… Nu 1.2 billion granted to over 33,000 beneficiaries and 14,000 children so far

Tshering Palden 

The Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu will continue for three more months, from October to December, for those whose livelihoods continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The kidu will be granted to those who have been laid off or placed on unpaid leave or reduced salary from businesses in tourism and tourism-dependent sectors that have no earnings, employees of businesses that are mandated to remain closed, and those engaged in self-operated businesses in tourism and tourism-dependent  sectors that have no earnings.

Bhutanese who have returned home because of loss of employment caused by Covid-19 will also be eligible for the kidu, according to the DGRK office.

“Applicants from all the above sectors must have no other means of sustaining their livelihoods and must actively look for jobs and other engagement programs of the government and the private sector,” a news release from the office stated.

 Desk and field verifications will be conducted to assess eligibility.

 The full kidu amount will be Nu 10,000 and Nu 7,000 for those who qualify for the partial amount.

TCB certified hotels and established tour agencies will continue to provide employee information through the Relief Kidu Employee Management System.

Applicants, both new and those applied earlier, who wish to avail the kidu support must submit an application through www.royalkidu.bt or contact the dzongkhag administration or Drangpons to re-apply or apply.

For information or assistance, applicants can call the toll free number 1184 if you are living or working in Phuentsholing/Chukha and residents from other places call 1185, 1186, 1187 and 1188.

The DGRK launched on 14 April 2020 to provide income support to individuals whose livelihoods were affected because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 In the first phase of the DGRK, after it was launched on April 14, 33,829 applied between April – June. Around 34 percent was from the tourism sector, followed by 14 percent of the transport and communication sector, 12 percent from retail and 9 percent from restaurant and food services.

Over 30,000 applications were received in Phase II between July and September, out of which, 74 percent were re-applicants from Phase I.

In total, over 41,000 applied between April and September, of which 54 percent were male and 46 percent were female. Around 26 percent were aged 25-29 years followed by 23 percent in the 20-24 year age group. Of the total, 24 percent have higher secondary education and 20 percent studied up to the middle secondary level.

In the first phase, 74 percent of the applicants (25,126) received kidu. Of that, 55 percent were male and 45 percent were female. Beneficiaries include 13,314 children covered under the child support kidu of Nu 800 per child per month. Including child support kidu of Nu 27 million, a total amount of Nu 680 million was granted to 25,126 beneficiaries.

In the second phase, over 27,000 applicants received kidu, of which 53 percent were male and 47 percent were female. Over 6,000 children were also covered under the child support kidu. Including child support kidu of Nu 14 million, around Nu 500 million was granted in the second phase.

In total, Nu 1.2 billion was granted to over 33,000 beneficiaries and over 14,000 children in the past six months.

Over the course of the first phase, 3,099 applicants withdrew from the kidu while 86 applicants withdrew over the course of the second phase, with most of the applicants withdrawing after having found alternative employment.

The kidu amount was revised from Nu 12,000 and Nu 8,000 in first phase to Nu 10,000 and Nu 7,000 in the second phase.