Neten Dorji | Trashigang

Although Trashigang town is not as busy as it used to be and local businesses are affected by Covid-19, retailers claim they have all required essential items.

Daejung Tshongkhang, a whole seller in Trashigang town, stocked 48 metric tonnes (MT) of rice that would last for three months. Another grocery shop, Pema Bakery has stocked 24MT of rice in his new store at Melphey, Trashigang.

A proprietor of Daejung Tshongkhang, Wangchuk Tenzin, said after border gate was sealed, people rushed for essential food items. “I sold trucks of rice but it became normal now. People might have understood the message of the government.”

He stocked all essentials items after trade officials asked him to keep enough stocks.

Wangchuk Tenzin said that after the border was sealed, he stopped selling item in large quantities. “It would be a problem if we sell in bulk. It is mainly for national food security reason,” he said. “It’s our responsibilities to distribute equally at this time.”

Owner of Pema Bakery, Yeshi Lhamo, doesn’t have enough space in her store and opened a new store at Melphey area to stock more essentials items.

The only problem Yeshi Lhamo said was the inflated cost of transportation, as truck charges about Nu 55,000 to reach load to Trashigang from Phuntsholing via Thimphu, which is more than triple the charge of Nu 15000 via Samdrupjongkhar.

“We are told that there were no laborers to load goods from Samdrupjongkhar,” she said. “We don’t have any other options than paying the charges.”

She said she doesn’t sell in larger quantities as items.

There are four FCB depots in Trashigang. More than 200MT of rice, 33.01MT of edible oil and 16.056MT of salts were stocked.

FCB’s depot manager in Trashigang, Tshering Yangtsho, said people need not worry, as depots would received more essential items.

He said that they are selling as per guidelines of national food security reserve, where a household would get two 25kg of rice bags, five litres of edible oil, a packet of everyday milk powder and one kg of salt per day.

In Trashiyangtse, a grocery shop owner, Ten Dorji, said people in the dzongkhag need not worry as Food Corporation of Bhutan stocked enough food items.

He said stocked items in shops would also last for about two months.

Shopkeepers said they stopped selling goods in large quantities.