The economic affairs minister, Lyonpo Lekey Dorji, affirmed that the government is committed to establish fuel stations in all the 205 gewogs as it had promised during the time of campaign in 2013 elections.
He informed the House that there are 54 petrol stations in the country till now and as planned the government had started to establish 65 more fuel stations.
“The government had promised to establish fuel stations in all the 205 gewogs and so as promised the government will be able to fulfill those,” he added.
The minister was responding to Member of Parliament from Nanong-Shumar constituency in Pemagatshel Dechen Zangmo who questioned how many fuel stations were established by the present government so far as it had promised during the time of campaign in the 2013 elections.
Further, the minister said, “There was no fuel station in Gasa Dzongkhag. People of Gasa had to come to Punakha, but last year the government successfully established a fuel station in Gasa Dzongkhag,” the Lyonpo said, adding that the government established a fuel station in Drakteng in Trongsa this year and that the government will also start a fuel station in Nobding by this Sunday.
“The government had discussed with the Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum and started works at Autsho in Lhuentse, Kanglung, Denchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Doksum, Panbang and Dangdong and the government had also received equipment and machines for the construction of fuel stations,” the Lyonpo added.
And regarding the other remaining gewogs, the minister said the government had already discussed with all the 20 Dzongdags and soon the establishment of fuel stations will be completed.
“As it is something that will benefit the people of Bhutan, I hope the Members of Parliament will cooperate with the government to successfully establish fuel stations in all the 205 gewogs,” the minister urged.
“But regarding places like Naro, Soe, Lingshi and Lunana, the government will not establish fuel stations as these places do not have proper road facilities. From the fuel stations, the government will not only distribute fuels like petrol and diesel but as explained by Prime Minister the stations will also distribute gas cylinders,” Lyonpo Lekey Dorji said.
“Fuel stations will distribute gas cylinders as it will benefit the people of remote places and domestic areas and the women of domestic areas as a whole. Actually, the government did not promise to distribute gas cylinders to remote areas, but the government is doing it for the wellbeing of the people,” the Lyonpo reasoned.
Coinciding with the birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, the government had also supplied gas cylinders in Dzongkhags like Sarpang, Zhemgang, Dagana, Mongar, Tsirang, Lhuentse and Samtse and it would continue to supply as planned by the government.
“Actually we get 700 subsidized MT of gas per month, but now we get 1,000 non-subsidized MT of gas which will benefit the people all around the country. There is a difference of 14.2kg between subsidized and non-subsidized gas, so we import non-subsidized gas,” the minister said.
The minister also informed that the government is providing 100 units of electricity for free monthly as it benefits especially the people of remote areas, while at the same time the government runs into a loss of Nu 1,721mn yearly.
Jigme Wangchen from Thimphu