Vehicle quota for each household to be reviewed – PM

Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering maintained that vehicle quota for each household that the ruling party pledged during the general election campaign will be reviewed at the Friday Meet session yesterday.

“The pledge is still on and if it benefits people, then we will come up,” said Lyonchhen.

However, the Prime Minister said it would not be possible for the government to provide vehicle quota for each household member.

As per the Population and Housing Census (PHCB) 2017, there are a total of 158,513 households in the country with a population of 735,553 people. This would mean the government will have to provide that many number of quotas.

“The government does not have to give extra budget for the quota as it is just more cars coming in at less expenses,” Lyonchhen added.

The Prime Minister said that the first car will be not taxed but the second car will be doubly taxed and so on, which will not be easy for the other family members.

“Currently in Thimphu, there are more than three cars in a family and it will be fine for who can afford but we have to think about those who cannot,” he added.

The pledge to provide vehicle quota for each household was raised by candidates of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) during the public debates that began on September 24 last year.

On September 25 last year, DNT also posted on its official Facebook page about its pledge to revamp existing vehicle quota provision for civil servants.

Instead of the Nu 800,000 blanket ceiling every seven years at touching grade six, DNT promised a raised quota of Nu 1.5mn for civil servants at the completion of their first 10 years of service.

The party further pledged to increase this ceiling to Nu 2mn after serving for 10-20 years, Nu 3mn between 30 and 40 years and up to Nu 4mn for a service term spanning 40 years.

“The same facility will be extended to corporations so long as employees serve for more than 10 years in a particular organization. That way there will be better retention of experiences in corporations,”stated DNT.

However, on September 26 last year, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) wrote to remind the two political parties contesting the general round that they are not allowed to make pledges beyond those stated in the party manifestos.

According to ECB, the vehicle quota pledge was not stated in the copies of the manifesto that DNT submitted to the ECB along with its letter of intent or those shared with the media.

Lyonchhen had reportedly said then during an interview that the vehicle quota system was kept as a surprise in case they get through the primary round. “It was kept as a surprise to cause some excitement,” Lyonchhen had told Kuensel.

Tshering from Thimphu