English | Dzongkha Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Closing time for discotheques and bars

Dec 31, 2010

As an interim measure, discotheques may follow previous timings said the Information and Communications Minister, Lyonpo Nandalal Rai. This will come as good news for party goers and discotheque owners alike.

As per a recent notification issued by Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority, bars have to close by 10pm. Discotheques by midnight.

The Information and Communications Minister made the concession after several bar and discotheque owners approached him requesting the ministry to reconsider the recent notification.

Bar and discotheque owners argue that the new rule will seriously hamper their business with some saying that they might as well close shop.

Previously, discotheques can remain open till 2am in the morning.

Tashi Gyeltshen who runs Club Banana, a discotheque in the heart of the capital town, said the matter was never discussed with them.

“We want to cooperate with the government but the government should have discussed this with us before issuing the notification,” he said.

Kinley Penjor, the owner of Splash Club, said “people do not come to the clubs directly from work. They go home, rest and visit the clubs after dinner. They arrive by 11pm. If the clubs have to close by 12, we only get one hour to operate.”

The notification has also affected employees who work in bars and discotheques. Phuntsho Wangdi works as a DJ at Space 34, a swanky night club in the town. “My owner has already decided to cut my salary. How am I going to meet my household expenses,” he said.

The Information and Communications Minister, Lyonpo Nandalal Rai said the new rule was introduced to tackle the growing social problem.

He agreed it was an ad hoc decision and said the issue could be re-discussed if it is affecting business.

“We will discuss the issue once again with relevant stakeholders and see if we can do anything other than shortening the time. We will look for other alternatives,” said Lyonpo Nandalal Rai.

Club owners can keep their business establishments till 2am for the New Year celebration. What is to be done after that is yet to be seen.

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