With the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) reducing the loan limited from 50 to 30 percent to control the imports of vehicles and suggesting the government to come up with fiscal measures, the popular over night perception was that vehicles taxes are on the way.
However, the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay and the Minister for Works and Human Settlement Lyonpo Dorji Choden ruled out any increase in vehicle taxes.
Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that import of vehicles is still a need. She said the main worries were in the congestion of the Thimphu Thromde but that other areas of Bhutan is still largely not congested.
She said that the government noted the RMA’s monetary measures and so with such measures the government for the time being feels there is no need to apply taxes or ban vehicle imports.
The Prime Minister said that vehicle taxes had been increased just three years ago and so the government cannot just keep increasing taxes to take away the hard earned money of the people.
The PM also said that the congestion is mainly in Thimphu and not outside and so it is not fair to make the rest of the nation pay for the congestion in Thimphu.
Lyonchhen pointed out that though here are 46,000 vehicles in Thimphu the RSTA and Traffic police are doing a wonderful job managing the traffic.
He said that the government has asked the Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) to do a study on the carrying capacity of Thimphu and come up with separate recommendations to deal with the issue.
As per the RSTA there are around 88,000 vehicles in Bhutan as of June 2017 with imports surging every year.