Industrial operations not halted despite COVID-19 pressure: MoEA Minister

Economic Affairs Minister Lok Nath Sharma yesterday said that the relief measures provided to the small, cottage and medium and large companies in the form of working capital loans have so far ensured the production and operation for industries within Bhutan.

He stated that the recommendation towards Financial Institutions and the consideration from Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) for these measures so far have been effective in terms of support for the industries.

“These loans were fundamentally considered for businesses to be able to import raw materials and retain employees within the industries, and so far, the businesses have been able to continue without much hindrances,”Lyonpo Lok Nath Sharma said.

He said that even though the industries may not be operational at 100 percent level, but if they could still operate within 30 – 50 percent of the work, it would ensure employee retention and business perpetuality.

“Since the day of the gate closure, I would rather say that we have been successful, at least in ensuring that none of our industries have stopped operations,” Lyonpo added.

Lyonpo said that the Pasakha factory has been on full-fledged operation although there were some initial glitches, in terms of exporting some materials, which has now eased up to quite a great extent with the relaxation measures in place.

Of the 32 businesses at the start up center in Thimphu around 16 expired. Of 16 there 2 have expired, 2 committed to leave and 1 had already left without paying rent. So 11 are left and they have been given a three-month extension. “We have to give a chance to others too,” said the MoEA Minister.

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