BOiC: The Bhutan Kuen-nyam Party (BKP), in a press release issued yesterday, has called for the government to be held accountable for creating the Business Opportunity Information Centre (BOiC) illegally and despite warnings provided by the party.

The party says that the BoiC, which is a part of the “heavily debated” economic stimulus plan (ESP) of the government, was a desperate measure, but one deemed necessary by the government to address the country’s socioeconomic concerns.

“After incurring two years of high transaction cost and succumbing to an apparent twist to the legal existential saga of the BOiC, the government has taken a back foot and directed a study committee to merge it with Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL),” it is also stated in the press release.

“Such flip-flop decision-making with the current government exhibits not only a lack of thorough research on the viability of an institution but a deeper manifestation of a careless attitude and incompetence towards governance,” it is added.

The party calls for four questions to be answered.

Even as the trade and economic affairs and finance ministries are looking into the possibility of a merger following a cabinet directive, the BKP asks how a “top-down” decision merger can be imposed again disregarding legislation like the Companies Act, service rules, and recruitment policies, among others.

“No recruitment can be justified with BOiC employees getting automatically transferred becoming part of BDBL without doing due diligence to transparent recruitment guidelines of the company,” it is stated. “Therefore, another legality issue of such a merger is bound to arise in future public discourse.”

The BKP also says that the government must be held accountable if current BOiC employees are not employed by BDBL following the merger. It says that if they are not accepted the government must be held accountable for “playing with peoples’ careers”. It adds that a six-month lump sum salary for laying off employees will not answer many of the social and moral responsibilities that the government shoulders.

The BKP also calls for the government to make transparent up-to-date achievements of BOiC since its inception to avoid “passing the buck later onto BDBL”.

The party also questions who should be held responsible for the two years of an “expensive exercise that our economy cannot afford”.

The party questions if enough research is carried out before implementing decisions. “What needs to be done to prevent the recurrence of such a careless decision that the PDP government is known to indulge,” it is stated. “We must insist on the government being more responsible in carrying out a thorough study before the implementing decisions that cost the country dear,” it is added. “Let us hope pledges like the distribution of Bolero vehicles, power tillers and alas ‘helicotper’ services do not follow suit.”

The party points out that despite the country being in the midst of the current Plan, “the government’s game plan has become unpredictable with each passing day”.

Staff Reporter