Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

The Tobacco Quota Outlet (TQO) in Samdrupjongkhar disposed of damaged tobacco products worth more than Nu 860,400 last week.

TQO in-charge, Nar Maya Dahal, said the office disposed of 17,925 gums of chewing tobacco (BaBa) worth about Nu 860,400 and three packets of cigarettes on July 30.

Officials burn damaged tobacco products

She said the office had to dispose of the products because they were damaged. “The office also received complaints from the customers about the products they bought from the TQO.”

With the temperature soaring more than 35 degrees centigrade, Nar Maya Dahal said the heat and lack of ventilation in the quarantine would have damaged the products.

“But we suspect the products would have been damaged from the source as they were already damaged when we brought them out from the quarantine,” Nar Maya Dahal said.

Meanwhile, the officials said that since they have requested the revenue and customs office, the TQO would not have to pay tax for the damaged products as they could not sell them.

Consumers reported the issue to the head office in Thimphu. “They reported that the Samdrupjongkhar office now imports fewer products to avoid damages while the office used to import more than 100 sacks of BaBa a month. Each sack contains more than 100 gums of BaBa.

She said the products were disposed of in the presence of police, regional revenue and customs and thromde officials.

Pema Choki said they segregated the products for about three weeks. “It was challenging because the office has only two staff members.”

She said the TQO office in Samdrupjongkhar used to sell tobacco products worth Nu 150,000 to Nu 200,000 every day and about Nu 4M in a month before. “But it would be less now as the zero tax came into implementation.”

Edited by Tashi Dema