BoiC for­mally launched

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

The most con­tra­dic­tory, the es­tab­lish­ment of the Business Op­por­tu­nity and In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre (BOiC) and Ac­cess to Re­volv­ing Funds and Business In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre by the present Gov­ern­ment on 19th De­cem­ber 2013 a time-bound au­ton­o­mous agency, un­der the aegis of Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs was of­fi­cially launched on last Wed­nes­day by the Prime Min­is­ter, Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay and In­dian Am­bas­sador to Bhutan, His Ex­cel­lency Gau­tam Bam­bawale.

With the launched of BOiC, those peo­ple want­ing to start a small and cot­tage in­dus­try can now get loans from BOiC through the part­ner bank Bhutan De­vel­op­ment Bank Limited (BDBL).

The to­tal fund of Nu 1.9 bil­lion un­der Re­volv­ing fund of the Eco­nomic Stim­u­lus Plan, the BOiC will fa­cil­i­tate and pro­vide ac­cess to funds un­der the re­volv­ing fund. The re­volv­ing fund has been di­vided into two parts, the re­volv­ing fund-I with the bud­get of Nu 1.5 bil­lion for cot­tage and small man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries and in the re­volv­ing fundII with the bud­get of Nu 0.4 bil­lion for non-for­mal ru­ral ac­tiv­i­ties.

Eco­nomic Af­fairs Min­is­ter, Ly­onpo Norbu Wangchuk said, BOiC is not a sil­ver bul­let to all the econ­omy chal­lenges and the prob­lems that we are fac­ing but def­i­nitely it will make share of con­tri­bu­tion to help us re­solve th­ese prob­lems. The cen­tre could think of a so­lu­tion to cor­rect the fun­da­men­tal flaw of the econ­omy that we are go­ing through. The fun­da­men­tal flaw could be that we im­ported more and ex­port very lit­tle. This has given rise to all the prob­lems that we have to­day.

Ly­onpo said ac­cord­ing to a global statis­tics, if we invest US $5000 in huge in­dus­tries, it will man­i­fest into one job, but in a small and cot­tage in­dus­tries, if we invest US $ 150, it will re­sult into one job. We don’t pro­duce much but we just con­sume what was be­ing pro­duced across the bor­der. There­fore, the fo­cus of the BOiC is the pro­duc­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries.

Ly­onpo fur­ther added that, BOiC is all tar­geted to pro­mot­ing small and cot­tage in­dus­tries and the cen­tre’s tar­get is some 6000 jobs over a pe­riod of five years and that’s huge for a small coun­try like ours.

Dur­ing the press con­fer­ence, CEO of BOiC Karma Tsh­er­ing said, although they had re­ceived sev­eral pro­pos­als from the peo­ple in­clud­ing civil ser­vant and the cor­po­rate em­ployee, but they didn’t ac­cept any pro­posal.

But after the launch­ing of the cen­tre, they will ac­cept the pro­posal and eval­u­ate ac­cord­ingly, he added.

“Our ob­jec­tive is to take BOiC’s ser­vices to ev­ery part of the coun­try and en­sure peo­ple from far flung vil­lages get ac­cess to the ser­vices with­out hav­ing to come to Thimphu. BDB is an ideal part­ner bank with very good net­work cov­er­age and ex­pe­ri­ence in ru­ral, cot­tage and small business”, said the CEO

Dur­ing the launched Prime Min­is­ter said, it is our pledges dur­ing our last elec­tion that we will es­tab­lish the Eco­nomic Stim­u­lus Plan (ESP) to solve our econ­omy prob­lems. The prob­lems we are fac­ing are with trade im­bal­ance, youth un­em­ploy­ment, INR crunch, and we have the prob­lems with the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion that they are un­able to give the loans.

“Although the ESP will not solve all the prob­lems but with this plan, the business peo­ple will able to get loan”, said the Ly­onch­hen.

Ly­onch­hen fur­ther added that, with RF, small and cot­tage in­dus­tries and non-for­mal ac­tiv­i­ties in ru­ral ar­eas could in­creased and more over, we can also help to those stu­dents who wanted to pur­sue their higher stud­ies and to the re­tired civil ser­vant.

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of BDBL, Pema Tsh­er­ing said, “The ob­jec­tives and man­dates of BDBL to ser­vice ru­ral, cot­tage and small in­dus­tries in the ru­ral ar­eas con­forms to BOiC as both the agen­cies have sim­i­lar tar­get groups. There­fore, this part­ner­ship of BOiC and BDB is an ex­cel­lent col­lab­o­ra­tion and ar­range­ment to de­liver the fi­nan­cial ser­vices ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently for the ben­e­fit of Bhutanese pub­lic”.

Chair­per­son of the BOiC and also the Eco­nomic Af­fairs Min­istry’s joint sec­re­tary, Sonam P Wangdi said, although the BOiC don’t re­quired any mort­gage while lend­ing loans but it is manda­tory to have a guar­an­tor.

He also added that, keep­ing the rate of in­ter­est at 4 per­cent, dur­ing the de­lib­er­a­tion in fact we wanted at one-point in time and even not charge the in­ter­est, but we found that we need some in­cen­tive, but at the same time we need cer­tain obli­ga­tion. So this pur­pose would able to meet the ba­sic cost. This is the low­est level we could go down to meet the cost both in terms of post­fund ser­vices and to cover some of the over head cost of the BOiC.

Mean­while, the Re­volv­ing Funds of Nu 1.9 bil­lion will be man­aged in ad­her­ence to the fund man­age­ment guide­lines is­sued by the Min­istry of Fi­nance. The Min­istry of Fi­nance and the Royal Mon­e­tary Au­thor­ity will man­age and mon­i­tor the funds and the BDBL will dis­burse the fund.

Be­sides launch­ing of the cen­tre’s web­site and the business in­for­ma­tion cen­tre, the com­pact agree­ment was sign be­tween the cen­tre and the BDBL.

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