Thukten Zangpo 

With the driver switching modality cancelled from today, businesses expect the price of commodities to drop as transportation becomes cheaper.

According to Prime Minister’s Office press release on March 26, the government do away with the driving switching stations in Sorchen in Chukha, Darachu between Tsirang and Gelephu, Tshobalay in Nganglam, Tshelingkhor, and Tamala in Zhemgang.

President of Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tandy Wangchuk said, “There were lot challenges earlier, with no driver switch modality, the price of commodities will go down.”

According to the Private Sector Development Committee report submitted to the government last year, those necessary protocols put in place for the movement of vehicles in Phuentsholing and from Phuentsholing to Thimphu have increased transportation costs.

For example, one way trip of goods in a jumbo truck from Phuenstholing to Thimphu cost Nu 37,500 currently compared to Nu 14,000 in 2019.

“The increase in the cost of Nu 6,000 for a jumbo truck translates into a 50 percent increase in the overall transportation cost as compared to 2019, the report stated.

About half of this increase is due to an increase in fuel price and the other half, is because of the driver switching modality at Sorchen, it stated.

Head of Finance and distribution of 8 Eleven, Lokendra Ghalley said that practically with the removal of driver Switching mode will save around Nu 2,000 to Nu 3,000 in freight charges and price of goods should at least come down slightly but now with the increase in the price of fuel expenditure remains same.

“So the cost of goods will remain the same and expected to increase soon with most of the goods are coming with the new price and maximum retail price,” he added.