letters to editor

Response to, “National Statistical Bureau shows higher employment rate at 2.7% than Labour Ministry’s rate of 2.1%”

Bhutan is different from rest of the developed countries. The statistical methods that are used in USA cannot be used in our country because farmers in USA are not like our farmers who depend on remittances from people who are working in the urban centers. Let me give an example. My parents who are living in the remote village grow maize and vegetables for their own sustenance. Most importantly, we children give them more money than what their farms can produce in a year so that they can buy other stuff like salt, meat, clothes and go for pilgrimage. There are thousands of such families in our country. Can they be put as employed like the above surveys have done? Farmers in the developed countries do not depend on any others for their living. Rather they produce for other consumption. The above surveys directly put everyone living in the village as employed people irrespective of whether they could earn all the basic necessities from the work they do. At the least, i feel that people in the village who cannot afford to fulfill the basic necessities should not be construed as an employed person. When you compare our society to USA and conduct the statistical surveys, obviously, you will get a low number because 70 % of our people are living in the villages that are considered as employed. That is why there is bias in the survey results.

My proposal is to segregate among the village folks as people who are able to meet their basic needs from their farm works and those who are not able to meet their basic needs. If you do this with proper sampling across the country, i will assure you that then our unemployment rate will be closer to the actual value.



Response to, “Gini Index shows growing gap between Rich and Poor in Bhutan from 2007-2012”

GNI coefficient is an indicative tool between the rich and the poor – I would not claim that it has increased with just 0.01 increase, which is 1%. There is always a plus and minus range. Nevertheless, even if it is at 36%, it does not relate to poverty. The poverty cut off line was about Nu 750 in 2003 (35% poverty), about Nu 1100 in 2007 (23% poverty), and about Nu 1700 in 2012 (12% poverty). Due to the devaluation of currencies impacted by inflation, the money value of 100 in 2003 is today about Nu 55 about half and the increase to measure poverty has more than doubled – this looks to be a very fair calculation.

However, the gap between the rich and the poor is also explained by the consumption patterns, where the higher quartile of the population enjoys 6 times more than the lowest quartile. The only way to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor is to introduce weighted progressive tax system measuring the value of earning/income Corporate tax must also look into for equity and distribution in benefiting the wellbeing of employees apart from the profit for the business.


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