Bhutan News

    Govt. did not violate constitution: PM

    Posted 24 June 2017 | 1:08 pm

    The Prime Minister says the government did not breach the constitution as alleged by Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT).

    The DNT, last week, accused the government of violating constitution by imposing fiscal incentives policy without passing it through the parliament.  The party went on to demand the resignations of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on moral grounds.

    At Meet the Press session yesterday, the Prime minister explained that the government has not violated the constitution. “Our interpretation is the Supreme Court verdict, which makes it very clear that fiscal incentives were discussed, and deemed to be prerogative of the government and the provisions of the Sales Tax, Customs and Excise Act 2000 were not required to be changed,” said Lyonchhen.

    “Similarly, the Income Tax 2001 was not required to be changed by  the Supreme Court and then the parliament, in its collective wisdom, passed the Customs Act in 2017,  which allows government again to give customs duty break to persons including businesses in the interest of the nation,” added the Lyonchhen.

    The Prime Minister also lashed out at the party saying it is desperate for media attention. “I know they are motivated not by the interest of the country but motivated to glorify their party, and trying to get the government to respond to them so that they are seen as vigilant, intelligent, loyal and patriotic,” said Lyonchhen.

    Lyonchhen also said he would personally explain if there is a reason good enough to believe that something is corrupt or illegal.

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    Fuel, maintenance allowance for gewog utility vehicles increased

    Posted 24 June 2017 | 1:06 pm

    The fuel and maintenance allowance for gewog utility vehicles has been increased to Nu 107,000 from Nu 60,000. Finance Minister shared this at Meet the Press session yesterday.

    The government earlier settled on an allowance of Nu 60,000 for every gewog utility vehicle, an amount that all other government pool vehicles imported from India receive for fuel and maintenance.

    But the allowance has now been increased to the amount given to government pool vehicles imported from countries other than India. The increase follows requests from the Gups who told the government that Nu 60,000 is not adequate to cover yearly fuel and maintenance expenses.

    The Gup of Chhoekhor Gewog in Bumthang, Pema Doengyel, said the boleros have been very useful. “The only concern we had was the fuel and maintenance allowance,” he said. “Nu 60,000, which was to be released in two installments, is not enough.”

    The Phangyuel Gup in Wangdue Phodrang shared the same view.

    The Finance Minister also shared the increase has been approved by the parliament.

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    More students escorted home from Darjeeling, Kalimpong

    Posted 24 June 2017 | 1:05 pm

    A total of 108 Bhutanese students studying in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, including monks, were escorted safely to Phuentshogling yesterday.

    This is the second group of Bhutanese students escorted home this week from the Indian State of West Bengal. On Tuesday, Phuentshogling Dungkhag officials and police brought home 64 students studying in Darjeeling.

    The escort services were arranged for the safety of the students amid the ongoing strike in the West Bengal. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is protesting against a recent decision by the West Bengal government to introduce Bengali as a compulsory subject in schools across the state.

    The students shared that there were no threats to their lives but the strike did affect them. With everything thing shut down, including businesses, it was not even possible to buy daily essential food items.

    The students both in Darjeeling and Kamlimpong had just finished their examinations.

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