Demand for vehicle rises despite tax

Since 2009, the number of vehicles has increased by 51 percent 

Import: The lift on the ban of import of vehicles drove the State Trading Corporation of Bhutan (STCBL) to hike its profit by about 800 percent in the last six months.

Between January and June last year, the corporation earned a profit after tax of Nu 4.8M against this year’s profit of Nu 43.7M for the same period. Revenue from operation, which mainly comprise of spare parts, vehicles and accessories sales this year increased to about Nu 1B from Nu 276M last year.

Officiating CEO, Dorji Penjor said this was mainly due to the lifting of import ban on vehicles in July last year. “Although clients placed orders since July, the vehicles reached the country in November last year,” he said.

According to the company’s financial statement for January to December, revenue from spare parts of imported vehicles increased from Nu 29M in 2013 to Nu 32M last year.

While revenue from sale of Tata spare parts decreased from Nu 8.9 M to Nu 8M in the same period, revenue from sale of Eicher spare parts increased to Nu 11.6M from Nu 8M.

STCBL earned the highest from sale of imported vehicles last year, mainly Toyota. The company earned about Nu 292.8M last year, an increase by about Nu 102M. STCBL’s revenue from sale of Eicher vehicles also doubled to around Nu 50M last year.

The company’s profit after tax for the whole year in 2013 was Nu 4.5M, which shot up to Nu 7.8M last year. In the year prior to the import restriction (2012), STCBL’s profit was about Nu 9M.

This indicates that despite increase in taxes on vehicles and introduction of fuel tax, the pace at which the number of cars has been increasing in the country has not changed.

More than 8,000 cars were imported between July 2014 and July 2015, which means about 22 cars, hit the roads everyday.

According to a study carried out by the World Bank, should the present trend continue, it would take more than an hour to reach Babesa from the city centre.

As of August this year, the total number of vehicles in the country had reached 74,612. In 1980, almost two decades after the development began, there were only 700 vehicles in the country. In the next five years, it shot to 3,980, indicating an increase of 468 percent.

In 1990, the total number of vehicles were 11,916, which five years later increased by 63 percent to 19,463.

Between 2000 and 2005, vehicle number increased by 53 percent while from 2009 onwards, the rate of increase has been 51 percent.

Tshering Dorji

4 replies
    MIGNIEN says:

    It is impossible to check 4.946 KM of Bhutan roads
    Cog train can use road in town ( the same that the actual road so this permit to be near the inhabitants like tramways ) . Choose the paths must take in account all the main points of parks industry and farmer cooperatives .
    It will need a long study and there will happen many battles to come with many gups who would want to have ‘their” railway station to develop their village . It will take at least three or four years , depending GVT policy . I think the beginning of works , if adopted , will happen after 2018 Elections !!

    CONS ( or problem )

    As always for that type of building , when the minds will be ready , this work need huge investments and a precise planning to be followed ; but it may be possible to separe the building in parts .

    But with the help of World bank for asian countries , the helpd of swiss enegineers with which Bhutan has a good contact ( Ther is an embassy of Switzerland in Bhutan ) , with the help of others donators – ( I think mainly to South Korea , Japan ) ; this huge work can give profits and famous . But as soon as possible , the policy makers have to decide the faisibility by using data system file and programs . This is the responsability of to day for the youth generation . Many Swiss and German engineers can participate to give the best solutions .

    The problem of road saturation becomme more and more urgent .


    1/ This huge project will create numerous specialized jobs.

    2/As soon as possible , creation of a group of specialists :geological ingeneer , physician of the earth , with many geological maps thanks to drones all over the country , and engineers from Switzerland who are the most specialized in that system ;

    3/ Elaborate specifications , terms of condition , mission statements and regulations of use under the authority of the judges of the Royal court and all sort of jurists

    4/ Elaborate the path of the railways , linking main towns , West to East with a central lin , central to south , and along the border south border with india . And check the place of bridges , tunnels ; and what type of bridge according an evental quake .
    I suggest the first railway route to build is PARO-THIMPHU-WANGDU-PUNAKHA because of the most frequentation by passengers and goods .

    5/ Choose the material : railways gauge ( generally one meter ) , type of carriage ( for passegers , for goods ) ; create an industrail park unit for technical maintenance .

    6/ Create training schools for all type of specialized workers technician and engineers . Swiss and german engineers would implement this new industry : drivers , controllers , technical maintenance workers , mechanists , electrician high voltage and so on . And a continuing training program .

    7/ Create a control system to check all the places of the line using screens and data system report to ensure security

    8/Protecting the carriages againts fall of stones and boulders with metal arches and wire like in norway on dangerous places.

    9/ All he buildings will take account eathquakes possible ; so all the buildings will be erected with anti seismic system

    Those are some and very incomplete suggestions .
    But it is just to launch the debate with very general topics. I let the specialists to go on

    This is written for the knowledge of citizens who have never read anything over that type of transport . And they must understand the hudge work to do ; this is the only solution to solve the road problems .

    All thoses suggestions depend of GVT policy

    A huge work to enhance Bhutan with modern ways of transport .
    Consequently a huge potentiality to crate numerous very thrillnig jobs .
    And , at the end , if this project success , it will be a model all over the world which will attract tourists ! What a beautifull chalenge for the youts !!!


    MIGNIEN says:

    A long article to explain advantages ( pros and cons ) for Bhutan

    For further technical information , search on internet with wikipedia encyclopedia online ; theme “COG RAIL”
    1/ What is a cog train ? A cog train is a train whom railway line has in its center a thir rail with cogs . the motor machines have a cog rail wheel between the other wheels in its center Which is a driving wheel as the other driving wheels . As there is a cog rail , when the train goes on , the cogwheels gear in the cogs . In french we call that “un train à crémaillère” .
    Generally a cog train has many wheeling machines with cogs , dependant to its weight and to the gradient of the most elevated gradient of the nework .

    This permit to the train to climb important slopes .

    For a technical pont of view , the holding of a classical railway is limited below 4% ( 4 meters for each 100 meters . Although a cog railway can proceed up to a gradient of 25% like in France or in USA to stay comfortable for passenger and not dangerous for goods


    I PROS

    According the problem of road maintenance and the the rising number , years after years , of the number of cars in the country , and the necessity to link all parts of the country , without questionning the industry and the economy of the country ,and without using arable earth ( 6% of the total soil ) , it is necessary to study the building of a cog railway network which use mainly rocky and sterile land , with bridges , tunnels .
    I never read any suggestion like above . Why ?
    Even the station railways could be built near town on fallow land . Ater some years of running , I think the train will support a tranfert of passengers ( less than on the roads) and goods ( which need heavy lorries which destry the roads .
    The maitenance of roads need a heavy cost to the finance of the country .
    Maintenance of the train is easier due to the continous check of the rail path .
    Because according most regulations of railways lines in the world , very frequently specialized technicians run along the railways checking sleepers , fastening of the rails , and the ballast , gauge of the rails , and inspect very attetively signaling system and any electric connections ; and catenary because that network would be run by electricity which production is important in the country

    MIGNIEN says:

    I say again : ther is no point to moan over traffic jam or tailback of x KM .
    It is time to prject a future model of transport ready made for a mountaneous country like bhutan .
    In Switzerland , they have solved the problem usinG cog railways .

    MIGNIEN says:

    As I say many times , it will be necessary to build a cog network railways linking the main towns included unit zone ( industrial places ) .

    This become more and more urgent due to the trafic jam more and more frequent which would have hard consequence over any industry business of the country .
    Time is over to take a hard and quick decision .

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