A main source of revenue for the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) comes from its membership fees. Each micro and retail business, as a BCCI member, pay Nu 100 in a year. The Deputy Secretary General, BCCI, Kesang Wangdi, said, “By paying the membership fees, all the members have the right to avail services, right to request the chamber to represent, bring up issues.”
All the people who have trade licenses are, by default, members of BCCI, grouped into active and non active members. Active members are those who pay the annual membership fees. The membership fee ranges from Nu 100 to Nu 40,000 in a year. The state-owned and big industries pay Nu 40,000. BCCI said it gives its service benefits without discrimination and preferential treatment to the members. “Large industries usually do not need support from the chamber for capacity building of human resources, but needs support only at policy level. The smaller ones (businesses) need it because they cannot afford to pay for capacity building of human resource. So we divide and give benefit to small business,” said Kesang Wangdi.
As for complaints from members on what is happening to their membership fees, the Deputy Secretary General said some members do not have the modern networking technology to keep themselves informed of the happenings of BCCI.
“All the business people should see BCCI as their parent organization instead of complaining that we are asking for membership fees,” Kesang Wangdi said, adding that BCCI focuses on human resource capacity building of the small and medium entrepreneurs on need basis and relevancy. “We are looking at the larger interest of business, especially in creating conducive environment and ease of doing business. Today, we are simplifying the licensing procedure for small and medium entrepreneurs who are struggling,” he said.
The Deputy General Secretary, BCCI,said, “First thing BCCI does with the fees is the capacity building of human resource in the private sector, both short term and long term. This is done purely on need basis and relevancy of the business.”
BCCI has initiated a micro-finance without collateral amounting to Nu 150,000 to help the business people.
BCCI also uses its revenue to conduct policy intervention, advocacy and lobbying required to create an environment that is conducive for doing business. The Deputy General Secretary, BCCI said the BCCI also makes a review and reform of policies in favour of the private sector. He said the BCCI also helped in creating the simplification of the micro business license process. The micro-business license can now be acquired through registration.
He said the membership fees will also be put into use in exploring business opportunities through trade facilitation and networking with trade bodies and chambers in the region, like Bangladesh. “We have a perfect investment opportunity in hotel industry because of the government policy in promoting tourism. BCCI does the promotion for partnership and joint venture business. All this have multiple benefits,” the Deputy General Secretary, BCCI added.