Bhutan faces shortages of essential items

Bhutan is facing shortages of essential food items and fuels – the pinch felt across the world following disruption in supply chain and impact of Ukraine war.

There were long queues in the petrol stations, though the authorities are providing assurances to the consumers that supplies are normal.

Rising fuel import costs and global grain shortages have led to a spike in domestic prices, posing a risk of food scarcity for people in Bhutan, especially in the rural areas, economic affairs minister Loknath Sharma told a news agency Reuters.

According to the news agency, Bhutan is confronting the impact of Ukraine war – which has caused a spike in global crude oil and grain prices – after its economy initially began to recover as pandemic restrictions eased.

“Scarcity of food commodities could fuel inflation higher,” Sharma told Reuters, adding the government was worried about the impact of export restrictions on grains by some countries, though he did not name them.

Bhutan, which depends on imports to meet food demand, imported cereals amounting $30.35 million, mainly rice and wheat from India, in 2021.

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