There are 5,490 taxpayers, 7,239 plots of land, 5,193 buildings and 5,445 thromde assets under Thimphu thromde’s jurisdiction as of February 15 this year.

This is according to the Thromde Revenue Management system (TRMS) and digitised asset register that Thimphu thromde has implemented for real time fee and tax collection, to keep track of the public as well as thromde’s assets and to provide better service.

Under the Bhutan Urban Development Project II (BUDP II), the data under the thromde was fully digitised under TRMS in mid 2015 and the digitised asset register in 2014.

TRMS keep track of public asset while the digitised asset register keeps track of assets owned by the thromde such as roads, bridges, land, building, street lights, water network, sewerage, treatments plants, footpaths and vehicles.

TRMS keeps record of the taxes collected for land, building, streetlights and garbage, the taxpayer details, and the record of water and sewerage connections, fees, demand and collections made. The thromde integrated the thromde water system into TRMS in January 2017.

Thimphu Thromde’s head of ICT services, Oma Pati Luitel, said that although the TRMS project started in 2013, it was operational only by mid 2015 due to lack of proper data. “Earlier, all records were maintained in thick ledgers and were not in proper shape. We had tough time finding the data.”

He said that the building survey conducted by the thromde has covered about 90 percent of the buildings in the city. The thromde is trying to digitise the missing 10 percent of the buildings in the system. “It is the mandate of Thimphu thromde to keep the record of property owners, properties and levy them fees and charges for the service that we provide.”

With the system having a database on the total number of water and sewerage connections including new and disconnections made, fee collection has become easy. “After the implementation of the system, our revenue started increasing as we can automatically track defaulters.”

Oma Pati Lutiel said that the thromde still has much to do and that the system would never stop improving.  “We will try to achieve 100 percent efficiency in public service delivery.”

Under the first phase of BUDP II, the systems were first implemented in Thimphu and Phuentsholing thromdes. The systems will be implemented in Samdrupjongkhar and Gelephu thromdes.

Karma Cheki