The Prime Min­is­ter presents five jewels of econ­omy

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The Prime Min­is­ter Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay pre­sented the state of five eco­nomic jewels of the gov­ern­ment to His Majesty the King and the joint sit­ting of the par­lia­ment last Tues­day.

The state of na­tion is an an­nual re­port on the per­for­mance of the gov­ern­ment, coun­try’s progress, achieve­ments and chal­lenges. Ly­onch­hen specif­i­cally pre­sented based on five eco­nomic jewels; hy­dropower, agri­cul­ture, tourism, cot­tage and small in­dus­tries and min­ing.

Hy­dropower formed the first jewel. Prime Min­is­ter Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay in­formed the joint sit­ting ses­sion that the sec­tor gen­er­ated rev­enue of Nu.7 bil­lion (B) last year. The re­port high­lighted the de­vel­op­ment of the hy­dropower re­mains the back­bone of the econ­omy and has ca­pac­ity to gen­er­ate 30,000 MW of which 23,760 MW is eco­nom­i­cally fea­si­ble. The Prime Min­is­ter re­ported that as of now, only 1,606 MW has been gen­er­ated con­tribut­ing Nu.7 B as rev­enue and fur­ther in­creased with the com­ple­tion of 126 MW Da­gachhu hy­dropower in April 2016. With the com­ple­tiopn of the projects of Mangdechhu and Nikachhu in Trongsa, Pu­natshangchhu I and II in Wang­duepho­drang, and Kho­longchhu in Tashiyangtse with a to­tal of 3,658 MW of hy­dropower ca­pac­ity will added to the ex­ist­ing in­stalled ca­pac­ity of 1,606 MW.

In Bhutan, most of the hy­dropower projects are joint ven­ture un­der­tak­ings be­tween the Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan and In­dian coun­ter­part.

The Prime Min­is­ter cited agri­cul­ture as se­cond jewel said that as per the GNH sur­vey, farm­ers are less happy com­pared with peo­ple in the other pro­fes­sions. This is mainly be­cause they face long work­ing hours un­der un­pre­dictable weather c con­di­tions and dam­age to crops and live­stock by wildlife. There­fore, the gov­ern­ment is earnestly im­ple­ment­ing many poli­cies and plans to im­prove agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity and prof­itabil­ity of farm­ing.

Ly­onchen also said that to im­prove the lives of farm­ers, gov­ern­ment has com­pen­sated Nu.119 mil­lion for Tsam­dro in 17 Dzongkhags. The gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to fo­cus on con­struct­ing and main­tain­ing farm roads, con­structed and ren­o­vated al­most 500 km of ir­ri­ga­tion, dis­trubuted 731,000 kgs of seeds, oil seeds, potatos and ce­real to in­crease pro­duc­tion of veg­eta­bles. Thus, the gov­ern­ment has dis­trubuted 1,506 green houses and veg­etable pro­duc­tion has in­creased. The re­port high­lighted that the gov­ern­ment has dis­trubuted 462 power tillers, trained 150 peo­ple to op­er­ate power tillers, and in­stalled 1236 km of elec­tric fences cov­er­ing 7,698 acres and ben­e­fit­ing 6,638 house­holds.

The third jewel is the tourism that con­tin­ues to be one of an im­por­tant in­dus­try for Bhutan where a to­tal of 141,898 of which 51,656 were in­ter­na­tional tourists vis­ited Bhutan. The tourism sec­tor is not only gen­er­ates the rev­enue to the gov­ern­ment but cre­ates em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. The sec­tor em­ployed 25,517 peo­ple and Nu. 1.3 bil­lion was ac­crued as gov­ern­ment rev­enue in the form of roy­alty and taxes. As a counter-mea­sure, the gov­ern­ment will roll out pack­age of guide­lines and reg­u­la­tions to main­tain “High Value, Low Im­pact” tourism pol­icy.

Cot­tage and small In­dus­tries (CSI) which forms an im­por­tant com­po­nent for econ­omy as well as cre­at­ing more em­ploy­ment is the fourth jewel of the na­tion. The re­port high­lighted that there are 16,548 CSIs es­tab­lished in the coun­try which 1,355 new CSIs were es­tab­lished in 2015. Ly­onchen said, with the es­tab­lish­ment of Ru­ral En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd. (REDCL) as a State Owned En­ter­prise to en­cour­age SMEs, it will sup­port de­vel­op­ment of the econ­omy through­out the coun­try. Once the cen­tral bank fi­nal­izes guide­lines for SME banks, the REDCL will func­tion as an SME bank. Fur­ther, gov­ern­ment plans to set up Ru­ral En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment through­out the coun­try.

Min­ing is the fi­nal jewel of the na­tion. It was re­ported, min­eral de­posits are the state re­sources and the ben­e­fits must be shared by the cit­i­zens of the coun­try. The gov­ern­ment ini­ti­ated two im­por­tant devel­op­ments in the min­ing sec­tor in­clud­ing the Min­eral De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy will be fi­nal­ized this year and min­eral rent and roy­alty has been re­vised af­ter 10 long years. The re­vi­sion is ex­pected to en­hance rev­enue of Nu.129 mil­lion with the in­crease in min­eral rent and roy­alty for ex­ports of min­er­als.

Ly­onchen said gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to fo­cus and take ad­van­tage of eco­nomic po­ten­tials ly­ing in th­ese five eco­nomic jewels. “To do so, the gov­ern­ment is strength­en­ing pri­vate sec­tor by mak­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment v more con­duc­tive through sev­eral in­ter­ven­tions.” Ly­onchen added.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.