Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Pemi Dejung Kuenphan private limited (PDKPL) in Samdrupjongkhar missed the deadline to supply earthmoving equipment (EMEs) to the State Mining Corporation limited (SMCL) despite the company extending the deadline by 45 days which expired yesterday.

PDKPL was supposed to take over the coal extraction works at Tshophangma mines in Samdrupcholing from April 1 if it succeeded in procuring the required EMEs within the deadline.

PDKPL’s chairman, Arjun Chamlagai, said that they immediately ordered the EMEs from TCD pvt ltd and paid Nu 20 million (M) advance and applied for a Nu 126.53M loan to Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan limited (RICBL) for the remaining payment.

The company has also collected more than Nu 30.67M from over 4,000 shareholders in the community so far.

He said they had recruited office staff and interviewed 27 operators for 27 EMEs. “The EMEs were supposed to reach on March 18 and 19, but TCD couldn’t deliver as it didn’t get a letter of credit (LC) from the bank.”

Since the EMEs have reached Kolkata in India, the chairman said TCD is still waiting for the LC to bring in those EMEs. “PDKPL is ready to start the mining works as soon as we receive the EMEs from the supplier.”

Arjun Chamlagai said that TCD on March 21 had written to the SMCL for a time extension because it could not deliver the EMEs ordered by the PDKPL within the deadline due to the international Covid-19 protocols as the EMEs were ordered from Japan.

“We’ve mortgaged our property worth Nu 60M as a small help for the betterment of thousands of people in Samdrupcholing. We might also need a few more days from the date of LC to bring in those EMEs,” the supplier’s letter to SMCL stated.

A shareholder, Sonam Wangdi, said that they could not ask for additional time extension as they were worried about losing the mining works. “We tried to procure all the 27 required EMEs, but it was challenging for us to procure within the 45 days,” he said.

However, he said that about four EMEs have already reached Phuentsholing as of yesterday. “We’ll submit our work report to SMCL and request the government and SMCL for time extension.”

Meanwhile, as per SMCL’s letter to PDKPL on February 5, PDKPL should procure and own the EMEs they would hire to SMCL and submit the blue book registered for the EMEs by March 22.

“Partial fulfilment of the conditions shall not be acceptable, and SMCL shall not be liable for that in any manner. Since the SMCL has already tendered out the EMEs hiring for Tshophangma coal mines, any liabilities due to this postponement shall be levied on the PDKPL should it fail to fulfil the conditions,” the letter stated.