After the announcement from the Thimphu Thromde’s Entertainment Licensing Committee (ELC), the Karaoke bars and clubs are being suspended for failing to fulfill the technical standards. They were given until 30 November 2022 to make modifications, and until then the business would be suspended.
However, the President of Bhutan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Tandy Wangchuk, said that instead of suspending karaoke bars and clubs for three months, the industry has requested the government to allow them to continue operating and allow them to make corrections and modifications within that timeframe.
He added that if they fail to modify then the ELC team may impose fines or do anything they see fit.
“We have suggested the government that they allow the karaoke, a maximum of three months, to modify under the supervision of the ELC committee, but they cannot prohibit them from operating, otherwise if the business is closed for three months, the individual won’t be able to pay the rent for the space or otherwise, the employees who work in the karaoke will suffer. Their livelihoods would be impacted as a result,” he said.
The President claimed that when someone first wishes to delve into the karaoke business, there are formalities in place to get the license. ELC simply do not provide clearance directly, but directs the owners to install all of the sound proofing system and other such requirements for a karaoke establishment, and once completed, the technical committee provides the clearance, and only then does an individual acquire the license.
“With the short notice, the ELC issued a letter claiming that some karaokes do not have smoking rooms, etc., they should have pointed such issues from the onset before issuing the license. The karaokes are in the operating stage now,” he remarked.