OL questions the government on Rupee crisis

The Opposition Leader, Tshering Tobgay, called on the government to explain the current Rupee crisis in the Country on Saturday. He said the ‘economy is in crisis’ and government needs to reassure the people. He said the government has to come up with clear plans, strategies and policies to resolve this crisis.

“Just last year, the Government sold US$ 200 million from the Country’s foreign currency reserves to clear a huge  Rupee deficit .But today, barely five months on, we are faced with another Rupee deficit ,one that seems to be spiraling out of control.

“The RMA has taken several measures to address the current rupee crisis.  But their measures are ad-hoc crisis measures, not long term policies. As such, they have not been able to control the growing deficit. And as such the general public has become increasingly worried,” said the Opposition Leader in a statement broadcast on BBS TV and Radio.

The Opposition Leader said that the Rupee deficit has affected everyone. “Businesses especially small time traders, are suffering as they do not have timely access to Indian Rupees. Similarly, our ordinary citizens are suffering; they no longer have ready access to Rupees, and as such cannot buy basic essential goods or travel easily to India for medical treatment, education or pilgrimage.”

He said that the people are concerned and confused and losing confidence ‘in our own economy’. “Yet our government has remained completely silent. The Prime Minister and elected government have still not addressed the people to explain what is happening in our economy.

“The government must clear our doubts and reassure us that they are in control of the situation. Otherwise we will become even more confused: even more anxious: and may even start to panic. As a leader of the Opposition, it is my responsibility to demand that the government address the people, and provide us clear and definite answers.

Therefore, on the behalf of the people:

I call on the government to give a full account on the nature and extent of rupee crisis.

I call on the government to explain, in clear terms, their plans, and strategies and policies to resolve this crisis.

And I call on the government to tell us, the people, exactly when we can expect our economy to recovery from this crisis,” reads the statement by the Opposition Leader.

Meanwhile, the Finance Secretary, Lam Dorji, the government is really concerned on the situation. “We have set-up a task force, I being the Chairman and other representatives from the several key agencies. We have submitted our report to the cabinet and it is still being discussed. In the meantime the government has already issued instructions to the six ministries to take up some of the measures that have been recommended from the government.”

He said as the fund releases from the government of India has been delayed because of their financial year. “From next week onwards we are expected to receive quite a substantial amount in terms of the delayed releases from there and also the line of credit, which is relatively cheaper compared to the overdraft mode of financing.”

The Finance Secretary said that they have requested that 3 billion credit lines be increased to 10 billion, which the GoI has, in principle agreed, and would be finalized next week. “So from the government side I think we are at the moment trying to do as much as possible given constraints against the system.”

Meanwhile, the Minister In-charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, Yeshey Zimba, and the Finance Minister, Wangdi Norbu, will be coming on BBS TV to talk on the issue, at 8.30 pm in Dzongkha and 9.30 pm in English.

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