For better management of government cash flow and to digitise the systems, the finance ministry initiated fuel cards for government pool vehicles at the Tashi Petroleum Distributor, yesterday in Thimphu.

Finance secretary, Nim Dorji, said, that the government spend Nu 300 million for the maintenance of vehicles every year of which, 70 percent is used for Petrol, Oil and Lubricants (POL). “Government will save in-terms of cash management and also make the use of POL budget transparent.”

The fuel card payment of pool vehicles is also aimed at complementing the use of Wi-Fi Point of Sales (PoS) machines at the fuel depots in Thimphu.

Aimed at minimising costs associated with printing currency notes, currency sorting, cash movements and transfers, storage and security, five PoS machines were installed in fuel stations in Thimphu on June 15.

When the PoS machines were first introduced, users said that fuel payment through PoS is inconvenient due to its dependence on Internet. However, a BoB official said that the usage of fuel cards has increased over the past months.

An in-charge with Druk Petroleum, Tshering Dolma, said that about Nu 22,800 was transacted through fuel card payment at the fuel station yesterday.

The finance secretary said that guidelines have also been framed to curb problems related to PoS payment. A press release issued by the finance ministry stated that based on experiences during the pilot phase, the ministry will implement the use of POL fuel cards in the budgetary bodies across the country.

The finance ministry distributed 31 fuel cards for pool vehicles of the Prime Minister, the ten ministers, 11 government secretaries, Thimphu dzongdag, constitutional agencies and secretary generals of the two houses.

Finance minister, Namgay Dorji, said that fuel card payment is one of the many initiatives taken to digitise the systems through technology. “To promote electronic payment, the tax on the import of PoS machines is also exempted.”

There are 2,195 pool vehicles in the country.

Phurpa Lhamo