Happy with interest waiver and loan deferral
Taxi drivers in the country are one of the beneficiaries of the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu. However, many taxi drivers said they are not applying for the fund, but rather keeping the option for other badly affected citizens.
Chairman of Bhutan Taxi Association, Rinzin Chophel, said that the taxi drivers in the country are happy with the deferment of loans for three months. And they don’t want to apply for the Kidu Relief and offer the option to other affected citizens.
“The country is already facing economic challenges, and we could not make a money contribution. We are helping the country through our voluntary services. Few of the taxi drivers have applied for the Kidu as they are affected and their source of income is only from taxi. From the beginning of the outbreak, the transportation sector was badly affected, and now with the new rule of carrying two passengers, it has made it further difficult. So 100 out of 6,000 taxi drivers have applied for the Kidu, and we are rendering help to those needy ones in applying,” he said, adding the taxi association is ready to offer their services to all the 20 dzongkhag.
Kinzang Dorji, a taxi driver in Thimphu said, “His Majesty and the government is working day and night and helping the country to combat COVID-19. We are happy with the deferment of loan itself, and we don’t want to apply for further Kidu. We are not able to contribute money so at least we want to give this option to other affected people. “
Tashi, 35, said that he applied for the Kidu Relief as he depends on the taxi for living and it is going to benefit his family.
“I earn my bread from taxi alone, and I don’t have any side income. I have to pay rent and feed my family. And it has become hard to even earn a thousand in a week. This Kidu from His Majesty is a blessing during such a situation. At least with this Kidu, I feed my family and pay the rent,” he said.
Kinley, 33, said, “Though we are running into loses, and being hit the hardest, we don’t want to take this Kidu as we are already happy with the loan deferment of three consecutive months. During this difficult situation, we want to provide the opportunity to other people who have lost jobs and are having difficulties in meeting daily expenses.”
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering launched Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu for those directly affected by the COVID- 19 pandemic in Thimphu on Tuesday. With the launch, affected individuals can apply online for the Relief Kidu and can also call the toll-free number 1188 for further assistance.
The Kidu will be available for the months of April, May and June and even taxi drivers are eligible.