No pol­icy breached on im­port of sec­ond hand elec­tric ve­hi­cles: PM

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Chimmi Rinzin

Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay said the gov­ern­ment has not breached any poli­cies on im­port of sec­ond hand elec­tric ve­hi­cles and has the right to sign mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ings with any­body when it comes to things that are good for Bhutan, dur­ing 16th meet the press last Thurs­day.

He was re­spond­ing to the find­ings made by the Anti – Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion that the gov­ern­ment has un­der­mined pro­vi­sions of the Con­sti­tu­tion that pro­vides fair mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion by sign­ing mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with Nis­san Mo­tors and Mahin­dra Reva.

In the an­nual re­port 2014, of the Anti Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion it is re­ported that “The Gov­ern­ment sign­ing MoUs with NIS­SAN Mo­tor Co. Ltd. (Ja­pan) and Mahin­dra Reva Elet­ric Ve­hi­cles Pri­vate Limited (In­dia) has un­der­mined pro­vi­sions of the Con­sti­tu­tion that pro­vides for fair mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion and has given un­due benefits to pri­vate in­ter­ests of the two lo­cal deal­ers of NIS­SAN Mo­tor Co. Ltd. (Ja­pan) and Mahin­dra Reva Elec­tric Ve­hi­cles Pri­vate Limited (In­dia).”

ACC’s find­ing says the MoU signed with NIS­SAN Mo­tor Co. Ltd. (Ja­pan) con­tains the gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Ac­tion Plan for the gov­ern­ment’s light ve­hi­cle fleet to be con­verted to Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle (EV).

It also says the ac­tion plan in­clude elec­tric ve­hi­cles as taxi fleet and trans­porta­tion for tourist. “The Gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tives on the im­port of EVs in the coun­try ap­pear to un­fairly ben­e­fit a se­lect few.”

Ly­onch­hen cit­ing Third Coun­try Im­port Rules and Reg­u­la­tions 2001 said the rules put sec­ond hand ve­hi­cles as re­stricted item and not pro­hib­ited item. “This is a re­stricted item on which re­stric­tions will ap­ply based on pol­icy. So the cabi­net stud­ied it and de­cided it is not pro­hib­ited.”

The Prime Min­is­ter also refuted ACC’s find­ings on PM re­ceiv­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cles as gifts from car com­pa­nies. “Gifts are not to me. The gifts, although they were di­rected to me, I did not ac­cept and it has been trans­ferred to the gov­ern­ment.”

The re­port says that public of­fi­cial who can make de­ci­sion or in­flu- ence de­ci­sion made by oth­ers about the use of public money re­ceives such gifts then the gifts may sway them to make de­ci­sion in fa­vor of the per­son of com­pany that pro­vides the gift. The com­mis­sion sug­gested that in or­der to ad­dress the prob­lem at source, gift giv­ing and tak­ing has to be dis­cour­aged es­pe­cially when there is po­ten­tial risk of ei­ther per­ceived or po­ten­tial con­flict of in­ter­est.

The Op­po­si­tion party has urged the gov­ern­ment to re­voke the MoU”s signed with two com­pa­nies.

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