Even without any knowledge on commerce and economy I always saw this problem coming, I am not bluffing, and I am surprised some are only waking up now. I was in Phuntsholing last winter and had the misfortune of seeing how those four ATMs ran out of cash every hour. Our money was going to India as if Bhutanese economy was suffering from shooting diarrhea.
RMA's sudden measure to curb rupee crunch send panic waves across the country; Import business are threatened, constructions sectors are stunned, industries are shocked... and for once I thought out central bank is trying to cut off the neck that pains instead of healing it. Only today, after Dawa's show on BBS I saw the light, the light that should have been shown long ago. But now is not a bad time either.
However, this temporary measure, I fear, might cause permanent damage to our trade relation with people in Jaigoan. With Indian businessmen already shying away from Ngultrum I foresee sudden inflation in daily commodities in few days time. I have to gamble on weather I should already fill my kitchen with cartons of milk powder and cooking oil. I have already fueled my car -as if the problem would be solved before I run out of fuel again, and that sort of shortsightedness is prevalent among us Bhutanese. And even the central bank.
During the discussion, I didn't hear them talk anything about dollar. But some of us on twitter did a little talk of our own, where we mentioned why not use dollar to buy rupee. The problem is with rupee and we are supposed to have earned good amount of dollar through tourism, why can't we use it?
Without taking long term measures the economy diarrhea will never stop, and the current measure is just a radish corked in the bottom, only to build the pressure of outflow after it's been removed. We may have to look at agriculture seriously so that we don't land up importing what we could grow at home. We should revisit our tourism policy and bring some wise reforms. Our daily tariff of $250 scares many potential tourist from coming and spending in our country.
Of all the things we pride in so much, hydro power puts me to shame. We counted on it to rain rupee on us but the funny export agreements for 30 years with outrageously low tariff would making any difference to our economy during our time. By the time we have full ownership the walls of the dam may fall apart and new projects may have to begin again- followed by new agreements. Last winter's news of importing power from India shocked me 440 volts full.
The only two options we could play with are agriculture and tourism: Agriculture for controlling import and tourism for building economy.