Thursday, 10 November, 2011

Inflation and Poor in Bhutan

The inflation rate in Bhutan reported as of second quarter ending 30th June, 2011 is estimated at 8.33% driven by increase in food prices up 10.56% and Non-food prices by 7.12% respectively. (CPI-NSB). Perhaps, the inflation rate could be higher than official figure and it is evident from daily life and need no further explanation.

The worst hits are the poor people and somehow there is not much of visible and concrete step being initiated to curb the inflation problem. Yes, defiantly our inflation is borrowed one and not all are within our capacities but still I believe we are far behind and we can do more rather than just sorting to the solution for hiking the salaries now and then for certain group of society and then compete among the privileged ones themselves.

Myself as Civil Servant want to appeal to the Civil servant not to further ask for the hike in salaries or allowances but appeal and demand for the inflation control measures. It will be just a neither eye wash and ultimate benefits goes to upper hands and If my memory serves well, I remember the most irrational recommendation of pay commission earlier to raise the salary for higher position at higher rate and lower group with lower % which ofcourse the government disregarded and went for flat rate hike of 35% and 20% hike respectively twice followed by other hikes including Parliamentarians and DHI members.

The ultimate blunt was felt by other group of society which includes employees of Pvt. Firms, farmers and lower income group people because the inflation did not discriminate or spear them and infact they were hit the hardest with immediate effect of those decisions. So, the question today will be, is another hike a solution to the inflation or we have to find other solutions?  But sad thing is that the inflation is not consider even a priority issues in our country and I feel pity on innocence  of our poor people and continue to suffer the same fate and continue chanting a mantra of GNH.( Gyelong Gaki Pelzom).

On one hand it is not at all surprising to find family with owning luxury car for every family members and construct buildings like match boxes in capital cities but on the other hand we have people who live below poverty line. In 2008, official figure says 23% of our population are considered to be below poverty line and not sure if ever we could achieve the target of 15% at the end of 10th FYP.

Further, the media speculations and over reactions added fuel to the fire and it is equally responsible also for the suffering of our poor people. Hope in future, media too would be sensitive enough and knowingly or unknowingly may not commit the same mistakes.

I will live to the judgment of every reader on the question of, who is responsible to look for the solution. Defiantly, our innocent people cannot do that nor expect much but we have ministries, agencies, economist, specialist and above all ruling government overwhelmingly trusted by the people.

I am thinking about the irony of life when I write this article, when poor people steals from rich it becomes robbery and when rich rob from poor it becomes enterprising. Ideally speaking, poor should rob the rich but in every part of world including Bhutan it happens just the opposite.  

My appeals to all the citizens of Bhutan will be to look upon the problems as societal instead of one or two particular groups and take every Bhutanese into the boat and let us sail together.  


  1. hi aue, very well thought. i am seriously proud of this article. we can not help but to let the rich become richer and poor get poorer. the decision makers need to work more than just wisely. if only people can feel the need of poor and lessen their desire to grab every opportunity towards self benefit.

  2. Dear Lotay,

    Thanks for your words. I am hoping for a day where poor will be heard by the rich.