Provides  concession on house rents

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

If the fiscal measures are helping house owners, they are letting the benefit trickle down to the tenants who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Phuentsholing.

Many landlords, to ease the financial burden on tenants are waiving off house rents, partially or fully for the three months of April, May and June. The waivers range from 40 percent to 100 percent.

In Kabreytar, Hem Kumar Ghalley has waived off 70 percent to all his tenants. Hem Kumar said His Majesty The King’s visit to the town and other places in southern Bhutan inspired him to make a small contribution.

“What I am doing is a token of help to the nation in this difficult time. Our King is selflessly working day and night, risking his own life, to protect the country and the people from Covid-19,” he said.

One of his tenants, Kumari Ghalley said that the waiver has come as a big relief to her family. The housewife said her husband who works in a private company did not receive his full salary last month.

“We are not even sure if he will get a salary this month.”

Another house owner, Kiba Dema, who has a building in Dhamdara waived off 50 percent of the rent for three months. She also owns buildings in Thimphu and Paro where she had already given 50 percent discount on the monthly rents.

“For one guide, we waived off more than 50 percent as he was affected more,” Kiba Dema said.

Tshering Phuntsho, who has 36 tenants in Phuentsholing also waived off 50 percent of the rents.

“Most tenants are truck drivers, taxi drivers and small businessmen,” the house owner said, explaining that all were affected due to the coronavirus. Although Tshering Phuntsho said he was thinking of waiving 100 percent but couldn’t do because of the loans he availed.

JB Rai, another house owner in Kabreytar waived off 40 percent from his 12 flats including civil servants who are not affected.

“I discussed with the family and decided to keep it uniform so that nobody is hurt,” he said.

JB Apartments will forgo Nu 146,000 in revenue. The proprietor said he waived off 40 percent because 40 percent was what he borrowed from the banks to construct his building.

Meanwhile, there are also many expecting the same generosity. A proprietor of a diagnostic centre, Sonam Tshewang said that apart from tourism and hotels, diagnostic centres and foreign workers’ recruitment agents were affected the most when the border gate was closed.

“Recruitment agents were just recuperating from the off-season when Covid-19 hit,” he said, adding that his business establishment is completely shut down.