Tuesday, July 13, 2010

K B Wakhley The Plodding Minstrel

Here comes again - the unputdownable and mercurial Mr. K B Wakhley - the habitual plodder - a bubbly minstrel with nothing to do and nowhere in particular to go to, but with plenty of time and loads and loads of views to express. But before I get to his views, there is something sinister - almost uncanny about him bumping into me every time I happen to be by Karma’s Coffee.

Since 15th of June, day before yesterday was the second time I passed by Karma’s Coffee - and there again was good old K B Wakhley - slapping me on the back from behind and declaring that having looked at my backside, he was in no doubt that I was me! My signature backside besides, it is almost eerie that the man unfailingly happens to be at Karma’s Coffee precisely on the same day and at the same time that I am there!

Is the man tracking me? I don’t think so but certainly, he tells me that he has been tracking this blog of mine. He goes on to tell me that it so inspired him that he has started a blog of his own. He invited me to visit it: www.kbwakhley.blogspot.com.

I haven’t had the time to go through his entire blog which currently consists of 7 posts on various subjects. But I have read his last post titled “Possible Impact of Higher Electricity Tariff”. It makes for compelling reading. And, I dare say that he makes bloody good sense!

He discusses the issue of affordability. He hints that the regulation (he is not very clear which regulation) stipulates that the tariff increase is permissible only if it is affordable. He argues that even without the proposed increase in the tariff, Bhutanese consumers find it NOT affordable. In support, he offers the argument that; “If it was affordable, why are we using kerosene, firewood or LPG as other forms of energy? All of us should be using electricity to cook if it was affordable”. No dispute there!

The other point he makes is; “We talk of rupee crunch and we spend so much to buy kerosene and LPG. With the increase in tariff, there is every chance that more than 70 percent of our population will resort to wood, kerosene and LPG for cooking and heating. Even with the recent cost hike of the petroleum products, it would still be more economical to use kerosene and LPG, instead of electricity”.

Can any one argue the validity of what the man is saying? I think the government needs to rethink their proposal to increase electricity tariff. May be the government should even consider a downward revision of the existing tariff so that it becomes affordable for the household consumers on the one hand and, on the other hand, reduce Rupee deficit by reducing import of kerosene and LPG.


  1. Thanks for capturing the essence of my article and sounding it to many more readers. It is the Tariff Determination Regulation 2007. Probably for the space constraints, the publishers trimmed it down.

    Yes, as you said, the relevant agencies need to give proper thoughts while reviewing and approving the electricity tariff. I am sure, they will use their wisdom.