BHUTAN

BHUTAN

Mineral resources belong to the state – DHI


All mineral resources should be with the state, the same way hydro energy is harvested according to Bhutan’s Druk Holding and Investments (DHI). During its annual press conference, DHI chief executive officer, Dasho Karma Yezer... More

Assembly deliberates media bill


The government has introduced a new bill that seeks to repeal the Bhutan Information Communications and Media Authority (BICMA) Act 2006, in the National Assembly. Presenting the bill in the house, chairperson of the legislative... More

Drug abuse among students highest in Thimphu


Of the total 4,668 students recorded for abusing drugs in 2016, about 4,000 are from schools in Thimphu, education minister Norbu Wangchuk said at the National Assembly during the question hour session on May... More

Assembly passes annual budget


The National Assembly endorsed the annual budget 2017-18, the third pay commission report, and the supplementary budget for the financial year 2016-17 on Saturday. The house did not endorse the Fiscal Incentives 2016 after the... More

Bhutan – EU relations beyond development cooperation


The Members of the European Parliament (MEP) delegation launched a Euro 2.5 million (M) European Union Programme to support civil society in Bhutan on Thursday in Thimphu. To be implemented by Helvetas, the project aims... More

Central Bank calls for enhanced financial inclusion


The formal financial system may have penetrated every nook and corner of the country, but figures from the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) reveal that 54 percent of financial service networks are concentrated in five... More

Hydro revenue can’t assure self-reliance: World Bank


The outlook that fiscal self-reliance would be achieved with increased hydropower generation is an illusion, says a 2016 World Bank paper on public finance. While higher export revenue, manageable external debt service, faster economic growth,... More

Book to commemorate Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother’s birth anniversary


In commemoration of Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck’s 87th birth anniversary, a book titled “The Heart of a Sacred Kingdom, Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck: A... More

Approved mineral development policy triggers reforms


The Bhutan’s mineral development policy that languished between the Cabinet and the Department of Geology and Mines (DGM) for eight years is now approved for implementation. The need for the policy was felt more... More

World Bank gives USD 8M for agriculture project


World Bank and Bhutan signed a USD 8 million (M) Global Agriculture Food Security Programme grant agreement to increase productivity and improve market access. The government will add USD 1.33M to the Food Security and... More

Abuse of functions top ACC complaints


Complaints on abuse of functions by public servants continue to be prevalent. It comprised nearly half (42.6 percent) of the total complaints received last year, according to the Anti Corruption Commission’s (ACC) annual report. The... More

NA rejects committee proposals for highlander’s development


The Bhutan National Assembly (NA) resolved that the government should implement the projects for highlanders’ development and initiate more such programmes. The members, in a majority show of hands, decided as suggested by the ministers. The... More

Vivian Balakrishnan discusses expanding bilateral ties with Bhutan on introductory visit


Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan reaffirmed the warm bilateral relations between Singapore and Bhutan, and discussed ways to expand bilateral cooperation during his introductory visit to the kingdom. In a Facebook posting, he... More

Fiscal measures designed to achieve self-reliance


Bhutanese Finance Minister Namgay Dorji has said that economic self-reliance  is a common goal and that the government’s fiscal measures are designed to achieve the same. The government during the recently held donors’ conference in... More

Japan’s Princess Mako to visit Bhutan


Princess Mako will be the third member of the royal family of Japan to visit Bhutan. At the invitation Bhutan's king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Princess Mako of Akishino will visit Bhutan from June 1... More

Bar Council establishment in Bhutan


Fourteen years after the Jabmi Act was enacted by the Bhutan Parliament, one of the most critical elements of the Act has been constituted with the establishment of the Bar Council of Bhutan (Jabmi... More

Govt. proposes 40 percent pay rise for LG officials


The Bhutan government proposed to revise the monthly pay of local government (LG) members by 40 percent, their daily allowance (DA) by 33 to 66 percent along with the entitlement to claim mileage while... More

Bhutan Parliament JS will deliberate 15 objections against BBIN-MVA


Bhutan Parliament Speaker Jigme Zangpo said the joint sitting will deliberate five disputed clauses of the Customs Bill and 15 objections against the controversial Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicle agreement. The... More

Record tourist arrivals in 2016


With 209,570 tourists, including regional tourists, visiting the country, Bhutan recorded the highest tourist arrivals last year. Tourist arrivals shot up 35 percent last year, compared to the previous high of 16 percent in 2015,... More

BBIN motor vehicle agreement will be deliberated in a joint sitting


The controversial Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicle agreement are up for deliberation in a joint sitting of the Bhutan parliament. The joint sitting will deliberate the National Council’s objections against the BBIN... More

Inflation gradually increasing in Bhutan


The price of goods and services in February this year increased by 5.64 percent compared to February last year, showing an increasing trend since October last year. Having achieved an all time low figure of... More

COLUMN

Is Modi making up for India’s shortage of diplomats?

Narendra Modi is India's most travelled Prime Minister. The opposition Congress recently wanted his name on the Guinness Book of World Records for the most travelled Prime Minister, mockingly writing," We are overwhelmed and”extremely happy to suggest the name of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has set the... More

India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran

For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime strategic ally, and Iran, their traditional regional ally and, of course, third biggest supplier of oil.  The question has become even more significant ever since... More

Writing on the Wall

Even a cursory analysis of the three Nawaz Sharif sackings as PM reveals one constant sordid fact, his incurring penchant to listen to a bunch of “unelectable advisors” who constantly feed his already inflated ego about his supposed omni-potency. The 1993 sacking did him wonders, turning an Establishment “puppet... More

Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus is the home. A relationship is inherently therefore written into this unwritten contract. It was... More

Myanmar minister’s mission impossible

Myanmar’s new finance minister, Soe Win is determined to revitalize the government’s economic policies and ensure their effective implementation, according to government insiders. Although he has only been in his post for less than two months, there are significant signs that with him at the helm, the government’s commitment... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As... More

The PDP-BJP coalition was an unnatural and opportunistic alliance

The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. Only a few weeks ago I had poured out my... More

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READER'S VIEW

Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor

Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More