Saturday, 6 September 2008

Bhutan : Logo fee frightens potential users

4 September, 2008 - More than a year after the centenary and coronation logo was franchised, most private and corporate agencies have resisted using the logo because of the high fee imposed by the government.

An official of the construction association of Bhutan (CAB) said that the office wanted to use the logo on their website and on the letter head but was surprised when a finance ministry letter asked them to pay Nu 0.5 million. “Though we want to contribute and celebrate the occasion by using the logo, the amount is just too much and the office simply can’t afford it,” he said.

A tour company proprietor based in Thimphu said that he wanted to use the logo, which will be used this year only, but resisted because of the size of the fee being imposed for it.

There are also many agencies, which are still unaware that a certain fee would have to be paid to the finance ministry for using the centenary and coronation logo.

However, finance officials said that the fee varies from agency to agency. “We charge ranging from Nu 0.1 million, 0.5 million and 1 million, depending on the strength and the size of the agency,” he said.

Media organizations are exempted from paying the fee only if the logo is used in the newspaper.

On the other hand, an official of the steering committee said that all private individuals and companies should be well aware of the fees because it was already explained during the launch of the logo.

The logo was franchised in June 2007.

Observers reason that the logo is a good way of informing people of the celebrations taking place in the country this year but the fee is deterring them from using it. “The logo has to be used and promoted as much as possible and this isn’t the best way to do it,” said 40-year-old Karma, a private employee.

An official of the finance ministry and of the steering committee said that the fees collected from the use of the logo will support the celebrations.

As of May this year, the finance ministry has been able to license only seven of the 50 items that the coronation and centenary logo can be used on. The various items, on which the logo could be used, include T-shirts, khadar, caps, banners, badges, calendars, passport covers, bags, mugs, stationery, stickers, posters, watches and clocks, balloons and post-cards.

By Phuntsho Choden

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