Way Forward for BCCI presented to economic affairs ministry

The vice president of the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Tashi Dorji, maintained that the Way Forward report for BCCI submitted to the economic affairs ministry and the subsequent presentation made to the ministry is unique of its kind.

The BCCI, meanwhile, presented the Way Forward presentation to the economic affairs minister, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, on November 15 in Thimphu.

This was done after the Parliament directed BCCI for submission of a comprehensive Way Forward including BCCI policy, financial prudency rules and regulations, revision of Royal Charter 1996 and terms of office of BCCI portfolio – president and vice-president.

The Parliament’s directive through the ministry of economic affairs was in the light of adverse state of BCCI, in various areas, submitted by the Royal Audit Authority Performance Report pertaining to the period January 2013 to December 2017.

The Royal Audit report stated that the BCCI achievements are remotely visible and not up-to-mark.

The vice president said that the government’s Way Forward aspiration was on sustainable positive opportunity.

He said the parliament direction calls for a very important need for BCCI to strive to sustain achievements and redeem the deficiencies, recommend policy and administrative reforms, legal statute of BCCI and necessary amendments, leadership performances; and all that are necessary to deal better in the contemporary business world and future, both in the context of local and global.

He added it’s envisaged that BCCI to show positive impact on private sector development as being instrumental towards achieving the national objective goal of private sector – “development partner of the government and cognizance that BCCI an apex body, as a vehicle towards private sector development, the engine of economic growth and development”.

The other issues, according to Tashi Dorji, there is a lack of strategic focus and planning framework and there is requirement of a clear articulation of long term focus on the achievement and on programs and activities, and a long term documentation of planning and strategic plan, usually strategic plan, spanning over a period of five to ten years.

Another issue is that there is not a road map as to where BCCI intends to head to with a reasonable timeframe and reflect an objective and value in term of contribution to the members and private sector.

According to Tashi Dorji, the Way Forward proposed were grand strategy, corporate and business level strategy, amendment to Articles of Royal Charter 1996 wherever necessary, proposal for BCCI/business community representation in the Local Government and National Assembly, furtherance Organization Structure Development (ODS 2018), implementation of ToR for Secretary General 2018, financial rules and regulation and abreast digital era and digitalizing services.

BCCI also sought government’s intervention on policy front that the government provides for explicit areas of focus for BCCI to perform as mandated.

On the financial front, Tashi Dorji said the government should facilitate enabling fund generation by restoring the revenue earning avenues from trade fair and membership fee mobilization as they used to be in the past.

Meanwhile, the BCCI is encountered with unsustainable and insecure revenue generation for its operational expenses.

The trade fair and event conducts, which were a major source of revenue, is considerably declined by 85% in 2018. The membership fees are uncertain due to the questions of legitimacy over its collections.

According the 2014 and 2018 annual reports, the government provides 26.91% of budget resources as subsidy to BCCI, they manage 51.35% of the total budget from trade and event majoring, 20.33% from membership fee and 1.41% from others.

Tashi Dorji said the cause of continuous variation or deflection in revenue generation has been due to regulation of ministry of economic affairs liberalization of trade fair and events conducted across the board.

“It dispossesses BCCI of its ownership although the Royal Charter 1996 objectively mandate BCCI to organize trade fairs and exhibitions,” said the vice president, adding that there is a need to safeguard BCCI to secure financial soundness.   

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu