Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Diamond on our Plate!

'While the price of a kilogram of chilli cost Rs. 40 to 50 in Phuntsholing, the price of a kilogram of chilli in Thimphu cost Nu. 300 to 400." A news reader in BBS reads. 

What do we learn from this?

The government banned the import of green chilli from Bengal in India in August. That was quite the move towards convincing people that vegetables with harmful pesticide is hazardous. And people understood that. Bravo! But it somehow added to the distress of the vegetable vendors in the country. It  added vile to their business. And somehow the ban was a boon for the local farmers. They got a pretty good market for their locally produced chilli. Justice to our own people! 

One of the many visions of our leaders is 'Self Sufficiency'  through organic farming. Our government and the relevant agencies are trying hard to make people understand that going organic is very crucial. And people seem to very much understand this. But at the same time, we feel that we are being robbed.

People were all smiles with the ban of green chilli from Bengal in India, excepting some disgruntle among the vendors. We got to eat our own farm produce, fresh and organic - no fear of pesticides. And this also created an idea to bring chaos and misunderstanding among our own people. From series of incidents we saw, we know one thing for sure that 'our people are opportunist!" In the sense that they make best use of unfavourable times. 

What we saw during the monsoon season was cabbies ferrying passengers with unreasonable fare - tripling the actual amount of fare. When that was the season our people needed them the most, a lot of them felt victim to the daylight robbery. Even RSTA had to penalize the ones caught. And now as the chilli season is about to meet its dreadful end, the price it fetches is skyrocketing - What nightmare is this?

Wait! Does this mean vendors fix their own price and we don't have anybody regulating them? The price of vegetable rising from 100/kg to 400/kg is not some jokes made by foolish people and consumed by foolish us! This is something to talk about! A lot has been talked and lot more frustration is being poured on this? These days whatever social media page you are on, it is always about the chilli price. When all of us are frustrated over this, there got to be something or somebody  talking on this. But sadly, we live in a society where  people don't bother much. 

But this is killing the commoner. Paying 400 for a kg of chilli is great deal for them and is beyond their capacity. 

However Agriculture department is exploring new market in Darjeeling and Sikkim in India to import green chilli, but what if the same fate is met? I guess we must not mind paying more or totally cut chilli out of the meals. 

         And amidst these misfortunes and hard times, we - the commoner always wait for better!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

My thought on BBIN Agreement!

       BBIN Agreement, a much discussed issue in the recent two sessions of the parliament has invited a lot of criticism - both constructive and the otherwise. The Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of Passenger and Cargo vehicular movement in the regions of Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal was signed last year by the government and marked the move in bringing in more vehicular movement in the country. 

       While lot many said it was a good move and initiative in boosting up and building the economy of the nation, many were not in the favour of the idea that it will bring in lots of chaos. The recent parliament had a thorough discussion on this and the national Council in particular refrained from ratifying the Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of Passenger and Cargo vehicular movement. The National Council was firm with the decision that the government didn't do comprehensive consultation with the relevant stakeholders before signing the agreement. 

       Pointed out right because as far as every citizen is concerned, the terms regarding the BBIN agreement was thoroughly out poured to the people through various source but people were not consulted on the pros and cons of the agreement. The people and the relevant stakeholders were not involved in the decision. The decision of the government to sign the agreement brought about a lot of pleas and cries from the concerned   authorities and individual, particularly the truck and cab owners that the move will definitely intervene in their business in ferrying passenger (regional tourists in particular) and load. All the possible media covered the story but it didn't change the mind of the government. 

      Finally, the much pain of the people were knotted into the agreement!

      The recent denial of the NC in ratifying the agreement somehow was a balm on the wound. It somehow removed the stain of doubt and worries our concern agencies and individuals were carrying for quite sometime.  And I believe that this is for the greater cause and the greater need of the people. 

       Men at the Service of the Public!

    From a commoner's perspectives, the BBIN agreement was for the good of the people and economy of the country, but more than the goodness it promised, it infact has a lot of disadvantages in package. 

       Considering a large figure in the import of vehicles in the country, the Government raised the tax for car imports. Infact it is very surprising that a very high tax is levied for the import of any vehicle in a very poor and developing economy of the country. This sent lot of people wanting to buy a car back home. As long as this 100% tax exists, a commoner's dream to own a car is impossible. And this was much respected and appreciated by all the people and infact the people outside, because out government was very concerned about the environmental pollution. But, the very agreement that will allow more vehicular movement and the 100% tax levied to our own people for buying a car doesn't correlate. This simply doesn't define any justice to our people. 

       Bhutan uphold its pride of being a carbon Negative country and the 100% tax is a means of limiting the imports of cars.  Justified move in maintain that pride! And the recent uproar in the parliament  was because they were less convinced that the vehicles of the rest of the countries is never a threat to the environment and security of the nation. I am pretty moved by the MP's statement about the 100% tax ruining a common man's dream to own a car and letting others roam in our land. 

       What a concern!

       Above all, people are still crossing their fingers that good will come out and there will be justice in the land of peace. And a lot of appreciation to our farsighted leaders who always gave a second thought for the well beings of the people and the Nation as a whole!