An electric decision

Every government has some idiosyncrasy or the other. The previous government had a few of them from Pedestrian day to telling the world about happiness.

There is no doubt that there were deep convictions and noble intentions behind them but the Bhutanese public either did not buy it or feel it was important enough.

Similarly this government from day one has received a barrage of avoidable criticisms for the length to which it went to promote electric vehicles.

As pointed out by the ACC the intention was noble but then the implementation threw up unnecessary controversy.

Again, as reflected by the ACC while the PM did not personally gain out of EV’s, it lead to a lot of avoidable legal and political controversies.

Even with all the huffing and puffing from all sides so far only a few dozen electric vehicles have been imported with the overwhelming mass going for petrol and diesel vehicles.

Be it a policy failure or an implementation failure it is clear by now that Bhutan for better or worse is not ready for electric vehicles.

The ACC review asked by the PM himself has given the government enough reason to now quietly bury the EV issue and move on.

There are far bigger challenges and issues for the government to tackle and address from the economy to preparing Bhutan for natural disasters like earthquakes. It should use its hard won political capital in other such areas instead of frittering it away on small projects.

On a positive note the government’s decision to publicly retract its entire EV policy based on a critical review by the ACC sets another good precedent following the stepping down of the Foreign Minister over the Lhakhang Karpo case.

At the end of the day every government makes mistakes and should be rightly held accountable for them. However, what matters most is how the government rectifies them and learns from them.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” 
Rita Mae Brown


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