Land Ceiling in Bhutan

The Land Bill is up for discussions in the parliament in the coming days. On the 15th of June, His Majesty issued a Kasho to the parliament, reminding them on the importance of the Land Bill. The Kasho reminded the parliament to be mindful that no one is exempt from the land ceiling.

A Bhutanese person cannot own more than 25 acres of land. So how big is 25 acres of land?

25 acres of land

1 acre of land is made up of 100 decimals. The minimum area of land for a person to build a house is 15 decimals. On 15 decimals, you can comfortably build a house for your family and have enough space for a car, and also a small kitchen garden.

For those uninitiated with our units of measurement, 15 decimals is 6534 sq.ft.

Guess how many families can live on 25 acres of land?

  • (25 acres x 100 decimals) / 15 decimals = 166 families.

25 acres of land is HUGE. 166 families can comfortably live on 25 acres of land. And to think that some individuals own more than 25 acres is being just greedy.

How much does 25 acres of land cost?

A decimal of land on the outskirts of Thimphu costs Nu.2,00,000.

  • (25 acres x 100 decimals) x Nu.2,00,000 = Nu.50,00,00,000.

That amount has so many zeros it is even scary to look at. That is 50 crores, or 500 million. That is about 8.9 million US dollars.

How much is Nu.50,00,00,000?

Just for comparison:

  • A MP get about Nu.75,534 a month.
  • In a year an MP gets: 12 months x Nu.75,534 = Nu.9,06,408.
  • For the elected term of 5 years, a MP gets: 5 years x Nu.45,32,040.
  • We have 72 MPs: Nu.45,32,040 x 72 MPs = Nu.32,63,06,880.

It costs roughly Nu.32,63,06,880 to run our parliament for a term of 5 years.

Well guess what? The cost of running the parliament of Bhutan is still less than the cost of 25 acres of land.

My thoughts

  • It is common knowledge that there are many prominent people in our country who own more than 25 acres of land. There are some tough questions that comes to my mind:
    Q: How did they get to own such huge plots of land? As demonstrated above, it costs an unimaginable amount of money to buy 25 acres of land. Do these people have this kind of money? I dont think any civil servant will have this kind of money. If they do, something is not right. Which means they would have definitely used unfair means to own such huge plots of land.
  • In the olden days, the whole country was owned by the King. It is only inevitable that the Royal Family will also have huge plots of land. But over the years, with each successive King, land has been given to the people. The present King has embarked on massive land reforms, giving thousands of acres of land to the landless. And now the King has decreed that no one can own more than the lawfully prescribed ceiling, including the Royal Family. I think very soon, we the Bhutanese people can expect a benevolent gift (of land) from the Royal Family.



This story from Sangay Tshomo


  1. So much of land is given to so many. If the register of records were opened to account for the total land given over the time, it might run over twice of what the people now own. Where are rest of the recipients/beneficiaries to acknowledge the fact and extol the kindness? Stop the propaganda of flattery!

  2. Quite informative article. Thanks !