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Update: The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is looking into the Bhutan Duty Free Ltd (BDFL) case involving the alleged termination of three sales executives without prior notice and a number of other allegations related to the recruitment of a sales executive.

According to an official from the ACC, while the commission will look into the allegations such as tampering of official documents, issues pertaining to the breach of the Labour and Employment Act has been forwarded to the labour ministry.

The issue was forwarded to the labour ministry since it is the custodian of the labour Act.

Other issues like recruitment of a deputy general manager who did not fulfil the academic requirement and the alleged tampering of documents to recruit the deputy general manager’s cousin will be looked into by the commission.

But the labour department is yet to receive directives from the ACC. The department will investigate the issue upon receiving directives from the commission.

Officiating labour director Suman Pradhan said that the department will further investigate if the ACC or concerned parties lodge a complaint.

In an anonymous letter addressed to the ACC, BDFL was accussed of terminating three sales executives in their probation period from its Paro branch office. While two female sales executives were terminated for flying to Nepal without taking formal leave, the other male sales executive was terminated for writing to the CEO to reconsiders his transfer to Phuentsholing.

The letter also alleged the state owned enterprise of recruiting standby applicants in contravention to its service manual and replacing the employees even before issuing the termination notice to its former employees. It was found that the standby candidates were recruited 50-120 days after the interview though the service manual states that standby candidates cannot be recruited 30 days after the date of interview.

It was also found that the management breached its human resource committee meeting minutes to not recruit applicants scoring below 65 percent. One of the male replacements for the Paro branch office was allegedly recruited despite failing to score 65 percent on the score sheet.

While the deputy general manager was also allegedly recruited despite not fulfilling the academic criteria of 65 percent in degree and 65 in class X and XII, she was also accused of recruiting her cousin from standby by tampering official documents.

The deputy general manager has only 60 percent in her degree, 55 percent in class XII and just 50 in class X, it is alleged.

The BDFL however has refuted the allegations.

Tempa Wangdi

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