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His Holiness consecrates choeten in Samdrup Jongkhar

His Holiness the Je Khenpo, Trulku Ngawang Jigme Chhoedra, consecrated a Dre-Maed Nam-Nyi choeten in Samdrup Jongkhar on Sunday.

Located in the district town and built by the S.D Eastern Ferro Silicon Private Limited Company, the choeten is expected not only to be a place of worship for the town residents but also a tourist attraction.

Prior to this, His Holiness also consecrated a Jangchub Choeten at Tashiphu under Serzhong Gewog in Sarpang last Friday.

ICT subject will be compulsory for class IX from 2019

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) subject would be a compulsory one for Class IX students beginning 2019 academic session.

This is according to a circular issued by the department of school education. The optional subject, Computer Application, would be discontinued immediately.

The Royal Education Council (REC) has already completed and developed ICT literacy curriculum for grade IX. REC would also provide orientation to teachers on the new literacy curriculum for grade IX this vacation.

Seven men convicted in two separate gold smuggling cases

The Paro District Court sentenced six men to five years in prison and another man to two-and-a-half-years for gold smuggling early this week. They were found guilty of smuggling gold from Tibet to India.

They were convicted in two separate cases.

In the first case, four men were arrested from Tsento in Paro in July last year. They had with them 6kg of gold at the time of the arrest. They were charged for illegal import of gold from Tibet via illegal trade route and without prior approval from the Royal Monetary Authority. The court sentenced all four men to a non-compoundable prison term of five years.

In the other case involving three men, they were arrested in September last year and they had 15kg of gold in their possession. Two of the three men were sentenced to five years in prison and the other to two-and-a-half-years.

Sawmill in Dogar destroyed by fire

A sawmill in Dogar Gewog in Paro was destroyed by fire which is believed to have started on Thursday morning at around 2:30 am.

The fire fighting team took five hours to manage or contain the fire around. No casualties were reported and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

Meanwhile, about 100 decimals of forest were also damaged in a fire that started near Samazingkha area at around 11:30 am in Thimphu on Thursday. Three fire engines were used to contain the fire and no casualties were reported.

Cardamom export to resume

The government says the export of cardamom would resume in a few days’ time after its export to India came to a complete halt for about two months now.

This was shared by the minister for agriculture and forests, Yeshey Penjor, at the Friday Meet with the Prime Minister today.

According to the minister, four trade routes for cardamom export have been identified to meet the Indian government’s plant produce import procedures.

Meanwhile, the import of cardamom got affected since India introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July last year and the export of the spice reportedly came to a complete halt towards the end of last month.

Government to do away with GDG

The government will do away with the Gewog Development Grant (GDG) for the 12th Five Year Plan and instead disburse additional development budget to the local government on a quarterly basis as annual grants.

This was divulged at the Friday Meet. It was also announced that the development budget will be released as proposed by the local government and the annual budget will be disbursed quarterly, every three months by the finance ministry.

Meanwhile, a GDG of Nu 2mn per year was given to each gewog apart from the regular budget, aimed at strengthening the decentralization process and promoting good governance at the grassroots level.