KuenselOnline

Monday, July 6th, 2015 - 9:40 PM
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Meeting the meat eater’s whim

A lot of air was cleared yesterday, when members of the government, including the Prime Minister, said that the government had never planned to set up slaughterhouses in the country.

The government is even willing to stop the meat-processing unit, which is nearing completion, if people are against the idea.  This will come as a relief to the people, who expressed strong resentment against the idea.

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Dungsam to raise another Nu 1.5B in bond

IMG_8111Dungsam Cement Plant

This is the third series of bond the company issued

Bond: The Dungsam Cement Corporation Limited (DCCL) has floated its third series of bond worth Nu 1.5B (billion) at eight percent coupon rate to prepay the company’s high interest bearing loans.

However, Nu 1.2B of the total issue size has been privately placed to commercial banks. Bank of Bhutan was allotted Nu 935M (million), Druk PNB was allotted Nu 250M and Bhutan Insurance Limited was allotted Nu 15M. This leaves behind Nu 300 for public issue.

An official from Druk Holding and Investment (DHI), Dungsam’s parent company, said private placement of bond was issued because the market cannot absorb the total size of bond issued. “We are not quite sure whether Nu 300M would be fully subscribed or not,” he said.

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Community forest handed back

communityyDzongkhag forest officials take over the CF

Dado goempa becomes the first to hand back the CF to the department of forest

Punakha: Almost seven years after taking over a community forest (CF), the Dado goempa community forest group in Shengana gewog, Punakha officially handed back the CF to the department of forest on May 18.

Punakha’s dzongkhag forest officer, Naphel said the group was the first community to do so.

The 21-member Dado-goempa community forest group was formed in 2007, and officially took over 120 acres of government-reserved forest for management in 2008.

Naphel said, in May 2014, the group had put in an application with the department of forest, saying that they wanted to hand back the CF.  The group reasoned that the CF was not potential for timber extraction and they could not make use of it.

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Trongsa farmers unable to meet MHPA vegetable demand

IMG_1575A truck carrying imported vegetables reach Langthel, Trongsa

As a result almost all of its needs are met through imports from India

Agriculture: With vegetable production in Trongsa unable to meet the demand, Mangdechu hydropower project authority (MHPA) meets almost 97 percent of its vegetable requirement through imports.

The project requires 1,567MT (metric tonnes) of vegetables every year, and about 130MT a month, while the dzongkhag was able to supply only 57MT of vegetables in 2014.  It is estimated that on an average, the project’s mess requires 250kg of vegetable for each meal.

Trongsa has over 128ha (hectares) of arable land, including wetland and dry land, of which 48.33ha remain fallow.  Efforts to upscale vegetable production since 2012, and to supply local vegetables for four-five months annually, have not yet worked.

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A veteran called for World Cup first match

footballPassang Tshering

Final squad will be announced on Friday

Football: Veteran player Passang Tshering was asked to join the 23-man final squad that will play against Hong Kong in the first game of the second round of the World Cup qualification on June 11.

With over 15 years of experience playing for the country, the 32-year-old striker turned mid-fielder will be an asset for the national team once the list is confirmed on May 22.

Passang Tshering who played for the Bhutanese national squad from 1998-2013 has played a key role in the team scoring more than 15 international goals.

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Safety measures delays Coronation Cup

Basketball: The most prestigious basketball tournament in the country, the Coronation Cup, has been deferred considering the vulnerability of the venue, the swimming pool complex in Thimphu.

After the earthquake of April 25, Bhutan Basketball Federation (BBF) officials were cautious of using the old structure that was built in the early 1970s although no damages were reported. BBF has requested Advance Geo-Tech Engineering and Testing, a private company to inspect the safety of the old structure.

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Picture story

The European Union Ambassador to Bhutan, Joao Gomes Cravinho, Ambassador of Latvia to India Aivars Groza, Ambassador of Luxembourg to India, Sam Andre Auguste Schreiner and the Deputy Head of EU Delegation Cesare Onestine called on Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay yesterday in Thimphu.

   

Sale of kerosene across border leaks millions in lost revenue

RAA: More than Nu 251.37M (million) worth of revenue was foregone over the last six years through sale of superior kerosene oil (SKO) at subsidised rate to the Indian communities and business units in the border towns of Gelephu and Samdrupjongkhar.

The Royal Audit Authority (RAA), which conducted a special audit on import and distribution of LGP and SKO on the National Council’s directives, stated that the sale of subsidised SKO to the Indian communities was approved by the ministry of home and cultural affairs (MoHCA) and ministry of finance (MoF).

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Council moots master plan for tourism

Most stakeholders feel a liberalisation of the sector will lead to equitable distribution of benefits

Tourism: Talks on whether tourism should be liberalised or not have come up again.  This time it came up after the National Council’s economic affairs committee held several meetings with various tourism agencies last month.

Economic affairs committee’s chairman, Pema Tenzin, said tourism could contribute to employment generation, economy and towards poverty elimination.  However, unlike in other countries, tourism doesn’t benefit local communities in Bhutan, while hotels and guides bear the brunt of the seasonality issue.

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Much to mull over public debt management

Deliberation: Should the country prosper, governments will have to avail loans even if public debt accumulated over the years seem alarming.

This was what both the former and current ministers said, during a daylong deliberation on the Royal Audit Authority’s report on public debt management.

However a debt management policy has already been drafted which is expected to address most of the audit findings.

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