Opposition party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, questioned the performance, efficiency, accountability and political affiliation of the Business Opportunity and Information Centre (BOiC) in a press meet held yesterday.
Opposition Leader (OL), Dr Pema Gyamtsho said he heard that almost all Gups, during a recent Gups’ conference, said that they have not derived benefits from BOiC.
OL pointed out that there is an unbalanced distribution of funds across various regions in the country. He said that the huge loans have reached to only about 10 people in Bumthang, whereas over 100 people have received the service in Thimphu.
On the political leaning of BOiC, OL said there is a dangerous trend of it becoming a political toy that can be used to cater free loans without placing a mortgage or guarantor.
OL also expressed that the government is also taking risks by disbursing the loans without making certain there is a repayment mode. OL shared that a voter might use the leverage of a vote if his or her loan is freed during the elections.
Dr Pema Gyamtsho also questioned BOiC’s responsibility, stating that interest free loans or small interest rate loans could have been given through subsidizing the banks.
Panbang MP, Dorji Wangdi, said the government had committed to disburse the loans with no mortgages and also the processing loans was to be made easier before the start of BOiC.
He said that after one and half years of the establishment of BOiC, his constituency, Panbang, has yet to see the loan amount although the loans were approved.He said it not disbursed because of lack of documents, like mortgage papersand authentication.He argued that the government had earlier committed that such documents would not be required to get the loans.
He said that as per assessment made by DPT, only 27 percent of the people, from the total number of loan applicants, has received the loans as of now.
He pointed out that of the 150 applicants in Panbang, 12 applicants had their loans approved, however, only four to five actually received the loan while other were barred due to the lack of additional documents required by BOiC.
OL also questioned on the overhead cost or current cost of operation of BOiC. He said that BOiC staff fix their own salaries and recruit staff by themselves. In addition, he said 50 percent of BOiC’s fund would bear the overhead cost.The National Council, this summer session, submitted the legality of BOiC to His Majesty the King.