PDP gov­ern­ment de­clares 2015 a pro­duc­tive and suc­cess­ful year

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

The eco­nomic af­fairs min­is­ter Norbu Wangchuk dur­ing the 21st `Meet the Press’ last Fri­day said that the year, 2015 has been a pro­duc­tive and blos­somed with sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment of the econ­omy.

High­light­ing on the suc­cess for the year, the min­is­ter said that the gov­ern­ment af­ter as­sum­ing the of­fice in 2013 with the brink econ­omy has now been sta­bi­lized. The Gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) has ex­pe­ri­enced a growth from 0.28 per­cent in 2013 to 5.7per­cent 2015. The gov­ern­ment has in­her­ited INR 5bn which has now im­proved to INR17bn.

The in­fla­tion rate in 2013 was 10-11 per­cent which has re­duced to 3.4 per­cent. How­ever, the gov­ern­ment does not take the credit on in­fla- tion as it hap­pened due to crum­bling of oil prices glob­ally; the gov­ern­ment only takes credit for suc­cess­fully sta­bi­liz­ing the trou­bled econ­omy.

In terms of un­em­ploy­ment, Ly­onpo said that there has been a slight fall but not as ex­pected. “The right pol­icy and the hard work of the gov­ern­ment had been proved,” he said.

The gov­ern­ment’s first ef­fort on re­viv­ing the econ­omy was by putting Eco­nomic Stim­u­lus Plan in 2013where Nu 2bn was in­jected into the banks to get ac­cess to the credit for the pri­vate sec­tors. Norbu Wangchuk said that prior to the term of sec­ond demo­crat­i­cally elected gov­ern­ment; the pri­vate sec­tors have lit­er­ally frozen with­out work with the lack of credit fa­cil­i­ties. The banks have stopped giv­ing loans. 3000 con­struc­tion com­pa­nies had no works at hand,” he said. The sec­tor has plum­met 45 per­cent. He also said that, those con­trac­tors who had done the job had not re­ceived the pay­ment from the gov­ern­ment. But now the sec­tor has boomed and picked up. “The con­trac­tors have up to three projects at hand,” he said.

The Busi­ness Op­por­tu­nity and in­for­ma­tion Cen­ter ( BOIC) was es­tab­lished to stim­u­late the ru­ral econ­omy has started to bear the fruits. The min­is­ter also said that 2000 ru­ral eco­nomic projects are be­gin­ning to un­fold and yield the re­sults with equal num­ber of em­ploy­ment. 200 more projects are com­ing up vi­brantly. “The com­mu­ni­ties around which they cir­cle the en­trepreneurs have be­gun to show the re­sults,” he said.

The min­is­ter also said that Nu 92bn worth of cap­i­tal works has now be­gun to roll with more con­struc­tion works. Also the Pu­natshangchhu Hy­dro­elec­tric Project Author­ity (PHPA) which was at the stand­still dur­ing the time he in­her­ited the eco­nomic af­fairs min­istry due to slip­page of right bank has been smoothened and ra­tio­nal­ized. The projects is also said to have se­ri­ous is­sues with the fund re­lief from the In­dian gov­ern­ment which re­sulted in the slow pace de­vel­op­ment of the work.

But the min­is­ter said that the work has been re­sumed with the fund release from the In­dian gov­ern­ment. The min­is­ter said that the dam con­struc­tion of Pu­natsangchhu-I has been strength­ened and cor­rected. “It has been a huge suc­cess for the hy­dropower sec­tor, the driver for econ­omy,” he said. The gov­ern­ment has also suc­ceeded to con­tinue and bring on track the three mega projects, Pu­natsangchhu-I and II and Mangdechhu Hy­dropower project. The gov­ern­ment also suc­ceeded in start­ing up of Kho­longchhu project and Tangsi­bji project and has com­pleted Da­gachhu project. The gov­ern­ment has also suc­ceeded in and de­lib­er­a­tions of Chamkharchhu project are in its fi­nal stages.

The min­is­ter also said that the gov­ern­ment’s plan to im­prove the econ­omy in 2015 has been a suc­cess. “Through a bleak sit­u­a­tion from 2011, this year has been a bright out­come as we close 2015 and we just need to work harder next year,” said the Ly­onpo.

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