Farmers accuse party coordinators of duping them in Tsirang 

People from 10 gewogs out of the total 12 in Tsirang have allegedly accused four member coordinators of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Dzongkhag of having collected money and duping them on the pretext of providing loans.

People from the 10 gewogs had appealed this to the Opposition Leader (OL), Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, who was on a week-long tour to Tsirang Dzongkhag last week.

According to the appeal letter submitted to the OL, the four member coordinators of PDP had collected Nu. 300 each from individual during March to August this year as cost for the form which they needed to fill up to avail the loan.

A Mendrelgang resident, Sangay Dorji, along with 10 other members in an appeal letter to the OL stated that a PDP coordinator on pretext of providing a loan of Nu. 500,000 to be paid in 10 years with EMI of Nu. 20,000 annually collected Nu. 300 for the form.

Similarly, 14 people from Phuentenchu gewog in Tsirang had also submitted an appeal letter to the OL, raising the same issue.

The appeal letter read, “But we did not still receive the loan. Therefore, it is a request to the Opposition Leader to help us to get either the loan or Nu. 300 back for those people who have paid for the forms.”

Another farmer from Phuentenchu gewog, Kumar Rai, 31, said, “We were told that we can avail loan and Nu. 300 each was collected from us. It has almost been a year now and neither did we get the loan or our Nu. 300 back. The office located in the Damphu town is also closed.”

Ugyen Dorji, 55, from Phuentenchu gewog added he is not aware of what is happening and that they have appealed to the OL to seek clarification and want to know whether they are getting the loan.

Opposition Leader Dr. Pema Gyamtsho told Business Bhutan that the case will be referred to concerned authorities for investigation.

“There appears to be enough ground for investigation; whether there was any kind of deception and abuse of political influence,” he added. “According to the complainants, the case was appealed to the Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister but there was no action taken so far.”

However, PDP’s General Secretary Sonam Jatso said the issue was also brought up during the party meeting.

“People were helped to process for the loan, they were facilitating the people. Everything was done in a good faith to help each other. Due to delay there has been some misunderstanding. If the people have collected the money then it has to be returned,” he said.

“I am going to request our MPs to look into the matter during their constituency visit and find solution to the issue,” he added.

Apropos party coordinators involved in the issue, Sonam Jatso said the party will seek recommendations from the MPs after they have visited and investigated the issue and then act accordingly.

“We have to do something about it,” he said.

Tsirang Dzongrab Namgay Dorji, meanwhile, said he is not aware of the issue and the issue was not brought to the Dzongkhag’s notice.

Phuentenchu Gewog Gup Siva Lal Kararia said, “The people had done the work privately and we were not involved. The issue was not brought to our office before and now also. I have no knowledge on this issue.”

Meanwhile, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Commissioner Jamtsho said information was collected and it was found not to be true.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu