In Kuensel issue of 8th July, 2013, His Majesty appointed Interim Government (IG) Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Bhutan has refuted the assertions made by His Majesty appointed IG Advisor Dasho Karma Ura in the Kuensel issue of 6th July, 2013 confirming the:
I. “Withdrawal of Chukha tariff” supposed subsidy by Government of India
II. “Withdrawal of exercise duty refund” by Government of India
Dasho Chhewang Rinzin has refuted most unambiguously these assertions though the language was necessarily polite from one advisor to another advisor appointed by the same authority.
I. That “the power purchase agreement with the Power Trading Corporation of India for Chukha Power does not have any component built into INR 2 a unit tariff.”
II. That “In fact, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has been in touch with the GoI for an upward revision of the Chukha power tariff from the present INR 2 per unit for some time now and the Ministry hopes for a positive outcome of the consultations.”
III. The IG Advisor to Economic Affairs also clarified that, “the refund of exercise duty is governed by 2006 Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between governments of Bhutan and India, which expires in 2016” only.
In an election time, I feel it is perfectly alright to call for removal of a politician from a political post or prevent regaining the same. In fact, in a democracy, such calls are made at all times between Parties, within Parties and between Governments and people, not just during election time. In an extreme case, a security guard of Shrimati Indira Gandhi even assassinated her because he did not like her. So Bhutanese political watchers and voters have to be prepared for possibly undreamed of political vendettas. However, pawning sovereign national interests just for the hope to dislodge or with the objective to be vindictive against the person of JYT or DPT as a political entity are self-defeating. Deliberately scheming to provoke or induce India to revise the Chukha power tariff downwards as opposed to upward revision requested by RGoB and withdraw future exercise duty refund as opposed to successive yearly attempts by Bhutan Revenue and Custom Delegations to retrieve a fairer share of exercise duty refund entitlements from India, is not going to hurt the fiscal life of JYT or the other 46 DPT candidates. The real victim will be the Kingdom of Bhutan and the people of Bhutan.
No true Bhutanese citizen, political party or appointed authority should publicly or privately make overtures to either India or China or any other outside power to adversely intervene into our internal politics or election to get rid of one political party this time and another party the next time.
We can pretend that we just forgot a vital fact. But it does not change the fact that in 2004, the King of Bhutan His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck went to New Delhi to personally negotiate the Chukha power tariff of INR 2 per unit. It was reported to be an increase of INR 0.50 per unit not 0.45 but exact figure is not the issue here. The crux of the issue is that the King of Bhutan got the Chukha tariff revised to INR 2 per unit. Please recall that the salaries of civil servants got handsomely increased only after the King was able to personally negotiate the Chukha power tariff to INR 2 per unit.
Now if ( a big if ) Government of India down revises the same tariff to INR 1.55 or 1.50 per unit of Chukha power, then the very act of renegading on a commitment reached with a King is an insult to the Kingdom of Bhutan. The same King is not on the Throne but his son, the hereditary successor, is now on the Throne. And a King deserving the Kingdom (if he did not deserve the Throne, he would not have been born the eldest prince in the house of Wangchuck Dynasty) must be prepared to defend the honour of the Kingdom and the dignity of the Throne.
I am actually, to say the least, quite fed up and disgusted with ongoing politics of personal vendetta nature among political personalities and also other personalities. I really wish 13th July, 2013 had happened a long time back. If anyone agrees with me, please raise your hands and acclaim, “Lha-Gyal-Lo!” (May Goodness Triumph). The positive synergy so accumulated through collective good wishes will bring blessings to all of us. Good-bye to General Election of 2013. Come what derisive schemes plotters and counter plotters may bring forth, let Palden Drukpa always remain in good Health!