Attending to BCCI

The Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry has just concluded its 24th Annual General Meeting. The gathering attracted some much needed attention for the private sector in general and the BCCI in particular.

The minister of economic affairs addressed the AGM during its opening ceremony on Thursday, and encouraged the private sector to come up with new business ideas.

On Friday, our prime minister also attended the meeting. And he spoke at length – for more than two hours, some say – to the business community about what the private sector can expect from our government. He reiterated our government’s promise to make Bhutan a preferred destination for ICT businesses. Yes! It’s about time that we started harvesting the enormous business and employment potential of ICT.

And he promised a one-stop service centre to make doing business easier. Yes! Our business community has heard this promise over and over again, first from previous governments and then, very compellingly, during the campaigning that preceded last year’s elections. And still no one-stop service centre. But now I’m very hopeful.

Kuensel’s article on the AGM is available here.


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  1. Anonymous says

    Yes, we enjoyed listening to PM about the visions that is perhaps laid out for the Private sector. PM was very passionate about everything that he spoke and sounded genuine. The one stop shop & stable economic policy for the business community appealed to majority of the business people. We are hearing it from the PM and from the new government and we hope it is a new initiative that will be looked into as soon as possible. We need it more than ever before. Every Trade Minister in the past before the new government talked about it but we are yet to see a follow through of the words uttered in BCCI AGM's. We sincerely hope and pray that it is not words wasted this time. We will wait for 3 months to see some initiative of the various ministries to mark our PM's words. However, if the WILL is there, it can be done in a month also. So we await patiently.

    Lyonchen also mentioned that there will be no tax breaks, tax exemptions & tax incentives etc for the businesses. He quoted one prominent business man who mentioned to Lyonchen that Business people need not have all the tax incentives etc since businesses are supposed to be capable enough of conducting businesses without asking the government for it (Tax related incentives). I would like to respectfully dis-agree to this mention since businesses do need related tax incentives, tax exemptions & tax breaks to motivate, promote & empower the businesses to take initiatives & succeed. New business start ups need government support in terms of tax incentives during the time of buidling infrastructure to take off and become profitable. Once it is becomes a stable business, it will benefit the government in multi folds like paying good stable income taxes, generating employment etc. Yes, tax evasion, tax shelter should be looked into by the government seriously and there should be no excuses for it BUT tax incentives for relevant businesses to sustain and elevate to greater heights should be provided by the government at all times without raising any questions or doubting after scrutunizing the concerned business set up.

    The "one prominent business man" who mentioned to Lyonchen about not requiring tax incentives for businesses must be new to business or must be from some non-business related back ground. Otherwise any business person in the right mind will think twice before making such a comment on behalf of the business community.

    We thank Lyonchen & other relevant ministers and government officers for gracing this important BCCI AGM. It is indeed a milestone laid for the private sector & we remain hopefull that all the wise words uttered in the AGM will be followed through.

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