Cold, hail, rain, sunshine and a windstorm happening all in a week. The weather this week was confusing. It summed up the mood of the nation.
There is confusion everywhere. In Phuentsholing, thromde officials and business people are at loggerheads over the confusion surrounding the ban on plastic. The thromde’s environment team has collected Nu 67,000 in two days in penalties. Those penalised think the inspectors are over excited and accuse them of entering kitchens and stores looking for carry bags.
Some are fined, some not. The confusion is not over. About five metric tonnes of plastic bags were seized in Phuentsholing, enough to fill a small truck.
In the capital city, some are wrapping doma in paper, some in the small old plastic pouch. Some blame the national television for the confusion, as they switch back to plastic from paper. Those trying to cash on the ban are confused too. They imported thousands of “bio-degradable” bags to replace plastic. Officials found the imported biodegradable bags not safer.
Beyond plastic, those in the entertainment business outside a few lams (streets) in the capital are confused too. Why would they want to move to an already cramped place when they have recently bought or hired a disco or a karaoke? Talking about entertainment, there is a bigger group wondering what would happen after the audit’s finding on massive expenses on entertainment and hospitality, with or without supporting documents.
There is huge group of gaydrungs or clerks who are as confused as the policy makers, on their fate. Their contract was terminated, are still on the government’s payroll and they pin their hope on the Parliament’s resolution even if it is not binding without turning into a policy, which the government forgot.
More decisions are followed by more confusion. Education officials are not aware if fees of students placed in private schools would be paid based on performance. There is confusion if it would be or not. Agriculture officials learnt that they would be made responsible for the School Feeding Programme from the media.
Outside the government and Thimphu, farmers are confused too. With hail and windstorm damaging their crops, they are left to fend for themselves.
A lot of the confusion results from lack of communication or planning. When decisions made in the cabinet are not conveyed and turned into executive orders, there will be confusions. When the line of communication is not clear between members of parliament and the executive, confusions arise.
When proper coordination goes missing, there will be confusion. Without good awareness on government decisions like the ban of selected plastic items, there will be confusion. They will not have to withdraw their inspectors.
Hopefully, a lot of these confusions will be cleared at many forums. A good one would be when the PM meets members of the organisations, institutions and the private sector from 8:30 to 9:30 AM.