Skip to main content

Living in an Inflated Time

Welcome to the inflated country, of course an inflated world! Purchasing power of Bhutanese ngultrum has gone down by 32% in the last 7 years, according to National Statistical Bureau. The prices of food items have gone up 6.9% compared to last year. 

A bundle (chag-pa) of sag costs Nu. 20 today in Phuentsholing, up by 50%, while a kilogram of potatoes will cost you anywhere between Nu.25-30 and tomatoes are priced 50-60% higher. And the prices of other food items have also increased manifold. LPG and fuel prices have gone up. It is more expensive to get a ride in taxis or buses. Cars cost you more with the revised tax policy. With increase in fuel prices, it is more expensive to drive personal cars too. Soon, electricity will cost us more. We will pay more for water, sewerage and garbage.  

But it is an amazing revelation that we are surviving on our same old income in a very different economic situation. Sometimes, I wonder how some families who live on Nu.100 (or less) per day wage put up with this dramatic change.

I hate figures. They fail to make sense to me, but why is this inflation alarming? Well, it is. Terrifyingly alarming in fact!  Because, what we earn today is far less than we would have earned seven years ago talking in terms of ngultrum’s purchasing power. This means, if our monthly income is Nu. 10,000 today, the same amount can only purchase goods and services worth Nu.6, 800 (32% depreciation) the same amount seven years ago.

Now compare the price of food items today and how much it was seven years ago.

What is the way out? If there is another pay hike, will it solve the problem? Should some concerned authorities interfere? Are people in the authorities aware of the economic situation we are in?

Comments

  1. Nice picture used for the story. Very critical study of the reality in Bhutan today but sadly the realization happened to a man with no say in policy making. I hope people who should know this gets to read your amazing piece.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice work done..cheers

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

So what do you think?

Popular posts from this blog

Bloggers are not journalists

To say bloggers are not journalists is to say oranges are not carrots. Bloggers are not journalists. That’s true. But can bloggers become journalists? Maybe. Can journalists be bloggers? Yes. In fact, it would be only proper and appropriate for journalists to blog their opinions as opposed to being 'politically' correct all the time. So why call oranges carrots when they are what they are?
Well, it is true – bloggers have no training in journalism. That’s why they are bloggers. And for the same reason they are  not journalists. No bloggers have ever claimed what they blog can qualify as ‘journalism’.  We all do what we love the most and give our best in whatever we are doing either reporting news or blogging. 

Journalists do it as careers. Bloggers do it (mostly) for hobby and out of passion. Most journalists also do it with great passion - that's true. The journalists get paid for doing their jobs while bloggers derive pleasure doing it. Journalists cover (report) stories eve…

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro.
I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school!
The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that will lead to successful and fulfilling life.” That’s…

Growing and feeding ourselves

Reports show that about 58% of Bhutanese are involved in agriculture, but the sector contributes only about 14% to our Gross Domestic Product. According to Bhutan Trade Statistics, 2017, Bhutan imports vegetables worth Nu. 3,823,879,525 (US$ 58,828,916) and rice worth Nu. 1,979,747,923 (US$ 30,457,660). Isn't that a lot to chew? We are not even talking of other food items here. 









That means people who are into agricultural activities are unable to feed the rest of us. That also goes to show how less we are growing on our farms and talks a lot about our fallow fields in rural areas. Now, if the remaining 42% of Bhutanese, who grow nothing on our own, can consume food items worth that much, we certainly have big market here for our agricultural produces. Don't you think? How do we do that? 


I think it's possible, at least to reduce our food imports. The key is to make farming sexier. Let's not leave it out to the rural farmers. In the recent years, we have seen young people…