Will India review the decision to four subsidy cuts?


Not just the K5, his interim government and bureaucrats are stunned by India’s recent decision to four subsidy cuts, but all citizens at present want the Government of India (GoI) to promptly answer: will your Ministry of Foreign Affairs review its decision?

Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk being welcomed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a meeting in New Delhi in 2009
K5 being welcomed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a meeting in New Delhi in 2009

Last week, the India ministry decided to withdraw four major subsidies on cooking gas, kerosene, Chukha power tariff, and excise duty refund creating a huge economic crisis in Bhutan.

The Indian ministry took such a “serious” decision a few days after powerful media outlets reported “suspicious” operations of Chinese PLAs military camps inside Bhutan.

Immediate impacts of the India’s revenge to the GNH nation as regards to Bhutan’s questionable flexibility towards the Chinese intrusion, which has doubtlessly annoyed the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, are further worsening of economic crisis, and mushrooming of anti-India sentiments.

The subsidy withdraw of LPG and kerosene has been estimated to cause a loss of Nu 579.5 million to Bhutan. The loss from subsidy cut to Chukha power tariff would be almost double of the loss due to cuts in LPG and kerosene subsidy.

Though the head of the interim government, Sonam Tobgay, has sought immediate appointment with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid for discussion on new scenario, it looks that a prompt response towards the Bhutanese call is unlikely considering Khurshid’s scheduled abroad visits and the second general elections of July 13 in Bhutan.