Responsible government?

“As the Honourable Members are aware, our balance of payments with India has been worsening and the RMA has been facing a severe scarcity of Indian Rupees…” That was the finance minister’s opening line when he introduced the Tax Revision Bill in the National Assembly earlier today.

Yes, our balance of payments with India is in bad shape. And we are facing a severe shortage of Indian currency. In other words, we face a rupee crisis.

We have a crisis in our hands. And it’s no point playing the blame game. We must work together – we must think and act as one – to overcome the current crisis. And we must seize every economic opportunity, old and new, so that we emerge stronger from these difficult times.

Still, we must know who got us into this mess. And we must hold that person to account. That’s if we are serious about good governance. That’s if we are serious about getting out of this mess. Otherwise, with the same person in charge, the situation will just get worse.

So yesterday, during the National Assembly’s Question Hour, I asked the finance minister to tell us who should take responsibility for the rupee crisis. My question was straightforward:

The rupee crisis has caused a great deal of hardship to the people of Bhutan. More importantly, the crisis could compromise the economic sovereignty and security of our country. Will the Hon’ble Minister please explain who will take responsibility for the rupee crisis?

My question was straightforward. But the reply, which offered a detailed account of the causes and solutions of the rupee problem, was long and cumbersome. And the reply did not point out who, specifically, should be held accountable. Instead, the finance minister indicated that the Bhutanese people were both responsible and accountable for the current situation.

So let’s take a poll. Let’s see who we think should assume responsibility for the rupee crisis. Should it be the prime minister? Or should it be the finance minister? Or the RMA governor? Or should it be the people at large who should take responsibility for the economic mess?

 

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Comments

  1. The finance minister needs to accept responsibility and therefore step down and never contest again. In the case of him refusing to accept that finance ministers can control such a crisis- his prime minister needs to be pulled up for not controlling him.

  2. Dhendup says:

    The culture of taking moral responsibility for the action and inaction of every responsible citizen is crucial and I believe the government particularly in this case the Finance Minister should take moral responsibility and show by example. A sheer financial mismanagement!!

  3. I think it is people at large. We like luxury life even at the cost of borrowing and sinking into debt.

    If we look at the liquidity crunch with the banks, it seems that Indian depositors seem to be the main supplier and Bhutanese the main borrowers.

    Worse even, people seem to react so negatively to every action taken by the gov to curb rupee shortage

  4. the prime minister is the cheif culprit. the cabinet cannot be blamed as they r a bunch of idiots who dance to the tune of the powerful PM. The bhutanese people are made scapegoat here, the primeminister cannot stand to see the common man prosper. any indication of prosperity like owning a house, a car, eating out, adequate growth of the bhutanese children in terms of height weight and intellect, and many things that people aspire to achieve in life are in stark contrast to the prime minister’s version of GNH. what he wants is to make the bhutanese people the folks of the medevial times, the country a museum and at the same time promote his family and his cronies to modern luxurious lifestyles by grabbing lands, twististing laws to benefit his personal interests.

  5. The question OL ask is pertinent and it deserves responsible answer.

    Without going into details, i will simply say that it is self inflicted malady that requires urgent and cooperative remedy; otherwise, generations of Bhutanese will not be able to get up under heavy burden of debt.

    Cheers

  6. If government is serious they should:-

    1. tax all vehicles irrespective of CC or Make, but higher for third countries and SUVs.
    2. Every second purchase by the same family should be levied luxury tax as it is not a necessity but a luxury. It should be on and above the green tax.

    The problem with this government is that they do everything in haste. But good for PDP as they are making the public angry.

  7. Well! Here is the irony in Bhutan. “If something good is achieved, an individual is rewarded but if there arises a problem….You blame an individual” thats not FAIR. You got to reward/blame the SYSTEM.

    In case of rupee problem…The “Board of Directors” of Royal Monetary is the SYSTEM. The rupee problem didn’t appear suddenly and it was built up over the years.The RMA’s supreme “Board of Directors” were happily receiving their BOARD FEES (3,000-5,000+) per sittings over the years but they suffered from “mental blockade” when it came to rupee crisis. Perhaps, they should have been paid 15,000 per board sitting equivalent to DHI’s board of directors.

    Oh! Yes, The Finance Minister and Finance Secretary were chairperson and deputy chairperson of RMA’s board of directors for many years up until RMA governor was elected 1 to 2 years back.

  8. guardian says:

    Lets stop the blame game, if we get down to the nitty gritty, the main culprits that got us into this mess are the banks, all of whom made it so easy for people to get loans. If we want to get petty, we can also blame people who bought heavy equipment to hire out to the power projects, people who built houses and people who bought vehicles, so in a nutshell, the majority of our population that live in urban centers and live above the poverty line are responsible for the mess we are in.

  9. the crisis & mess is owed to wangdi norbu primarily..he has been the joker in the finance chair for quite a while..his budget presentations have all these years been just to read out what is prepared by his staff..not an ounce of rationalization in terms of fiscal measures..the exemption limit for personal tax has remained static @ nu 100k since it was introduced in 2001 while costs have soared, inflation nears double-digit & purchasing power diminishes continually, especially for common folks..
    the idiot brought historic shame to his party by failing to interpret correctly basic tax legislation – the high & supreme courts in bhutan’s 1st constitutional cases had to rule that he was wrong..his & the party’s reluctance to accept the ruling almost amounting to contempt..
    they had the opportunity to raise taxes but they make a very feeble attempt at it & continue to blame the opposition for it..all the while knowing that the constitutional cases were clearly on procedure, never on tax increase..
    accountability also falls on yeshey zimba & jigmi thinley..yeshey zimba for his stints in finance, central bank & trade..jigmi thinley as the mastermind for decisions taken so far, inability to come up with solid solutions to the crisis & trying to rope in foreigners to distort the truth..
    with these jokers in public office, bhutan will not prosper..get rid of these hypocrites, power hungry, greedy parasites.. perhaps then there is hope for bhutan & her people..

  10. How can us be responsible for spending our private money? I can do whatever i want with the money i have in my bank.If i get loan from the bank legitimately, then i can even use that loaned money to better my livelihood. There is no rocket science involve in this concept. For this we are blamed so much time and again by our Govt and RMA.

    I strongly believe that the Govt and RMA should be held accountable because of following reasons.

    1. RMA stupidly borrowed excessive money from India at a huge interest rate and provided freely to the bank. Of course any bank would get that money and provide to the general public through various credit schemes. How can us be responsible for this stupidity?

    2. RMA hoarded dollars and borrowed rupees. All dollars got converted into rupees automatically because dollar funded project are mostly conducted in rupees. While dollar is being hoarded in an “unplugged refrigerator”, shortage of rupees strangled our economy. I don’t know why they can’t considering selling some of these dollars to help general public. Still they continuously resort to borrowing rupees. The only reason is because the rich guys of our society need dollars to travel abroad and buy luxurious stuff.

    3. Government is responsible for making stupid investment such as 9 million USD for hiring McKinsey firm for producing a economic policy document which we have plentiful, 8 million dollar IT Park which did not achieve its purpose and many more other investments. While they stupendously spend huge amount for unnecessary projects, the future generation of our country are dying of nutritional deficiencies in boarding schools.

    4. Of course GOVT is responsible like RMA for failing to manage the financial system of this country. They got the dollars from abroad and let it remain in an “unplugged refrigerator” which directly put more burden on rupees. Though these ministers were serving for decades in our government yet they could not foresee such looming crisis due to their decisions.

    5. GOVT for unable to find a solution. Instead they kept blaming the general public for their failure to serve us. How ridiculous that we were blamed for eating vegetables and eggs on live TV by our PM. Instead of easing the solution, they have aggravated and exploded the problem. This situation could have been better handled but they chose to blame the non-existent public. When you blame public there is no body responsible because public does not exist as single entity. That is a safe way to avoid one’s wrongdoing.

    Even a lay economist like me understand that public has no role whatsoever in this economic quagmire that has caused by RMA and GOVT’s failure to manage the financial system of our country. They are to be solely blamed. Buck should stop at the top leaders of these two institutions. As usual they will go scot-free even this time.

  11. Just Asking says:

    Is it out of blissful ignorance or out of sheer arrogance that people continue to evade on the rupee issue?

    Refusing to term it as a crisis is like breaking the mirror to avoid putting up with one’s ugly face every morning.

    What is more angering is that people seem to accept everything. If PM says it is not a crisis, it is not. If PM says to walk, we walk. If PM says Rio summit is more important than Parliament session…..

    Should we then call ourselves Land of Blissful Sheep instead of Land of Thunder Dragon.

  12. The “Bhutanese” at large. However the government to guide the policies & RMA to monitor and regulate the economy for action!

  13. Accountability within the Government is one of the strongest pillars of democracy. Not just for the act itself but to define the quality of politicians we have within our system. The trend taking place does not speak well for the future of Democracy and the politicians need to look beyond themselves and their jobs. They have to have the strength to admit their mistakes and take responsibility so that future generation of politicians are aware that there is a consiquence to their action or in-action. The mis management of the present situation is going to have an effect on the future of our Country and its people. For such a grave outcome, someone has to take responsibility. People spend, Banks lend but it is someones responsibilty to monitor the situation and put into place checks and balances so the present situation would not have arisen.

  14. Deb-Nagpo says:

    I wish there was option in the poll to vote for the first three, PM, FM & Governor at a single click. All the three are responsible.

    FM – for practising a poor fiscal policy & ignoring the signs of crisis.

    Governor – for not upholding the independence of monetary policy and accepting the fiscal dominance.

    PM – for being the mastermind behind the failed fiscal and monetary policies.

  15. Recently, i met a farmer at Denchukha geog, Samtsi Dzongkhag and had lunch in his house. His wife prepared simple but healthy lunch with menu consisted of rice, vegetable (pumpkin curry), Dal and served the lunch with glass of milk. I asked the farmer the source of these ingredients. He proudly said they are all grown in his farm and he does not buy anything from market except salt. This farming family lives in a house constructed almost 90% of locally available materials. The only part he bought from the market is CGI sheet. After hearty lunch, i started thinking that if all Bhutanese adopt this kind of life style, we may not be blaming and talking about rupee crunch. But i also came to conclusion that conditions in Bhutan is changed so much that such simple life style is becoming exception and is becoming more of the thing of the past especially in urban areas.

    Now coming to so called Government proposal on tax increase, i am surprised that MoF is proposing tax increase only for luxury items including vehicle capacity above 1800 cc. What about those items including Indian vehicles that are blamed for outflow of rupee? Will there be no tax increase on these items? Is Government aiming for populist measure since GE is not very far? Is Government shying away from the real need of hard fiscal and monetary policies to streamline our economy?

    Well, finally, i would like to conclude that there is nobody whom we can trust in democratic system to steer the pathways for better future. The current government and even future governments of any shade and form tends to pay lip services and seemingly appear to make themselves comfortable and remain in power. This conclusion is drawn based on personal observation, and i can be wrong.

    Cheers

  16. I take a blame partly as a Bhutanese. Truth be told, I don’t understand a thing that’s happening except that our money has devalued. Not surprisingly m d not the only one.
    Please get this solved. We are not as smart as you guys. Cheers

  17. The whole country is responsible for the rupee mess- the government, the legislature, the central bank, the other banks and the Bhutanese people. And the whole country has to take responsibility if we are to get out of it. The MoF and the RMA apparently have bigger roles to play, because it’s after all about fiscal and monetary disciplines. The parliament too, has a role to play in terms of the budget and government spending!!

  18. Pedestrian says:

    Both Finance Minister and Governor should be responsible and both should quit. Governor has been in RMA for 11 years lo! and how come he didn’t know about the rupee shortage/crisis. Finance Minister has been finance minister for two terms and how come he also didn’t anticipate this problem.

  19. Tarsi……you cannot blame everyone for such economic problems because general public in no way are responsible for consuming with the money they have. It is wrong if you are asking people to stop consuming because then what is the point of you working and earning in a capitalist society. That is the reality whether you understand it or not. It does not make sense to hoard the Ngultrum that you earn inside a bank vault and consume potatoes forever or walk everywhere. People will buy cars, consume meat products and so on. As long as they do that legitimately with their own earning or within their capacity, there is no fault in the individual behavior. However to check this individual consumption, we have elected government and other dedicated institution like RMA to manage the whole financial system and economy of this country. That is where they have failed because they seems to not have understood the fundamentals of their responsibilities despite being in the service for decades. That is why people should be held accountable otherwise economic system will break down completely someday if left unaccounted for. That is why we have to avoid by putting in place the right mindset of people to govern us.

  20. its high time The government to be proactive to all this situations than being reactive like now..high time for the govt. to rise up before they end their term in sleep

  21. Solving the problem is more important than chasing it. Accept the fault, stop the blame, and solve the problem. That’s what everybody wants. Nothing more, nothing less.

  22. Of all the people, prime minister JYT should be held responsible and accountable for such a shortfall!!! RMA and MoF many knows is dictated by this single draconian leader. i am sure JYT put them words in the mouth of zimba and FM who spoke in the assembly.
    now whats making me more angry is this stupid ass NA speaker!@! why did he have to justify on behalf of the government in assembly stating that ‘people havent died because of the shortfall’. Does he intend to wait till someone dies?.
    The OL’s questions and remarks were cut short despite speaking for not more than 10 minutes and he let zimba and FM yap about nothing for more than 30 minutes each!
    so, the very sight of him gets on my nerves. the man is incapable and we all know he is under the scanner on gyelposhing land scam. thank lord, hes resigning soon!!!

  23. Sonam you have indeed answered your own question.

    Yes people have the right to do whatever they want with their own money. The problem with our people is that they are doing just the opposite. Buying posh cars, land, building houses, going on holidays, doing this and that…not with their own money but with the banks’ money. That’s where we are answerable as irresponsible consumers. We just can’t blame the banks alone for making those loans available. If I am not mistaken most Bhutanese are spending beyond their means. So yes, consumption may be our right as long as what we consume is within our means and it does not come at bigger social costs like the rupee crisis or environmental pollution..

  24. we dont need the PM, the FM, the governor and yes the NA speaker!!!

  25. Jamyang says:

    guardian wrote: “the main culprits that got us into this mess are the banks”

    Sonam wrote: “RMA hoarded dollars and borrowed rupees. All dollars got converted into rupees automatically because dollar funded project are mostly conducted in rupees. While dollar is being hoarded in an “unplugged refrigerator”, shortage of rupees strangled our economy. I don’t know why they can’t considering selling some of these dollars to help general public. Still they continuously resort to borrowing rupees. The only reason is because the rich guys of our society need dollars to travel abroad and buy luxurious stuff.”

    kinga wrote: “In case of rupee problem…The “Board of Directors” of Royal Monetary is the SYSTEM. The rupee problem didn’t appear suddenly and it was built up over the years.The RMA’s supreme “Board of Directors” were happily receiving their BOARD FEES (3,000-5,000+) per sittings over the years but they suffered from “mental blockade” when it came to rupee crisis. Perhaps, they should have been paid 15,000 per board sitting equivalent to DHI’s board of directors.
    Oh! Yes, The Finance Minister and Finance Secretary were chairperson and deputy chairperson of RMA’s board of directors for many years up until RMA governor was elected 1 to 2 years back.”

    Dear Guardian, Sonam and Kinga,

    Yes, I see lot of substance in these well thought submissions here.

    I think we mustn’t let things deteriorate further by letting these players go off the hook easily.

    By owning their own failures and in a bid to reforming the system from here on, the RMA must now take this bold step of either immediately reshuffling all their banks’ CEOs or put them under some compulsory resignation packages.

    The bank CEOs’ are in fact the main naught guys in the Bhutanese corporate houses whose overtly money hoarding illicit business through jagged exploitation of the banking rules indeed caused this mess.

    Therefore, the longer they stay in these same posts; the dicey things would develop into taking distasteful shapes in future.

    If the RMA Governor cannot muster enough guts into taking this much needed action, then, he must step down.

    Frankly, while Bhutan has been blessed with an extraordinary great headship in our incumbent PM, who, if supported with a right team of some futuristic leaning able ministers, I am very optimistic that this person called the JYT without doubt might take our country to great heights.

    But, sometimes, I feel sad at the sight of a few run of the mill rated old ministers in the likes of LWN, LYZ and LKW in whose heavy indulgences of the same old dirty games, the people’s sentiments seems to have been hit hard almost to the extent of even hurting the trust element of the good party image.

    Sometimes, it’s very embarrassing to see them responding to the reality issues in a blithe fashion with replies like- all Bhutanese people must take equal blames, not all Bhutanese people are suffering etc.

    Since they are the elected leaders, I think, the responsibility now rests with the Bhutanese people ourselves and by this, in the next election, the DPT party should restrict giving them the party ticket in the first place and even if they are in possession of one, their constituency people should make it a point to vote them out over other better candidates.

    I think it is time DPT takes in some younger candidates in 2013 for a better fusion of the new and old ideas within the party. Given the chance, DPT would be the number one spot for any better newcomers to jump in.

    With this, I think, a better tomorrow for the DPT seems on the cards.

  26. Phuntsho Ongmo says:

    Finance Minister should be directly held accountable and he should responsibly step down to set good example. After creating such mess, how can one afford to continue as FM. Both Lyonpo Zimba and FM could not give concrete and concise answer to OL’s straight forward question and they were beating around the bush to pass the time. PM took a chance to escape from all these challenging questions and his fellow ministers had to face the brawl.

    On the taxation proposal for vehicle, it looks quite ironical when only vehicles above 1800 CC is to be taxed. I support the taxation, but not only those category of vehicles. All vehicles should be taxed, but could be with different percentage. My proposal would be as below.

    Land cruiser — 50 % green tax
    Prado & Fortuner — 40 %
    Other SUVS – 30 %
    Small cars including Indian cars – 15 %
    Toyota Hilux — 25 %

    The above taxes to be above the existing tax.

    Further, if the same person buys second car in addition to the first car he/she already owns, there should be increase in tax rate at the rate of 20 % and 40 % for the third car that he/she purchase.

  27. Thinlay says:

    This is exactly type of discussion we need to solve ongoing and future rupee crisis. I thank Phuntsho Ongmo for making sound strategy. Regardless of vehicle types, vehicle tax must be increased; otherwise, we will continue to face rupee problem, let alone terrible traffic congestion and air and noise pollutions. In many countries imported vehicles are tax more than 100% although it is done mainly to protect domestic vehicle manufacturing industries. For Bhutan, I am not advocating 100% tax because we do not have locally made vehicles but at least substantial tax as suggested by Phuntsho Wangmo.

    Asking FM and RMA governor to take moral responsibility is fine but their resignation will not solve rupee problem unless we suggest sound fiscal and monetary policies. Rather than playing blame game, i will sincerely request all forum members to make constructive suggestions, including OL if he wants to aspire for PM post.

    Cheers

    Chhers

  28. Kelpazangla says:

    I do agree to hold Finance Ministry for that matter the present Minister and the earlier Finance Ministers as well as the RMA responsible for this Rupee cruch for the fact that they have been there in the system for long enough to reveal the problem and solve it when it is small. Otherwise, I applaud the DPT government for surfacing this accumulated problem before it is too late. Should this problem remain under cover for another decade, Bhutan would be simply a commodity to sell at a bargaining price.

    And for the solution, my suggestion is to stop signing further hydropower projects. Complete the ones that is already started and wait till the country recovers from the debts. Borrowing Rupees 3B, 6B, 10B and so on with 10%, 12% interest to repay the earlier debts is completely a wrong move. The independence of the nation is put at stake by this accumulating economic debt.

    Therefore, stop pointing fingers, stop hydropower investment, stop importing expatriats, the Rupee crisis will take time but recover!

  29. tobgay111` says:

    Accepted most of the views expresed here,,
    some good solutions as done in india just two days after rupee depreciation and petrol price hike,,, reduce government trips abroad by 50%,,, government meetings banned in five star hotels which translates to a saving of one billion rupees,, have our government come up with any such compromise on their part,,
    Besides Bhutanese bureacrats should stay in hotel half their entitlement while abroad,,avail second class plane seats,,, progressive taxation till 60%,,, tax exemption till 2 lakhs like in india,, luxury tax for every additonal buildings or cars,, go for few projects phase wise,,,etc,,,reduce DHI sitting fees at par with government etc,,,,,

  30. Dear All,
    I think the question OL asks is plain stupid. He has got to believe, and rightly so I am afraid, that people who visit this blog are complete idiots. Otherwise, how can he or anyone else believe that one person – a single person – single-handedly be responsible for a country’s problems? If that were to be true, that person has got to be a super human with very special talents.

    I am aghast. I feel like an idiot to be participating in these discussions because some of them are so utterly dumb, immature and devoid of substance. However, I do want to participate not because the government or an individual or an institution needs defending, but because it has become increasingly difficult to remain detached from all the negative views the OL has unfailingly presented in his blog. While it is acceptable that he will write nothing good about the government, I do not understand why readers blindly accept what the OL says. The OL is duty bound to spread falsehood in order to discredit the government. But what is your excuse to not see the issues for what they really are and not be herded like cows to believe what he says?

    Those of you who are braying for the blood of the PM and the FM and the Governor of the RMA, please remember that the Rupee crisis was not brought about by the DPT government which is barely four years old. This crisis has been fomenting since the past five decades. Do you truly believe that this Rupee shortage materialized all of a sudden? For God’s sake, please be reasonable. Surely, if you can write so much in this blog, you must posses some bit of intelligence to analyse the matter in its proper perspective.

    Yes, the DPT government has inherited the problem and whether they like it or not, they have been given a huge mandate by the people of Bhutan to solve this and all other problems that we are faced with. The DPT government has to work at solving the problem. That is precisely what they are trying. All these recent rules and curtailments are aimed at solving the problem. And what do you do? You are clueless about your responsibilities as a citizen to come to the aid of the government. Even if you cannot help, at least have the decency to allow the government to do their job.

    As for the OL, listen to him carefully in the Parliament. Read his blog. All that he has done from day one is raise objections, poke holes in the government’s policies, spread falsehood, challenged the very intention of the government, raised objections to every single attempt of the government to bring meaningful legislation.

    Think: Does he offer to help the government to combat the problem we are faced with? Does he offer any ideas how he would solve the problems? Have you ever heard him present his views, as to how he would go about doing things? If not how come he has so much talk?

    Talk is cheap. Let us see him do something to solve the problem. He has so much talk, let us see him give concrete proposals as to how he would go about solving the problem. Don’t forget as the Opposition in the Parliament, he is part of the government.

    We can forgive him for being anti-government. But certainly we need him to do his part – a constructive part. Let us see he put his money where his mouth is.

  31. guardian says:

    phuntsho ongmo,

    Good suggestion, however, no one will ever being paying extra tax for owning a second vehicle etc, simply because everyone will get around the rule by registering the 2nd/3rd/4th suv in the name of a relative etc, in that way, our rich Bhutanese are as dishonest and selfish as anyone else. Even now, if you check, most of the luxury vehicles they own would probably be registered in the name of a civil servant from whom they bought the government quota.

  32. The Prime Minister as head of government and the finance minister as head of finance must be held accountable for this mess. No one else.

  33. Bring back Monarchy says:

    PrOL, you are too intelligent for me like you have implied. Why don’t you leave this forum – no one asked you to join. OL is kind enough and unbiased to publish your comments. Imagine if you put such questions to JYT – he will throw you in the prison unless of course you are his son/daughter.

  34. Just Asking says:

    Finance Minister and RMA governor should take the blame.

    But how about the Economics Affairs Minister? Isn’t that ministry responsible for developing the manufacturing sector so that there is less dependency on imports?

    Why is he evading his share of responsibility? Does he wan’t the FM and PM to face the music and go down politically so that he can become the next PM.

    Now that the issue is out in the open and some solutions have come from the RMA and FM, the EAM seem be hiding although it is his duty to come up with some structural solutions to the economy. What measures to reduce rupee dependency have we heard from the Economic Affairs ministry and the so-called capable secretary Dasho Sonam Tshering?

  35. MAHAKALA says:

    I will support point raise by Drukpa….Pelden drukpa gyelo…

  36. Who heads the Govt? Ultimate responsibility lies there and cannot be shirked. The PM. But can the OL suggest options to deal with the Rupee Crisis?

  37. Deb-Nagpo says:

    Mr. Jamyang and others,

    Should the banks be held accountable for the Re shortage? Since RMA as the regulator of the banks has been mandated to do their regulatory job, I would assume (could be wrong)that the banks have been operating within rules of the game framed by the central bank. If banks weren’t playing within these rules, it is RMA’s failure to monitor the operations. As long as requirements are upheld by banks such as SLR, CRR, etc. banks as profit-making entities will be driven by the market forces.

  38. Dear Bring back Monarchy,
    The monarchy never left us, they were always there in our lives; they still are. Therefore, there is no question of bringing back monarchy.

    You are right, no one asked me to join this forum as you so kindly pointed out. I joined of my own accord and I will leave when I am ready. Unless ofcourse the OL decides that he can no longer tolerate my engaging his visitors and bars me from making comments here. This is his blog and he has every right to disallow participation by any one whom he deems unwelcome. So the choice is his. If he thinks that I have been talking rubbish, he is welcome to ban me. But I think he is grown up enough to understand the rules of the game: If you want to dish it out, you have to be ready to accept it too.

    Now, having said that, the question that begs asking is this: Even when I find the quality of discussion substandard, why do I continue to participate in the discussions here? Am I a jobless person with plenty of time to spare, countering mindless arguments? Do you think I suffer from Munchausen’s Syndrome? Do you think I have nothing else to do but waste time here responding to childish questions? Trust me, I am none of that.

    I take pains to comment here because I believe that there are people in here who do not seem to have a proper understanding of the issues involved. Their knowledge is skin-deep. They seem to want to comment without giving the matter proper thought. If it is possible, I want to explain things so that people begin to understand things in their proper perspective. At times, it is difficult to explain things without blowing up because it is frustrating to have to respond to silly reasoning. But I try and keep my cool and explain things because it is my belief that I would be doing a service to the country in educating even one person in here.

    The problem of the country is not getting solved as effectively as we wish because there is a serious lack of understanding among the Bhutanese people. People here seem to think that everything else must rest with the government. They seem to think that they have no role whatsoever to play. This is wrong. The government cannot begin to do their job if the people’s support is not forthcoming. The people of Bhutan have a part to play and it is not abusing the government all the time.

    Frankly, read the comments here. You will find that if the government is asking people to walk one day in a week so that we can cut down of fuel consumption, people have problem with that. If the government raises taxes on vehicles, they have a problem and don’t care that increasing tax is designed to curtail import of vehicles.

    The Bhutanese people want everything for them to be done by the government. They are not willing to work for anything. Tell me, what happened to the citizen’s duty? Tell me, if the government does not take corrective measures to curtail Rupee spending, where will you be in a year or two? If the government does not limit the number of cars crowding our streets, one day you will be complaining about road congestion.

    When will your complaints end? Think, won’t your complaints be even more numerous, if you are not willing to accommodate small and tolerable inconvenience now? Your problems are manageable as of now. If you do not cooperate, your problems will be bigger and will become unmanageable. Just think of that.

  39. This is for ProOL……

    I read line by line your comments. You have nothing substantive to share with us in this forum. It is better for you to go an keep listening to the recorded BBS tape of our PM scolding the whole country for eating eggs and vegetables. That is what your views of the current rupee crisis.

    It is not us who do not understand this crisis. It is you who do not understand that JYT and other four ministers were in this system from when i was a school boy. Even i have grown up to understand this crisis while they still do not grasp the fundamental of economics of this country. Obviously people of your kind cannot be taught the economic truth because you believe in the distorted facts. May be you are a four year old kid who just began your life when DPT was formed in 2008.

    You blame banks for doing their business legitimately. They did not steal money from RMA or government to conduct their daily business. It was the RMA and the government’s policy that made available to them huge amount of rupees. The banks will not put that excessive credit in an “unplugged refrigerator” because they are not as dumb as RMA and our government who hoards dollars while our children dies of nutritional deficiencies. What will bank do? Obviously, they will provide loans to the people. That is how they survive. You ProOL don’t even understand this basic functioning of the banking system. What will individuals do when there is such credits available? Obviously, i will buy the first car for my family so that i can drop my children to school. That is what majority of the middle income Bhutanese people did when they bought their cars. Di you ever realize that? I don’t think so because you must be riding people’s car. At least I did not depend on public money to buy my car. I manage it from the 20K per month salary that i earn by working myself. Is that what you think caused the rupees crisis? Boy you don’t understand how economy functions. You better head back to school and begin ABC of economics.

  40. Sonam,

    OK .. so I do not understand the crisis and you do.

    Please explain to me what in your view is the crisis.

  41. Here’s a person (tango2) disenchanted with the DPT government (taken from kuenselonline). Boy, his blood is boiling.

    “Logical, again another rambling prose that can’t see the forest for the trees! Please, get your head out of the pot of the early 1990s! Things have changed, and they have changed dramatically for the better. We now have a democracy. This is the standard that must be applied to the DPT. And they are failing to this standard. It is as simple as that. No need to keep talking about pre-2008.

    Our Monarchy is also post-2008. It is a new arrangement, and so far, our Monarchy has done exceedingly well. It has given 100% room for the new democratic government to maneuver and do everything it wants, in the hope that they will not just have the right intentions, but will also choose the right goals and methods to achieve success. JYT wanted the REC because he complained it was a ‘parallel government’ that stepped on the mandate of the MOE, and he got it. And what did he do with it, he kept it as a parallel government with himself as the Lord to which it reports. Then he complained about the DHI, as the source of revenue that he needed control over to achieve the nation’s development. He made a big noise over it and he got it. And what did he do with it? He kept it independent with himself as the Lord to report to. The DHI has now become his pet poodle that does his every bidding including the running around and expenses for the Education City (his pet project) even though DHI has no investment interest in the Education City. What they hell are they doing there besides licking JYT’s butt?

    The government has had free reign over everything in this country and within 4 years they have blown up all our money, caused both a rupee and ngultrum crunch, sold off $200m, paid billions in interest payments for spending rupees we never had.

    Today, DPT’s honeymoon with the Bhutanese public is long over. Even hardcore DPT members are shaking their heads in frustration. Useless MPs like Tshering Penjore, already responsible for wasting hours of legislative time these past 4 years is now upping his tempo perhaps worried he may not be given a seat next election. The DPT support among the public has shrunken dramatically. Maybe it would be a good opportunity for Tshering Penjor to find another party because he may have better luck with a new party!

    Yes the DPT members who were responsible for the g/shing landscam did their dirty business before they were elected. So what? A crime’s a crime. A pity it was discovered so late but better late than never. They still have to answer the tough questions satisfactorily. Sorry, it wasn’t a ‘dirty era’ and they’re being held to standards from new laws. These criminals are being held responsible for breaking laws that existed back then, including kashos from His Majesty in the 1980s. Zangley the Idiot proclaimed proudly in the NA, “What’s wrong with allotting plots? As Dzongdag of Chukha I alloted a lot of plots!” Very good. I’m sure ACC is busy building a report. If not, then The Bhutanese must have started their research for details. Man, don’t be proud of mistakes!

    Regarding the new changes to the land act, the question on most people’s mind is, why should these criminals be given more authority over the very thing that they’ve been stealing? It’s a simple question.

    Yes it is true that elected leaders are legislators who can modify the laws. As you crudely put it, they can convert an illegal act into a legal one. That i suppose is precisely what they intend to do! This is one of the weakest parts of the democratic system. It requires the politicians to be honest and principled to use their vast powers responsibly. Unfortunately this seems to be a very tall order when it comes to politicians! So here we have a bunch of crooks wanting more land powers. Why shouldn’t we be pissed off?”

  42. guardian says:

    nono,

    Why don’t you stop writing crap, as for being pissed, be prepared to be pissed off for the better part of 5 more years. Talking bullocks about the present government, but as yet, those that do, have no alternative in place, so better spend your time doing something positive instead of wallowing in self pity.

    Sonam,

    It is clear for everyone to see that the banks were responsible for the rupee crisis, so stop your silly defense of the banks, they were responsible because they made credit very easy. Why they made loans easily avilable was because all the banks wanted to do was to boost their own profits without thinking about the consequences, of course RMA our reserve bank also needs to take some blame as they did not monitor the activities of the banks properly. And do you know why that until now the banks had loads of money to lend, it was because all our banks had huge amounts of money deposited by Indian citizens from across the border which were closed after we ran out of rupees.

  43. RMA as a central bank and its one of the functions being advisor to the goverment is soley accountanble for such crisis. On the other fron the FM and PM for spending on ambitious projects like Education city which added fuel to the fire.

    With this trend and mental set of such leaders Bhutan will never get out of such problem in near future too.

  44. Guardian,

    Even you don’t understand how a business function. Banks are private or corporate entity. They only have a business motif, nothing beyond that. That is why we have a government and RMA which are public institution to protect us from the greed of the corporate world. That is why these two institutions failed to live up to their responsibility, not the banks. Banks are like any other private businesses who survives on profits. They do not have a moral responsibility to become a compassionate entities because they cannot exist on the principle of socialism. On the other hand public institutions are established to rule and govern such systems. The RMA is the mother of all financial systems who control these banks in our countries. They even control the foreign currency of these subsidiary banks. RMA and government failed damn BIG!!!!!

  45. Guardian,

    You also do not understand how Banks work. They are business entity. if you have a pan shop, how would you run it. Will you sale pan or provide them freely to the buyers? Obviously, you will sale for some profits. If you are the only one seller or if there are many buyers, you will sale at a high cost. That is how banks work , everywhere in the world.

    On the other hand, the mother of all our Banks, the RMA buys rupees at 10% interest rate from Indian banks and sale at 0% to our local banks. That is an incredible business done by RMA on public money. Because it is public money so who cares. When rupee crisis hits us, RMA blames us citizens for this stupidity. The very institution that was suppose to protect public from the insatiable greed of the corporate entities like Banks was in turn promoting banks to conduct their business by making available huge amount of rupees freely. Who would not take such opportunity in the face of increasing public’s desire to buy cars and other luxurious stuff? So Banks did provide credits through various schemes, but legitimately. They cannot be blamed for doing their normal business.

    I hope you got the point.

  46. Sonam P says:

    Is Foreign Policy your Phashing?

    Dear Sir,
    I wanted to post this on your Pedestrian Day discussion forum but that page had already moved on. So, am posting it here.
    Just like the Tuesday was made a pedestrian day without any discussions or consultation, now the PM wants to have diplomatic ties with China. Won’t that harm our relations with India? Don’t that need consultation, debate. I am not pro India, nor pro China but I am pro Bhutan.
    Dear OL, please start a debate on this, let good sense prevail.

  47. gamingumin says:

    The fact that we are even arguing about who is responsible for failure of government policy shows how unready we are for democracy. The rupee crunch is the direct result of wrong government policies for which it must collectively accept responsibility.In particular the blame should go to the PM. From some government sources I am told that he dictates policies at his whim and fancy and none of the other ministers dares to disagree with him.The government blaming the banks and people should be recorded in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

  48. gamingumin says:

    That we have to argue about who is responsible for the bad consequences of government policy just shows how unready we are for democracy. In a democracy the government must be held accountable for its policies. The rupee crunch is a direct result of wrong policies for which the government must collectively accept responsibility. In particular the blame should go to JYT. I heard that most policies are dictated by him at his whim and fancy and none of the ministers dares to disagree with him. The government blaming the banks and the people should be recorded for Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

  49. You cannot blame just JYT because he was elected by all DPT members to become the president and then PM of Bhutan. I only voted him as MP of my constituency. It was them who voted him to lead their party and in turn lead this country. Unfortunately these chicken hearted DPT members cannot even disagree with their leader for one subject. That is what the other DPT members have failed to rise to their responsibilities. It is not JYT who has become dictatorial. It is other eminent members who cannot take up the responsibilities of democracy. Only our mighty OL so far had the guts to fulfill that responsibility. If the DPT cabinet agrees with PM’s decisions for whatever reason, then they are all responsible for that decision. There is no substantive reason to believe that PM is the only person responsible for such decisions.

  50. DEFINITELY THE FINANCE MINISTER AND THE RMA GOVERNOR.
    THE GOVERNOR AND THE FM SAYS IC IS FOREIGN CURRENCY AND IF WE NEED IC WE SHOULD EARN IT.HOW CAN INDIVIDUAL CITIZEN EARN IT. IT IS THEY WHO SHOULD FRAME POLICY,MONITOR AND REGULATE FOR THE BETTER OF THE PEOPLE AND THE NATION.
    THEY FAILED TO PREDICT THIS CRISIS AND LIKE A SPOILED BRAT HAVE BEEN SPENDING MUCH MORE THAN WHAT WE CAN AFFORD.IN HINDI THERE IS A SAYING “AAMDANI ATHANI KHARTSHA RUPIA”.
    SACK THESE TWO AND SAVE THE NATION.

  51. It is very straight forward, The govt should be blamed for this situation. The are people who are paid for, lavishly to see such situation coming. If they were doing their job this would have been predicted a long ago.Yes, We as Bhutanese have a lavish lifestyle but, it is the govt policies, which put in placed would have made the situation lesser in magnitude.
    I don’t really see this situation improving sooner. A economy of 70 Billion can hardly manage to swim in 250 Billions, which are going to invest on the hydro projects. The million dollar question is, Is DPT just trying to fulfill their political promises (like the medical college which they are pushing hard though nobody else wants it) or really trying to put Bhutan on economic self reliance. Only time will tell i guess.
    My personal fear is, is right to invest only in one type of project. Will it not be worth to find some other areas to invest.
    Is the govt lead by JYT, doing a right thing>>>>>>>>> only god knows.
    After this govt came to power we had all the misfortunes, one after another. I would say, not a good start of democracy. These are just my personal believe not necessary that other would hold the same view.
    All in all, it the govt to be blamed for not putting in appropriate policies and plans.

  52. I wonder why the ban on Bhutan lottery was effected in face of the long ongoing rupee crisis? Ridiculous move..should ve cleaned and rectified the system rather..

  53. gamingumin says:

    What was the role RMA’s Board in all this mess? Is there even a Board? No one seems quite sure who are the Board members. They should also bear responsibility for the stupid ‘corrective measures’. They have remained as quite as a mouse while no doubt drawing their fat sitting fees.

  54. Ever since the DPT gain the ground one thing we have seen is increasing the tax time n again…of course Bhutanese should be responsible too but we have elected them to represent us…indeed now the plot thickens!

  55. Should be RMA. RMA should have internally discussed this issue with the government and come to long term solution. instead they chose to go public and now literally everyone is suffering. THEIR SUICIDAL APPROACH HURT EVERY SINGLE BHUTANESE.Does RMA ever know their true responsibilities in the society?

  56. Concerned Citizen says:

    Can we have Mckinsey Report for the public please.
    Economic Evaluation is essential for reviewing, implementing any intervention, policy so would like to know wht Mckinsey consultancy has found from the evaluation.

  57. The tax should have been;
    500%- all third country luxury vehicles like Toyota landcruisers, BMWs, Mercedes, etc, we have to understand the common people buy car out of necessity whereas rich people buy it just because they can.

  58. I Just think the OL is is a frog in a pond while PM is a fish in the ocean. The OL does not understand the esence of economy. Why does OL still keep mentioning the rupee crisis when everything is running smoothly. Yes, we cannot get rupee freely like before, but let’s doo the shopping inside our country. What is the harm? How can OL dare to associate the rupee problem with the nation’s security when there has bee no harm whatsoever. So many developed nations around the world face economic problem time and again. For instance, Spain is in its worst economic crisis now. If someone has to be accountable for this, it should be OL only for exaggerating everything in order to gain political mileage. He might be gaining a little political mileage with some urban folks, but definitely not with the public at large simply for his negative attitude.

  59. Everybody is trying to wash their own hands when something unusual happening. No body likes to take the blame and when good thinks forcasted rushes for the reward including the gov.

    As a regulator RMA should be blamed for failing monetary control.

    As a policy maker the gov or the DPT should be blamed for failing in the fiscal policy and taking austerity measure before busting.

    As a banker they have the right to markets as their business is on taking risk and try to optimise their profit. Their employees is suriving on the margin of the organisation. survival of the fittest

    As a public they have the right to purchase and borrow provided they have the capacity.

    So I would rather blame the gov for failing in fiscal policy and monitary policy because they are rulling the country. No cabinet should hel accountable but only the finance minister and the PM. Take example the finance minister of Greece was made to resign for their economy doom and becuase of this the whole world is dooming.

    I appeal all the new party leaders and the public to take care of these situation and vote in 2013.

    Hurrah

  60. After the office term PM is liable for following penalities:
    1. Death of boys by Wangchu
    2. Death of students due to malnutrition
    3. Death of patients due to drugs and doctors shortages
    4. Illegal revision of tax
    5. Poor disaster management
    6. Downfall of country’s economy due to poor INR management
    7. Land scam
    8. Mc-kinsey scam
    9. Chigphen Rigpel/NIIT project
    10.Pre-Post Election scam

  61. As some one has said, ‘War is won in the general’s tent.’…

  62. Hi River,
    If you think that PM made those 10 mistakes, we must think that PM made 10000 or more achievements. Read your comments yourself and laugh heartily as there is no logic whatsoever.

  63. As your name “river” suggests, you are going to flow down and down due to your way of conceiving things.

  64. Wow! what a joke. DPT government blaming the public, the people of Bhutan, for the rupee crisis. Shame!

  65. Yes Yeshey ~ He has done extremely well in terms of rntreseeping Bhutan. Bilateral meetings all went very well and I must say he is good at building and establishing more relations. Whether we qualify or not is hard to tell but other 2 candidates are Cambodia and Korea. UN Sec General is Korean so Korea can be ruled out (shall we say?) and Cambodia? Time will tell

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