20 April 2012

Trade Fair in Bajothang- Irresponsibly Bhutanese

The Trade Fair in Bajothang ended yesterday, which began on 13 April. There were over forty Indian stalls with skilled salespersons, who won't get tired of demonstrating how their product works like 'magic'. But by the last second day these Indians were swearing they will never come in Wangdue again because the business wasn't good. They even started giving heavy discounts, yet the turnout was poor. On the other hand, Bhutanese were all waiting for the last day to come, they heard the story from Thimphu trade fair that Indians give heavy discount on the last day. 
Traffic Jam in my Parking
The final day saw the biggest crowd gathering in Bajothang, which surprised even the Indians. They were desperate for last few days and they knew their chance has come to hit hard. There was a sudden price hike and Bhutanese paid more for their foolishness. By the evening yesterday Bhutanese were more desperate to get the 'last piece' than to bargain, and I am sure it was bumper sale.
By today evening these Indians will leave the country and I don't think they will walk out with Ngultrum. If our country was suffering from rupee crisis then from today we will suffer little more. As if the economy draining in border towns weren't enough, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) created a big leak in Bajothang to drain our Bhutanese money. It was a strange insult to rupee injury by an organization who should have been more responsible than the rest of us in such times.
Before the trade fair the business in Bajothang town was good enough to sustain itself but now things have changed. The trade fair diverted costumer from every corner to the Bajothang school football ground and therefore leaving the town empty. Business was already shaky in the town and now it will sure break because most of the people have already spent more they have earned in the fair. It was a great betrayal by BCCI who was supposed to work "toward 'Bhutanese' private sector development" landed up developing Indian private businessman. 
And Before the trade fair people were content with what they had at home and all they had to spend on were grocery items but now people have defied the words of our Prime Minister who had said, “We have to remember the lessons we have learned and work towards it; hopefully we will now change our habits of spending unnecessarily.” In fact the trade fair fairly changed our habits of spending; people bought new gas stove when they already have one, they bought big sofa for their small rooms, they bought more carpets than they have rooms, they bought chopping machines when they don't have enough to chop with their knife, they bought plenty of unbreakable buckets as if they are going to fight with buckets, they have bought blankets for next winter, they bought shaver when nobody shaves at home, they were feasting on chicken drumstick at a price which could buy a whole chicken,... would all these happen if BCCI didn't bring these Indians here? What positive changes did it bring to people who have already emptied their bank accounts on things they may not need at all? How would BCCI justify trade fair to our Prime Minister who was urging people to "change the habits of spending unnecessarily"?
Just a few days back The Bhutanese reported that "BCCI study shows that government spending is main cause of rupee crisis" which was contradicting the findings by the government task force. PaSsu Diary on the other hands finds the BCCI and their numerous trade fairs responsible for the leakage of excessive Bhutanese money into Indian pockets and that too unnecessarily.


  1. Can you have a trade fair of your own products, or at least local vendors selling imported things?

  2. what is it that we are gaining from these sorts of trade fairs??? honestly these BCCI people seem addicted to such fairs.

  3. Good observation Passu. I too agree with you. People tend to sway like the wangdi willow tress in the wind...

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Sorry to say this Mr.Passu but I don't agree with your statement.

    Whether BBCI organizes such fair or not is immaterial here.What I feel more important is first of all does Bhutan has anything of its own to organize such fair.Ok you might say some handicrafts products and diary products.But will Bhutanese buy those products during such fairs-a BIG doubts.And what about the cost.A piece of bags though it might differ in qualities cost Nu.200 or INR in Jaigaon costs Nu.1000 in Bhutan.So tell me which one will you go for?For me I will definitely go for Nu.200 one and buy 4 similar bags for my 3 kids and one extra for myself and can still save Nu.200.Good bargain here.

    The other important point is in Bhutan all most everything is imported-either from India or Thailand and few other countries.And we Bhutanese are so much crazy about foreign
    goods specially Thailand.Infact Bhutan is turning into a junkyard of Thailand goods.Does not matter whether the products are of good quality or some cheap craps from the street of Thailand,Bhutanese will go for it.To add to that there is no MRP labelled on those Thailand products and the shopkeepers take advantage of these to our gullible Bhutanese.An item which cost Nu.100 in Thailand cost Nu.500 in Bhutan because there is no one to check the price.It is upto the mercy of the shopkeepers.

    So such fairs I feel is good opportunity for public to get items in a cheaper rate compared to what our Bhutanese shopkeepers charge normally.

    And instead of some craps our government should be focusing controlling the cost of those imported goods where common public can afford.

    It is whether through such fairs or any other means there is all the time outflow of money.It is just that we never notice and sit to think about all these because Bhutanese are more reactive than analytic.

    Last but not the least,our leaders should show some example.For example few elite Bhutanese including some MPs started using bi-cycle-Imported from Foreign countries costing more than N.40,000.And now it has become a fashion in the country.Every Dorji,Dema and Karma wants a bi-cycle.I don't know whether it has really helped to reduce the pollution or not as we can still see there is no restriction on import of foreign vehicles but surely it has made already congested Bhutanese road worst.

    I remember OL in his blog mentioning about his visit to one authentic Bhutanese restaurant and questioning himself what really is Bhutanese there apart from red chilies.

    So lets do our homework well and make Bhutanese items available in a cheaper rate so that every Bhutanese can buy.
    "Be Bhutanese buy Bhutanese"-BUT make it available

  6. Hey Passu,

    Why you didn't approve my comment to to this post?
    Was it a actual truth so that you were afraid to approve for posting or was it a criticism to your post?

  7. Mimi, I don't approve or disapprove any comment on my blog. I leave it open, thus all comments directly appears on the blog without having to wait for approval. I think you didn't do it correctly. Please post your comment again, I am already very curious to know the "truth" that I could be "afraid" of.

  8. Hello Mimi,

    You did not even know what the whole objective of the Trade fair is. You think Bhutan has nothing to organise a fair of its own products. How ignorant can you be Mimi - Bhutan has lot more than you thought. If the country wants, it can organise such fairs every day on different handcrafts like Tsarzo, Kozo, Truezo, Jinzo, Lhadri, Thazo, and lot others - lets say Zorig Chusum. It could also organise fairs on home made stuffs like agro products, cement, steel, furnitures, woodworks and so many others.
    No, doubt bhutan imports a lot from other countries because no one country can produce everything on its own. Countries like japan, USA, UK and other giants also import a lot more than what they export. Countries specialise in producing certain good that it has competitive adavantage over the others. Bhutan is no exception. Its producing Electricity because this is an area we have competitive advantage over the others. While you think Bhutan has nothing to produce on its own, there are lot of opportunities we have already started to work and exporing others.
    In a free world, no one can stop anyone from buying anything, excluding drugs and stuffs of the sort, from anywhere.. if you have the means, you can buy more expensive bicycles from anywhere...
    Trade fair is not organised to make people buy stuffs at a cheaper rate... its an avenue for traders to showcase their products and people to compare and contrast products. Its also an opportunity for people to leanrn from eachother and enhance their knowledge.

    I agree with PAssu, BCCI should have not allowed all those stall who sell nothing but puris, coffees, and other food items. They could allow but only the locals.
    Mimi - its you who seem to be more reactive than analytic judging by that you have to write.


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