Financial: The finance ministry launched Remit Bhutan, a foreign currency account facility for non-resident Bhutanese in Perth, Australia on February 14 according to a press release from the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA).

A gathering of hundreds of Bhutanese living in Perth was organised by the Australia Bhutanese Association in Perth, which has about 2,000 members.

“It is an overwhelming gesture of the government to reach out to its people with such an enterprising scheme, which not only serves the genuine needs of them in safely sending their savings home, but also connecting well the national objectives,” said the secretary general of the association, Kinzang Wangdi.

According to the press release, the gathering discussed several features of the scheme — on the ease of remitting money back and forth into/from the country (repatriation), interest rate preferential, and tax waivers on interest income of fixed deposits in Bhutan.

RMA governor, Dasho Penjore, described the benefits of the scheme as “too good to be true” and urged the community to make full use of it, it is stated in the press release.

He said that Remit Bhutan is part of the financial inclusion policy towards expanding the economy from Gross Domestic Product to Gross National Product, engaging all working Bhutanese population into productivity and employment.

With more Bhutanese going abroad for studies and skills development, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay launched Remit Bhutan on September 21 last year in Thimphu.

According to the press release close to 500 foreign currency accounts have been opened so far and over USD 500,000 has come into the country through the accounts.

The system is gradually serving the needs of non-resident Bhutanese all over the world, including members of the armed forces serving in UN peacekeeping mission, and young Bhutanese engaged in the overseas employment programme facilitated by the labour ministry, states the press release.

According to the press release, the team left for Canberra yesterday to sensitise the Bhutanese community there, which is the next largest concentration of Bhutanese leaving in Australia.

Staff Reporter