Friday, July 25th, 2014 - 4:59 AM


Revised vehicle tax – people to pay for government’s incompetence

The government recently proposed to increase vehicle tax by more than 100%. The basis for this whopping raise is to curb the outflow of Indian rupee (INR) and convertible currencies (CC) (7 June 2014, Kuensel). The other reasons for the hike although not explicitly mentioned but alluded to are intended reductions in traffic, fuel import and environmental pollution.

Let us objectively dissect these stated or alluded to reasons to see whether or not this hike is [... Read More]

Picture story

For divine intervention: Thousands of devotees including students visited the Dechenphug lhakhang in Thimphu yesterday to mark the Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana and to receive blessings for the upcoming mid-term examinations


National Council votes against fuel tax

Proposes lower taxes on smaller vehicles 

Tax: National Council, yesterday, voted against the proposed five percent tax on fuel, on grounds that it would lead to inflation.

The council, otherwise, unanimously passed the budget and appropriation bill 2014-15, supplementary budget appropriation bill for financial year 2013-14, and tax bill 2014.

Dagana’s representative Sonam Dorji said, introducing a five percent tax on fuel could defeat the government’s purpose of providing free electricity to those in rural areas.

By [... Read More]

Proposed vehicle tax dashes hopes

Import: Since the first payday, two years ago, Dorji a civil servant saved about 30 percent of his salary to buy an Alto car.

Having saved what, according to him, is a fairly handsome amount, he was eagerly waiting for the ban on import of vehicles to be lifted so he could buy his first car, the one that comes with the lowest price tag.  It’s not his dream car, but one that would [... Read More]

Picture story

Every drop counts: A Rinchenzor resident in Norbugang, Pemagatshel fills up a bottle of water from a barrel of stored rain water. The monsoon season is the only time when the village doesn’t face water shortage.


Rabies outbreak in Sarpang dzongkhag

rabid-cowControl measure: A rabid cow tethered to a tree

Disease: With Gelephu experiencing a rabies outbreak, the regional referral hospital saw 120 people turn up for anti-rabies vaccination within the past three weeks.

Those receiving the vaccine, health officials said, are those who consumed diary products and meat of infected cattle.

Last month, nine cows, bitten by rabid dog in lower Pelrithang, Umling and Sershong, died.  Three more infected by rabies are tethered for fear of harming and infecting people.  Two rabid dogs in [... Read More]


The dissension side of democracy

Everybody is talking about us!

A member of the National Assembly, almost exaggeratedly said, pointing to the discussions on social media, coverage of Parliament in the media and the informal discussions on the civil service salary, vehicle taxes and entitlements for parliamentarians.

All eyes are on Parliament as they eagerly wait for the final decision on the salary revision and vehicle taxes.  But even as resolutions and recommendations fly between the two houses, there is a feeling [... Read More]

Luggage fare issue to be resolved soon

RSTA will install weighing machines at all bus terminals and streamline procedures

Transport: In the absence of weighing machines at bus terminals, commuters travelling in public transport buses complain of the high luggage fare that drivers or conductors charge.

Most commuters said they are charged unreasonably, with drivers and conductors just gauging the size of the luggage and not the weight.

A frequent commuter, Tshering Norbu, said, if they carried more than one bag, they are [... Read More]

Parched Phangyul longs for rain


Water: Even after all the villages in Wangdue have started cultivating land for rice paddy, villages in Phangyul gewog remain delayed due to shortage of water.

Phangyul’s mangmi said, people in the past depended on timely and abundant rain.  Water shortage in Phangyul is not a new story, only it has grown severe today.  Many fields are left fallow.

Phangyul gup Ugyen said that, of the seven villages, Goengkhar, Khomche and Phangyul face acute water [... Read More]

Putting wastewater to work

GMWConstruction of greywater wetland underway

A greywater management pilot project at Sarpang HSS will be replicated elsewhere if successful

Recycling; A greywater management pilot project is underway in Sarpang higher secondary school (SHSS) in Sarpang.

Greywater is wastewater from washbasins, showers and baths, dishwashers and kitchen sinks.  It is, however, not water that has come into contact with faeces.

Although grey water may contain hair, food, grease and other traces of dirt, it is safe for use in landscape irrigation.

The wastewater [... Read More]

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