I am sorry if my ideas and thoughts contradict any of yours!
Is it really a rupee crunched or a policy crunched or is it the warning bell for us to prepare to be self sufficient? Why this happened suddenly of nowhere? Is it the failure of the concern consultancy for the government and the concern agencies? Or maybe is it my wrong thoughts about it? Yea it should happen and is inevitable. But the main question is why suddenly? “Certainly after losar we don’t have rupee”. Is this justifiable statement?
What we Bhutanese produce and what we import?
All most 60% of the Bhutanese depends on farming. And no doubt we are peasant society actually. There are many institutions that provide various loans. Bhutan Development Finance Corporation (BDFC) provide agriculture loan at 15% previously and now reduced to 13% whereas they charge 12% for tourism, mining and hotels etc... Bank of Bhutan provide loan with 13% interest as an agriculture loan for to buy the agriculture machineries and export of the cash crops like orange, apples etc… and whereas 12% interest is charge for the vehicle loan for the civil servant which ultimately is the source of environmental pollution and hectic traffic problem these days! Other financial institution like Bhutan National Bank (BNB) and Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan (RICB) doesn’t provide loan for the agriculture.
Our main backbone for revenue generation is electricity. All the rural areas were supplied with subsidized rate and too the industries that are the source that always concern the environment and which consume huge power and all most all of its products are exported mainly to Indian and bit to other nations and the shortage of rupee. The subsidized rate for electricity for the rural people and the industries contradicts. When it is compared with huge consumption of power by the industries with the rural subsidy it is nothing but just it can be observed as extra incentives to the industrialists.
What do we wear? We say gho and kira!! Huh!! But see how many of people walking through the street is with what we say gho and kira. It is a wonderful irony. It’s ok if what you wear is homemade! But look form the tip of your toe to the top of your head. It is all that is manufactured and imported from India maximum and certain percentage is expectable for m other countries. Do we know that we wear only the belt (chudang, Khaera) that is homemade? This is the only thing that we Bhutanese wear and still reign the custom of weaving belt for our own. What if we have industries that manufacture ghos and kiras.
Why do we Bhutanese prefer to do shopping in Jaigon instead of Phuntsholing town? This is because Bhutanese are good at negotiating and bargaining. People actually don’t go for shopping instead I feel they go for bargaining. Compare the prices you paid in Jaigon and the prices in Bhutan. It is same ya!
Why and how? In Jaigon the concern shop keepers know the strategy of how to counter balance the rate mainly with Bhutanese customers.
Once I was for shopping alone. They charge me Rs. 650 for one T-shirt. I bargain and bargain and finally I bought it for Rs. 300. See the difference! Then we can question the quality of goods there. After a week I washed my T-shirt which was red in colour and to my dismay thought I was at butcher yard. It turned to grayish white.
The quality isn’t good and moreover we Bhutanese feel that we get in reasonable price because of bargaining. You do shopping in our own town, Phunstholing town, and compare the price. You’ll surprise to get same thing with same price with good quality. Bhutanese go to Jaigon because in Bhutan bargaining isn’t rampant and yea they will not give damn if you bargain. Prices are fixed reasonably and the quality is far more better than that you bought from Jaigon.
Likewise if we ourselves help to grow our own community then I think we could achieve something like the people of Merak and Sakten escape from rupee crunch. They export more than import.