DPT pres­i­dent re­futes claim on pri­va­tiz­ing hy­dropower projects

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley

Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT) pres­i­dent Pema Gyamt­sho has re­futed al­le­ga­tion of pri­va­tiz­ing hy­dropower projects in the coun­try.

Dur­ing his tour in Ch­hukha and Samtse last week, Pema Gyamt­sho said pri­va­tiz­ing hy­dropower projects is nowhere men­tioned in their party’s man­i­festo.

He ex­plained that the party has promised to pro­mote pri­vate sec­tors’ par­tic­i­pa­tion, but not pri­va­tize the hy­dropower con­struc­tion projects.

“It is to­tally false and pro­mot­ing false news which is un­true,” he said, adding that the party, if it forms the gov­ern­ment, how­ever will look into the pos­si­bil­ity of al­lo­cat­ing the de­vel­op­ment of mi­cro hy­dropower plants, but not the mega ones, to the pri­vate sec­tor.

“That will also hap­pen if the com­mu­nity and the pri­vate com­pa­nies are gen­uinely in­ter­ested and we will ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity. With the in­abil­ity and the lack of ca­pac­i­ties, the coun­try’s pri­vate sec­tor is still too in­com­pe­tent to start the coun­try’s mega hy­dropower projects,” he added.

DPT pres­i­dent said the pri­va­ti­za­tion would also un­der­mine the bi­lat­eral agree­ments made be­tween the two gov­ern­ments of Bhutan and In­dia and In­dia who has funded the projects till now. “We have only promised to in­volve pri­vate sec­tors in mi­cro projects,” he said.

He also said that the party, if it forms the gov­ern­ment, will ex­pe­dite the con­struc­tion of mega power projects which are on­go­ing. Also the party will start three other hy­dropower projects.

Hy­dropower be­ing the pri­mary source of na­tional rev­enue, the pres­i­dent as­sured to ex­pe­dite on­go­ing hy­dropower projects and start new projects if the party comes to power.

“Bu­nakha and Wangchhu hy­dropower projects in Ch­hukha will also get started in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the In­dian gov­ern­ment. It’s al­ready in the plan and we will work with the In­dian gov­ern­ment,” Pema Gyamt­sho said.

The DPT pres­i­dent also as­sured de­vel­op­ment of the Gedu town by pro­mot­ing tourism in the coun­try.

“The party has al­ready charted plans and poli­cies to pro­mote re­gional tourists where Gedu will be ben­e­fit­ted the most by of­fer­ing meals for the trav­el­ers. If rules are made clear keep­ing in mind the se­cu­rity of the na­tion, we can pro­mote tourism and de­velop towns,” he added.

Also, DPT has a plan to set up a tech­ni­cal in­sti­tute in Gedu if the party comes to power. Apart from th­ese, the party, if it wins, will con­tinue to fo­cus on pro­vid­ing farm roads and med­i­cal ser­vices and ad­dress­ing drink­ing wa­ter short­age prob­lems in the coun­try.

“The pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments have done and we will con­tinue pro­vid­ing nec­es­sary fa­cil­i­ties, which is our pri­or­ity,” he said, as­sur­ing that the party will work to­wards mak­ing the coun­try self re­liant by 2025.

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