It is still a choice to buy a car: PM

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

The govern­ment ini­tia­tives for the use of elec­tric ve­hi­cles to pre­serve our pris­tine en­vi­ron­ment, our peo­ple are con­cern­ing about the util­ity ve­hi­cle and many peo­ple have been com­ing up with dif­fer­ent views on the so­cial me­dia as well to the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter as the prod­uct test­ing ground.

In re­sponse to this, dur­ing the Meet-the-Press ses­sion last Fri­day, Ly­onch­hen said that as a mat­ter of pol­icy we don’t name any ve­hi­cles, for util­ity ve­hi­cles there is some more fa­vor­able tax struc­ture than other ve­hi­cles and all ve­hi­cles that fall into util­ity cat­e­gory would be Mahin­dra (Bolero), TATA (Xenon) and there are few more that fall into the cat­e­gory of util­ity ve­hi­cles.

He fur­ther said that the idea is not to ben­e­fit busi­nesses but to ben­e­fit farm­ers. Ly­onch­hen said that he be­lieves in elec­tric ve­hi­cles and fore­sees as a mode of trans­port in fu­ture. He said that he is not alone to be­lieve but ex­perts from world also share this be­lieve.

Ly­onch­hen said that “the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter is the prod­uct test­ing ground to be is wrong. Be­cause all the ve­hi­cles that have come into Bhutan don’t need to do any more test­ing since they have been tested suf­fi­ciently and they have not been sent to Bhutan to test”.

Ly­onch­hen said that we have a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to use cheap, re­new­able re­sources that we are pro­duc­ing our­selves that is elec­tric­ity to re­place the fos­sil fuel which is im­por­tant, but it is very dirty and ex­pen­sive.

He fur­ther said that fos­sil fuel although it is im­por­tant, but it’s pol­lutes to our en­vi­ron­ment, ex­pen­sive and it is non-sus­tain­able. On the other hand we have elec­tric­ity which is pro­duced do­mes­ti­cally, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, and cheap and it is re­new­able. There­fore if we can re­lease fos­sil fu­els with elec­tric cars its worth of sav­ing and our coun­try will ben­e­fit, not in terms of just ru­pee bal­ance, debt but in achiev­ing over­all goal of eco­nomic self-re­liance.

Ly­onch­hen said that for many of us this would be a new con­cept but govern­ment has not forced to any one, for in­stance to the pri­vate sec­tor or to the govern­ment to drive elec­tric ve­hi­cles. He fur­ther said that it is still a choice. He said that govern­ment has con­tin­ued the pol­icy of pre­vi­ous govern­ment to make it con­ve­nient to buy and drive elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Mean­while, the util­ity ve­hi­cle which are not ex­ceed­ing Nu 0.8 mil­lion, only the farm­ers, ru­ral busi­ness, and the farmer’s co­op­er­a­tive groups are el­i­gi­ble for it and the taxes im­posed for that ve­hi­cles are 15 per­cent, which in­cludes 5 per­cent of green tax.

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