other, whoever that may be? The FIFA World Cup? Of course!
While football dominated the sports arena in the year of the snake, the World Cup was the highlight with thousands lining up at the Changlimithang stadium to get a glimpse of the 18 carat gold trophy, deemed more valuable than its worth in gold.
As Brazil prepares to [... Read More]
Vegetable exports have more than doubled since the liquidity crisis first hit
Year ender (Agriculture) The upside of the rupee crunch was that the agriculture sector doubled vegetable exports to India.
The goal in 11th five-year Plan (FYP) is to halve what comes into the country, and triple what goes out. Bhutan exported 1,563MT of vegetables from January to August in the year of the snake, earning more than Nu 24M. This was the highest export [... Read More]
Year ender (Hydropower) The hydropower sector met with one of the biggest problems so far, resulting in delay of the Punatshangchu I hydropower project by over a year, and project cost soaring by Nu 3.5B.
In July, the project came across a ‘geological surprise’, one that halted works on the dam site and resulted in removal of certain installations. The area above the dam site on the right bank of Punatsangchhu slid five metres vertically [... Read More]