DHI makes massive misuse of state treasury

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Dec 04: The misuse of state treasury exemplified by the lavish style of board of directors of Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) and its companies while holding their meetings.

According to reports, they spend Nu. 3.5 million annually as fees for them to attend the meetings of the board, which are generally held four times a year, excluding the bills on refreshments and stationeries. 

Health Minister Zangley Dukpa, seeing the massive misuse of funds, said DHI’s salaries, perks and remunerations need to be reviewed.

The DHI board members are paid Nu 15,000 a sitting while its companies pay between Nu 7,000 and 10,000, except for State Trading Corporation of Bhutan (STCB) which pays Nu 5,000 a sitting.

The government agencies and corporations pay between Nu 3,000 and 5,000 per sitting. They have long ignored the direction from finance ministry to reduce the sitting fees of the board members to Nu 5,000 per meeting for major companies and Nu 3,000 for the smaller companies.

While ministers and parliamentarians have questioned the misuse of fund, DHI chairman Om Pradhan countered the government that DHI and its companies were governed by the royal charter and that it has all authority to decide what it does. 

The sitting fees for the DHI were fixed by interim government led by Kinzang Dorji when DHI was formed.

There are six DHI owned and six DHI linked companies.