Political parties ask for ACC probe on Denchi

The government’s explanation on the Denchi land compensation issue has not convinced political parties who feel that the issue merits an ACC probe.

The Bhutanese in a series of investigative stories published on 10th and 22nd August 2012 found that the cabinet gave abnormally high compensation rates well above government rates of Property Assessment and Valuation Agency (PAVA) for land in Denchi that was being acquired for a Dzongkhag thromde.

The main beneficiary was the Prime Minister’s Aunt who had the highest land holding there. PAVA had fixed the rate at Nu 3,900 per decimal but the cabinet made it Nu 9,000 per decimal.

Politicians across political parties said that Denchi was a major lapse by the government.

G.M Sharma a senior member of the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa said, “This is a sensitive case and there should be an ACC probe into Denchi. It is clear that higher compensation was paid by the cabinet because influential people were involved.”

Dasho Penjor from the DMT said that the ACC should definitely look into the case as there is a huge case of conflict of interest.

He said, “Aum Dechen, who is the Lyonchhen’s aunt is one of the land owners in Denchi, and so Lyonchhen should have abstained from approving this but in fact the prime minister participated in the meeting and approved it”.

Dasho Penjor said he was now disgusted with the cabinet as earlier he had a lot of faith in the cabinet and even thought that the cabinet members had a high degree of moral conscience. “These people have no right to be where they are and they should stand down” said Dasho. He said, “This case is and definitely smells of corruption”.

Dr Tandin Dorji of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa said, “There is a major administrative lapse in the Denchi land case.” He said currently the Denchi land case isn’t a criminal case but he said that should the ACC feel that the case should be looked into then they should. Dr Tandin also said that laws pertaining to these sorts of cases should be looked into and that His Majesty’s Kasho’s on land should be respected.

The Opposition leader said, “The Royal Audit Authority must also look into the case to ensure that the government did not misuse or overspend public resources”.

In an earlier blog on the same issue the Opposition leader said, “To resolve the Denchi case, ACC should investigate the cabinet’s involvement for possible corruption.”

Political parties said that ordinarily the ACC should have taken up the case but they reasoned ACC has not done this so far due to the ongoing Gyelpozhing case.

Earlier the Prime Minister’s office in defense of the Denchi issue had said that the Parliament on 2nd July 2010 had declared Denchi as a Dzongkhag Thromde and hence the Thromde rate of Nu 9,000 per decimal under PAVA rules and rates was paid to Denchi residents.

While cabinet ministers insisted that Denchi be paid under the urban thromde rates different rules were applied in the case of Duksum an Urban Township in Trashiyangtse where 55.735 acres of land have been acquired to relocate and develop the current Duksum Urban Township.

A per the cabinet’s precedent set by Denchi, the 67 private landowners of Khitsang whose land was acquired in mid 2011 for the urban town should have been entitled to Nu 9,801 per decimal for commercial areas and Nu 9,770.51 in residential areas as per the PAVA’s own urban rates. This is because Duksum is listed as a throm under PAVA.

However, the government unlike in the case of Denchi decided to go by the rule and apllied only PAVA’s original estimate for Rural C class land rates.

Furthermore PAVA which was already aware of the Parliament’s decision to declare Denchi a thromde still refused to pay Thromde B rates for Denchi even after the cabinet asked PAVA to review the rates. The PAVA team in its report instead informed the cabinet that any raise above the Nu 3,952.42 per decimal for Denchi would not be in keeping with the Land Act 2007.

PAVA task force members justifying their stand on the report had told this paper that PAVA could not accept paying Class B thromde rates for Denchi as it was only a thromde in name but not in infrastructure and value. They said that PAVA has to pay for actual ground value using a complex formula.

Land Commission officials, Legal Experts and Urban Town Planners that the paper talked to had all said that Denchi should have been paid rural rates as ‘land was being acquired for establishing a Dzongkhag Thromde and not from a Thromde’. They said that infrastructure rates cannot be paid for land which does not have the town infrastructure. They also said that PAVA’s thromde rates are applied if land is taken from an existing thromde like Thimphu and not a rural area designated to be a town.

The government’s press release claimed that one of the main justifications for review of the price was when landowners in Denchi compared their rates to the PAVA approved land prices of Nganglam which was Nu. 9801 per decimal for commercial area.

However, the PAVA report rejected this saying that Nanglam and Denchi cannot be compared due to the urban infrastructure in Nanglam.

The PAVA report of 27th November 2010 says, “For the issue Nanglam does not arise as the planning has been based on land pooling method which the public of Denchi did not agree.”

 

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37 comments

  1. There is nothing wrong with giving a new thromde the thromde rates. After all, that’s what market rates are all about. However, the unacceptable part  is that all other citizens are getting ripped off at the rural rates.

  2. As of now we only have two political parties, DPT and PDP, so what the other three jokers from the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa, the party that wants to offer the OL a ministerial berth if they were to ever form the government, which looks as remote as man living on Mars in future, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, made up of traitors of the PDP and the Druk Misther Tshogpa, who by all means is there to just make up the numbers says is not relevant at all.

    The only party that can legitimately take the RGOB to task on this issue is the PDP and we are fine with that, so I wonder why this paper keeps on quoting these guys, they can request the ACC to investigate this case as a political party only if they have been registered with the ECB, which they are yet to fulfill. So for the time being, they can voice their misgivings only as private citizens and not as a political party.

    So the Bhutanese, please don’t use these vague party leaders or their spokesperson’s to legitimize what you write, for all we care, you can take their opinions as individuals and do whatever you want with them, but refrain from giving them a bigger voice by alluding to them as political entities.

    • Yes, how can non-registered parities ask for ACC probe. Definitely trying to gain mileage before registration. This time its DPT. Next time, one of them would do something similar. So we have to either vote for the bad or the worst.  Good political parties would be just a story.

  3. If urban rates were to be given, why were banana, oranges and mango trees included in calculation? This government has opened a new path for future town plans.

  4. We have only two political parties as of now, DPT and PDP. Rest are not party yet until registration.  They can only speak as individuals and not as party. Most of the so called party will not even make up for registration. Most will vanish or merge with one another. 

  5. well,
    The expected result… No corruption involved… we all know the result now itself… so is there a need for ACC to take the trouble and the send it to AOG.. who will say.. no corruption like the one of Gyelposhing…. So lets not waste govt resrouces on investigating another case of HIgh profile…..

  6. Who is PAVA? Is PAVA greater than Cabinet and Parliament?

    This paper and political parties should think and act objectively for benefits for nation. I know political mileage and vested interests will be gained but internationally, it is looking bad. After all, this is done legally…

  7. These papers and Cabinet should also release names of PAVA because those may be relatives of this papers and Opposition Leader.

    Those may be also trying join politics. This may be their tactics to gain mileage by discrediting government.

    May this paper is impersonating PAVA members indirectly because no one person’s name from PAVA is there…

  8. The BHUTANESE… har har har…

  9. Now that the Gyelposhing land case is no longer a case, theBhutanese and some political parties are associated with it, are trying other means to defame PM and disallow him from participating in the next election because they know very well that if the current PM is participating in the elections, the votes he gets will be second to none.

    Its amazing that theBhutanese has already approved the political parties even before they are registered with the ECB and their voices are being raised in the paper.

    • Rangdrel you are considered as Human only beacuse you dont have horn on your Head.
      Who said that Gyalposhing is no longers a case, OAG is puppet to PM and he is afraid to defend Govt but wait and watch our ACC will do somthing that time only PM and Cabinets will realise what type of people they are.

      It is not only the Bhutanese quoting others as Party,Every time BBS and otherspapers too quote those party as parties.If not waht name you are going to call them as hope you want call them as Gang Stars so on.

  10. No use of ACC getting involved and investigating on the case as it will be of no use at last, when its forwarded to AGO. Look at the Gyelposhing land case, At last the conclusion is the people involved in the case are all above the law.

  11. Why only Denchi was proposed to  be declared as Urban thromde while all the other similar land holders in the country would like the same treatment. Whoever proposed this in the Parliament should be investigated. It is clearly a case of you scratch my back I will scratch yours. This is a gross misuse of power. However, we know nothing will happen, this case will also be brushed aside because one powerful person is involved. 

    • Then why do waste your time if you believe nothing will happen? 

    • please go through constitution and local government act. It says, every dzongkhag should have at least one thromde. Since, Pemagatsel dzong will be shifted to Denchi as present dzong is located on geographically unstable area, Denchi was declared as Thromde B like any other Dzongkhags. if there are other major throms within the dzongkhag, then, it is declared as yenlag thromde. So, currently, there are three categories of thom i.e. category A, B and yenlag throm….And each thromde has different rate…..just for information

  12. What ever justifications are given to prove otherwise,  it does not hold water when the PM himself intervenes to first revise the rate, and secondly to expedite the payment. Both are seen to favour his aunt and practice of nepotism is quite evident. The PM has been known to practise nepotism, whether in the RCSC, as a Minister and now as a Prime MInister. The past always catches  up to the present and leopards never change their spots. So, expect more to come as he doesn’t seem to care a damn about what you and I think.

  13. are all these parties that desperate to get rid of PM and DPT from the election race in 2013.
    they must think  and more importantly know they have no chance with PM around. interesting…..

    keep up the sprit of competition and keep us entertained with your desperate cries.

  14. Try, try, try till u exhaust yourself.. but I am still voting for DPT!

  15. theBhutanese has thus started its anti-government (anti-DPT) campaign for 2013 election. .  . Unfortunately that might not be realized.
    The paper is asking ACC to investigate the case as if ACC had no other job but to listen to whims of few people. This time ACC will not even accept the complaints let alone investigate because there is difference of opinion and interpretation of rules. However this paper may try hell and heaven but ACC won’t budge. ACC is not composed of people who have vindictiveness and hatred in their minds unlike this paper. 
    Well I suggest Dasho Penjor of DMT and Dr. Tandin Dorji of DNT to register their parties with ECB before they even try to represent themselves as political parties.

    How can Dasho Penjor have full faith in the cabinet when he is thinking of contesting for a seat in the parliament? He had full faith in the cabinet before (why?) and now he doesn’t, this is cheating not to anybody but himself. So his future as a good politician has already failed. Dr. Tandin Dorji?  Another school teacher from any other political party will suffice to pin him down. 

  16. When you say infrastructures, what does it include? I get the picture of Thimphu. If there were structures already built, then why do we need to acquire  land? (for a thromde in this case). Therefore the interpretations differ. The Jack Ass PAVA member who is keeping on lamenting and misinforming the paper must thus know that their rules have avenues for misinterpretations. 

  17. if parliament has declared Denchi as Thromde category B, and if cabinet has paid residential rate of thromde category B for acquiring the land , then what is wrong in it? Is it because Lynchhen’s aunt is one of the land owner? 

    And, please be reminded that Duksum doesn’t fall under thromde category B, it is rather yenla thromde. So, certainly, rates can not be compared. Don’t compare apple with orange and fool people.

    I think, it is high time, somebody should take responsibility. Yeah, ACC should investigate and charge to the court if there is any corruption. If there is no evidence, then, media should be charged for defamation…..

    The other ting is, yes , i strongly feel that there should be RTI act so that there is transparency and free flow of information. It should also have very stringent clause on defamation charges so that people write responsibly. 

  18. doesn’t dasho penjor have corruption charges against him, i though he was asked to leave the government. the irony is too much.

    • don’t worry about him. his turn will come for sure if he is elected. right now it’s the PM’s turn. so wait in line.

  19. Our Monarchs have gifted  every citizen  the Right to vote for whoever they want to lead the country. My fear is not about what will happen now but the consequences we will have to face later because of the decisions taken now which is clearly evident bears vested interest. The poor farmers land are grab for development in the name of national interest and paid a meager amount while influential people offer land to the government charging market rates. We should have only ONE RULE in the country. If we allow cabinet to interfere the precedence set now will allow all future cabinets to interfere in such matters and I can assure you such doings will only draw our dooms day closer.
    All interested parties should register now and start working on providing the people an alternate choice in 2013

  20. samden drup matsug

    Anything to do with influential people are super sensitive in Bhutan. As rightly said PM should have avoided the meeting during that particular session declaring his Aunt is involve. Having paid Thromde rate and refusing to pay taxes at the urban rate is another failure on part of the government. People should have been clarified that once they get urban rate it should be abide by urban rules and regulations.

  21. With so much justifications and clarifications in defense of or attempts to cover up the Dechi land scam, I guess PM’s media team must be working full time. But people who now know who and what they want.

    I voted DPT the last time but now with all the corruption and inequality prevailing thanks to the people you have voted, not again.
    PDP with all its baggage, no thanks.
    Though I would want change, but if some tainted officials who have put the country in a mess wants to join some new party, I would not want that too.
    So my vote will go to that party which I expect would be fair and honest. But I am just one person and the total voters at my home would barely be 9.
    The bottom line is it is up to us all.

  22. Tashi, pray tell me whether the PDP still has any baggages and do fill us on the details.

  23. Tashi will ur single vote make any difference?

  24. wats da use of raising denchi issue again ..OAG is der to defend n giv clean chit …wat happend to gyelposhing land case. its over right …within one week…..no use….n shut up….we r feedup ….

  25. What I find disturbing is the way the govt. is using the BBS and the Public office holders to clarify and show that all is done without any hanky panky. The Chinese bus case with the DG of Post going on air rather awkardly to say that everything was done according to the books and fairly, the BBS programme called DENZhuen where the reporter appears to be asking tough questions only to  conclude that it was all retired Lyonpo Kunzangs fault,i.e. on the Trowa Theatre case.
    Please do remember we are no longer like sheeps that can be lead in any direction. I have already made my views on the Denchi land prices and it goes on and on.
    We don’t like bitching on the govt. and the PM, rather if given a reason, we would prefer to go on the positive side. So, please give us reasons to be positive. Every thing is possible!

    • What I find even more disturbing is that you find everything reported by BBS or any clarification given by a government official a fallacy and that you find everything reported by this paper which even a blind man would conclude to be as biased as true. So if you want a reason to be positive. better stop reading the “Bhutanese” who’s sole aim is to discredit the PM and the DPT and why would I not find it surprising if what this paper writes about is the only positive thing in your life at this moment in time.

  26. Media can probe and make agencies to investigate to finally finish little resource we have. Denchi and other issues related to DPT are all useless and baseless.. It is silent riot by the media and anti-DPT. They cant to anything same like in Gyalposhing and come up as baseless allegations haha

  27. Dear Good, 
    I am not so blind that I should believe whatever is written by the Bhutanese. We are quite capable of deducing what is the truth, even if spiced up a bit at times. The Bhutanese may appear to be critical of the govt., but it does come out with issues that are talked  off in whispers in the corridors of the govt. offices as well as the society at large. We ought to be the  the best judge and form our own intelligent opinions and feel free to express it in forums open to us in newspapers like the Bhutanese.
    The diehard supporters of the govt. should also realize that none are perfect and should be rational enough to accept the truth and learn from the mistakes for the betterment of our nation. I always fear fanatics, because they are deaf to reason and refuse to accept and learn from knowing the truth.
    Misuse or rather abuse of power is not uncommon where power is concentrated in the hands of a small clique. And, we in Bhutan are not immune to it, and in fact we are witnessing some of these human failings first hand. The Gyalposhing land case, the Denchi, the Torwa, Chinese buses, GNH centre coming up in the same area where the PM had bought 33 acres from the farmers of Chokor Toe ecetra, ecetra. These are not mere accident or coincidence, as we see a pattern of self promotion and nepotism.
    People like us have no political interest and have  no personal agenda against the ruling govt.What we want is for our leaders to live up to our expections and make our lives better, and not worse than before.

    .

  28. This might have to be sorted out by the Supreme Court – technically speaking, the Cabinet did have the right to reclassify land as it saw fit (though to do something so obviously fishy was a bit unwise on its part). However, when an agency like PAVA has been entrusted to abide by the Land Act, it also cannot be faulted for upholding its standards (refusing to classify at the higher level when the ground reality, i.e., existing infrastructure, did not match). Both did what was, in their judgement, their legal duties. This is exactly what the Supreme Court is for.

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