Drayang owners unhappy with inadequate compensation

SANGAY RABTEN | Thimphu

Following the government’s draconian rule on outlawing Drayangs, owners are now unhappy with the inadequate compensation announced by the government. 

To their utter dismay, Drayang operators feel that the compensation is not in proportion to their investment after the government issued a blanket ban on the industry’s operation last week. 

Pema Yangzom the owner of Urigg Drayang, Gelephu, said the compensation to be made by the government is not up to her expectations. She established the firm procuring a loan of Nu 1.5-million. However, just after operating the business for three months, her new Drayang had to close because of the pandemic. 

She said she has been paying the Drayang hall rent all the while including miscellaneous expenses. The compensation by the government is inadequate,” she lamented. 

Sonam Tashi, the owner of Tshering Trophel, Gelephu, said the compensation declared by the government to Drayang owners actually is not compensation. He said that the owners have procured huge loans from the Department of Cottage and Small Industries (CSI). 

Lhamo Tshering, the owner of Zomlha Drayang, Bajo, Wangdiphodrang said that the compensation to be paid by the government is not equivalent to the investments they made. However, she said that being a government executive order they have no leeway rather than to accept it. 

Sangay Khandu, the owner of Druk Jurmyy Drayang, Phuentsholing, said that the Drayang owners have invested in a new setup to maintain the standard directed by the government. “It was investment upon investment. Now the compensation is very less. It is a huge disappointment for us,” he added. 

The President of Druk Drayang Association, Kelzang Phuntshok said that the CSI had submitted valuation reports to the government- ranging from Nu one to eight million for the establishment of their businesses. He said that the operators pleaded with the government to pay the rent of the Drayang hall and that compensations should be based on investment in the establishment. 

The compensation package declared by the government in two categories; Nu 10,00,000 and Nu 15,00,000 is inadequate according to the operators. “It is not compensation actually,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Dorji Wangdi, during the press conference of the Opposition Party on 14 January, said that the government did not compensate Drayang owners adequately. The OL said the government did not honor their word to maintain Drayangs with new standards and SoPs. 

According to the OL, the government should have worked out for Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and streamlined the regulations as a first step. “The government should provide adequate compensation. There is still room to streamline the regulations.”