For­eign ex­change ac­counts and postal bal­lots for the Bhutanese liv­ing abroad

Bhutan Times - - HOME - Sonam Pen­jor

The mem­ber from Boomdel­ing-Jamkhar MP Dupthob ques­tioned the Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs dur­ing ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion last Fri­day on the Bhutanese re­sid­ing abroad as they have al­ways been re­quest­ing for the fa­cil­i­ties to be able to keep a for­eign ex­change ac­count in the lo­cal banks and to be able to send postal bal­lots dur­ing the next elec­tion. He asked the sta­tus of the gov­ern­ment’s ac­tion on the re­quest.

In re­sponse to the ques- tion Ly­onpo Dam­cho Dorji, the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs said that there are many Bhutanese who works out­side the coun­try and there are prob­lems too but when they work out­side they ac­quired ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­po­sure.

He fur­ther said that the for­eign cur­rency is very im­por­tant for Bhutan.

When it comes to the prob­lem, he added that the gov­ern­ment is look­ing it. Be­sides that, they have also talked with Royal Mon­e­tary Author­ity of Bhutan (RMA).

In gen­eral there is not much of prob­lem if the Bhutanese wish to open their ac­count in Bhutan but the prob­lem ex­ist that when they de­posit­ing in USD and tak­ing out in same cur­rency. He fur­ther said that the Con­sti­tu­tion of the King­dom of Bhutan clearly says that this is not al­lowed.

Ly­onpo said that the prob­lem there will be dan­ger in for­eign ex­change re­serve and if the for­eign cur­rency that is de­posited is taken back in same cur­rency then there will be great loss for the coun­try.

He fur­ther said that in Bhutan, there would be also prob­lems of money laun­der­ing.

Ly­onpo also said that gov­ern­ment is still in talk with the RMA and the so­lu­tion to solve the prob­lems is go­ing on. He added that they are look­ing to the so­lu­tions and said that if the so­lu­tion does not work then the con­sti­tu­tion needs to be changed, but still then the gov­ern­ment is discussing with re­gard to the is­sues.

Re­ply­ing on the queries with re­gard to the postal bal­lots Ly­onpo said that there ex­ist prob­lems of send­ing postal ballot from the peo­ple who are work­ing abroad as they can­not come for the vote.

He said that, first of all we have to go ac­cord­ing to the elec­tion act and se­condly the power is not in the hand of gov­ern­ment as it will be de­cided by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Bhutan (ECB).

He said that if the rule has to be changed then the ex­pen­di­ture in­curred will be high and the dis­cus­sion with the ECB is go­ing on. Still then it is very im­por­tant not only for the peo­ple who are work­ing out­side but also within Bhutan. He added that if pri­vate employees are also pro­vided to vote then all will be able to par­tic­i­pate in vot­ing.

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