‘We are worried’- PM

Lyonchhen says the government is equally concerned about the increased Covid-19 cases in India

With the second wave of the Covid-19 continuing to wreak havoc in India, Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering, during a press meeting on Friday, said the government is concerned about what will happen here in the country in two weeks’ time.
“At this time, we are worried about the economy and livelihood, which is as strong as the pandemic. There is absolutely no way we can control it because we have trade with India and the implication directly reflects in Bhutan,” the PM said.
“When goods and services get totally disturbed in India, the inflation rates also increased in Bhutan,” Lyonchhen said, adding that people are already complaining about the market price of commodities and worried about the inflation rate as it is a direct reflection of the cost price in India.
Lyonchhen added that the government is worried if the trade gets distracted with the increasing Covid-19 cases in India.
According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January this year, inflation increased by 8.97% compared to the same month of the previous year.
The increase is mainly associated with the increase in food prices at 8.97% and increase for non-food prices went up by 0.8% from December and up by 2.67% compared to January of last year.
Sharing about the increase in inflation happening across the borders, the PM said, “We can never maintain the cost price of cooking oil that we used to have before the pandemic. It is very difficult because the cost of commodities in India has increased.”
“From India, the tax rate is also increased by two times. Before we use to import things by Nu 250 to 300, now we are importing by Nu 450 to 500,” Lyonchhen added. India has 18.7mn cases of Covid-19 as of now.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu