Refrains from commenting further 

The government does not want to comment further on the corruption allegations it has made against the former works and human settlement minister Yeshey Zimba, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said at the meet the press yesterday.

“There is nothing more to talk about,” Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said, adding that he would let the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) carry out its investigation.

The former minister had dismissed the government’s allegations of corruption. “The minister’s statement was an attempt to divert the attention from the focus,” Lyonchhen said.

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay on January 26 had written to ACC, alleging the former minister of having indulged in a conflict of interest, policy corruption and official misconduct in chairing the 156th Cabinet session in 2013.

The Cabinet meeting had provided fiscal incentives to tourist standard hotels. One of the hotels was Thimphu-based Le Meridien, which belongs to Yeshey Zimba’s daughter.

The prime minister said that the media had accused the government of mudslinging for raising the corruption issue. However, he said that the government would not tolerate corruption.

He expressed happiness that Bhutan was ranked 26th in the Corruption Perception Index 2017 among 180 countries, which he said was a significant achievement for the country. According to him, Bhutan was the only Least Developed Country (LDC) to have made it to the top 50 in the ranking.

Bhutan had occupied the 27th spot consecutively in the previous two years.

The prime minister also said that the finance ministry was working on releasing a list of beneficiaries of the fiscal incentives since 2008.

Yeshey Zimba said the accusation had come on the eve of his retirement, to defame him and tarnish his public image built up over a lifetime of dedicated service to the Tsawa- Sum and most importantly having gained the trust and confidence of the King and people.

MB Subba