English | Dzongkha Sunday, February 18, 2018

Govt. invites former ministers to reimburse state funds used for their private residences

Sherub Dorji, Thimphu
Feb 13, 2018

Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay said at the press conference yesterday that the security measures at his private residence were put in place as required by the Security Protocol 2014 despite his resistance. He also added that the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) did not question the use of public fund.

In the wake of the Opposition’s allegations against the Prime Minister, accusing him of misusing public resources for private benefit, the Prime Minister said the government is disappointed that the Opposition raised the issue only as a reaction to the allegations against former minister Yeshey Zimba.

“They have claimed misuse of public resource for private benefit and they have called it a serious corruption when the Royal Audit Authority never mentioned that,” the Prime Minister said.

“Inspite of that and inspite of the fact that RAA have not said it is a misuse of public resource and the RAA did not ask to recover the money, I voluntarily reimbursed the money.”

The government will now ask the RAA to investigate security arrangements made for prime ministers and ministers of the past and the present.  “I am not against or jealous of them. Rather, the Opposition is concerned themselves,’ Lyonchhen added.

“Despite them knowing that I returned the money, they are worried. When they can be this worried, we have to support them. That’s why from 2003, all the compound walls, security measures, and vehicles taken must have been done according to the laws. If that is the case and with the Opposition concerned, we have to support them.”

He added he had already returned the public money used for putting in place security arrangements at his private residence.

The government invited the former prime minister, and the ministers to return funds used for security arrangements at their private residences.

“I hope the Opposition’s former ministers and the former prime minister will return the state fund used in their private residences by looking at me as an example. The RAA will conduct the investigations. No matter how the investigation outcome is, I hope while it is ongoing, they will reimburse the funds to the government.”

As requested by the Opposition, the government will soon publish the records of the benefits, customs duty, and sales tax on imports from third countries and India accrued to major industries, businesses, hotels from 2008 to 2018.

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