English | Dzongkha Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Agriculture ministry doubtful of food import figures

Mar 23, 2015

Agriculture ministry doubtful of food import figuresOfficials from the agriculture ministry said there could be some discrepancies when it came to the total value of essential food items being imported today.

Food imports, according to figures reflected in the Royal Monetary Authority’s annual report had reached Nu 6.2B which is almost equivalent to the total net earning made by the hydropower sector in a year.

While being doubtful about the figure, the agriculture ministry had carried out their own calculation to find out whether figures from the central bank were correct.

For instance, RMA’s value of rice import translates to 50,000 metric ton while the agriculture ministry’s calculation found out Bhutan was required to import only 21,000 metric tons a year.

The calculation was based on how much rice the country produced and how much it required.

Agriculture minister, Yeshey Dorji said, the figure was alarming and it reckoned proper investigation, otherwise it would reflect badly on the ministry when it came to achieving food self sufficiency.

“There were studies carried out by the Anti-Corruption Commission where they have found instances of people producing fake receipts of importing rice to get rupee exchange.”

Lyonpo said they have requested the finance ministry to make rupee available for other items, since Bhutan’s rupee position has improved today.

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