DPT pledges to put back on track for eco­nomic self-re­liance by 2025

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

The po­lit­i­cal party, Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa ( DPT) pledges for the 3rd Na­tional Assem­bly elec­tion, 2018 that the coun­try would put back on track for eco­nomic sel­f­re­liance by 2025.

The man­i­festo that was of­fi­cially launched last Fri­day stated that the DPT’s first term in govern­ment brought about a tremen­dous trans­for­ma­tion in the econ­omy. “We will re­sume the works car­ried out in the past to bring about sig­nif­i­cant changes in the lives of our peo­ple. In our eco­nomic devel­op­ment pur­suit, we will base our ra­tio­nale and vi­sion for the coun­try on the Vi­sion 2020 Doc­u­ment.”

The three car­di­nal prin­ci­ples for a sus­tain­able hu­man soci-

ety are to have a large wealth, fair dis­tri­bu­tion of the wealth among its cit­i­zens, and full em­ploy­ment of its workingage pop­u­la­tion while main­tain­ing macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity. DPT’s ef­forts in the next five years and be­yond will re­volve around th­ese car­di­nal prin­ci­ples.

There­fore, the man­i­festo states that, the DPT will achieve na­tional eco­nomic self- re­liance by 2025; main­tain an aver­age eco­nomic growth rate of 10 per­cent in five years, re­duce in­come poverty rate from 8.2 per­cent to 4 per­cent within five years; re­duce the rich­poor gap and im­prove Gini co­ef­fi­cient to 0.30; en­sure full em­ploy­ment and con­tain un­em­ploy­ment below 2 per­cent; re­duce in­ter­est rates to max­i­mum 10 per­cent and en­hance ac­cess to fi­nance; re­duce trade deficits from 81 per­cent to 50 per­cent of to­tal ex­ports after five years and main­tain min­i­mum for­eign cur­rency re­serve to cover 12 months of es­sen­tial im­ports.

The DPT will also en­sure na­tional rev­enue meets 100 per­cent of re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­ture and 30 per­cent of cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture; main­tain fis­cal deficit below 2 per­cent on an­nual bud­gets; main­tain non- hy­dropower loans at 20 per­cent of the to­tal debt; main­tain in­fla­tion below 5 per­cent on es­sen­tial com­modi­ties; de­velop new eco­nomic devel­op­ment pol­icy within the first six months; de­velop new for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment pol­icy within the first six months and de- mo­nop­o­lize the econ­omy and en­hance fair dis­tri­bu­tion of wealth.

In terms of har­ness­ing hy­dropower po­ten­tial for long- term pros­per­ity, the man­i­festo states that DPT aspire to re­vamp the na­tional tar­get of in­creas­ing the elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity from the present 1,606 MW ( 5.5 per­cent of to­tal po­ten­tial) to a min­i­mum of 10,000MW by 2030.

“We will ex­e­cute at least three projects and ac­tively pur­sue the oth­ers with the Govern­ment of In­dia ( GoI).”

Elec­tric­ity for growth and devel­op­ment, the man­i­festo states that DPT will pro­vide on grid elec­tric­ity for all; en­sure do­mes­tic elec­tric­ity tar­iff is af­ford­able for all; up­date the Na­tional Trans­mis­sion Grid Mas­ter Plan; en­sure the lo­ca­tion of mega hy­dropower projects are na­tion­ally even dis­trib­uted; de­velop and use reser­voir- based hy­dropower to meet the peak elec­tric­ity de­mand in In­dia.

DPT also said that they would pro­mote pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion in hy­dro power projects; pro­mote and in­cen­tivize the use of elec­tric­ity to re­duce de­pen­dency on fos­sil- based en­ergy; strengthen ca­pac­ity of stake­hold­ers in the con­struc­tion and man­age­ment of power projects; cre­ate an En­ergy Fund to sup­port so­cial, eco­log­i­cal and other re­new­able en­ergy devel­op­ment pro­grammes; pro­vide fair com­pen­sa­tion to in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by power projects; strengthen wa­ter­shed pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment.

Har­ness­ing al­ter­na­tive sources of re­new­able en­ergy, DPT pledges that they would de­velop a Re­new­able En­ergy Mas­ter Plan; strengthen en­ergy se­cu­rity of the na­tion; in­tro­duce sus­tain­able in­cen­tive mech­a­nisms and pro­mote pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion in di­ver­si­fy­ing re­new­able en­ergy sources amongst oth­ers.

The man­i­festo states that they would re­sume the con­struc­tion of the south­ern East- West High­way; con­tinue and com­plete the widen­ing of the northern East- West High­way; con­tinue the con­struc­tion and com­ple­tion of the Lhamz­ingkha- Da­gapela Road; un­der­take the short­en­ing of na­tional high­ways by con­struct­ing al­ter­nate route and by­pass and ex­plore con­struc­tion of rope­ways and cable cars as al­ter­na­tive means of trans­port.

They will also pri­or­i­tize the con­struc­tion of the roads that in­cludes Shingkhar – Gor­gan; Kengkhar – Shu­mar; Wama – Khomshar; Ser­githang – Do­van; Tashiyangtsi Dongla – Menji; Tashiling – Re­fel; Getena – Dorona; Sam­rang – Jo­mot­shangkha; Sombeykha – Tashichoel­ing; Singye – Lhamoiz­ingkha; Merak – Luari; Sa­mar – Do­phuchen; Nahi – Cham­gang; Soe – Gu­nit­sawa; Tseza – Kamichu; Kuri- Gon­gri Junc­tion – Sherichu; Haa – Denchukha and Demji- Phuentshol­ing

In in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, DPT would up­grade and pro­vide 3G/ 4G in­ter­net ser­vices through­out the coun­try; do away with the 5 per­cent voucher tar­iff and re­store emer­gency bal­ance us­age, pro­vide free Wi- Fi at bus stands, hos­pi­tals and parks; pro­vide free BBS tele­vi­sion link through­out the coun­try; open the third in­ter­na­tional telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions link gate­way; es­tab­lish ad­di­tional IT parks in dif­fer­ent re­gions amongst other.

The man­i­festo also states that they will equip schools and ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes with ad­e­quate ICT fa­cil­i­ties and in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity and pro­mote eE­d­u­ca­tion and e- Health through pro­vi­sion of ad­e­quate ICT fa­cil­i­ties in ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, hos­pi­tals and BHUs.

In pri­vate sec­tor, reengi­neer­ing to make it a true en­gine of growth, the DPT said that they will re­dou­ble the ef­forts to ac­cel­er­ate the growth of the pri­vate sec­tor through pol­icy, fis­cal, and tax re­forms and in­sti­tu­tional and in­fras­truc­tural devel­op­ment.

Trade and in­dus­try: Pur­su­ing eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and bal­anc­ing ex­ter­nal trade, DPT said that they will con­duct fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies for dif­fer­ent types of in­dus­tries; re­view and re­vi­tal­ize for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment regime; to scale up ex­port pro­mo­tion; in­ten­sify the pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing of or­ganic brand agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and other nat­u­ral prod­ucts; in­ten­sify and ex­pand the scale of Business Pro­cess­ing and Out­sourc­ing ( BPO) ser­vices.

Build­ing phys­i­cal in­fras­truc­tures for eq­ui­table growth, DPT pledges that they will fast track the estab­lish­ment of four in­dus­trial es­tates at Jig­mel­ing, Dhamd­hum, Bon­dema, and Motanga and also es­tab­lish at least one ap­pro­pri­ately-sized in­dus­trial es­tate in each Dzongkhag for the small and medium sized in­dus­tries.

Tourism: Re­viv­ing high value, low im­pact tourism to pro­mote Bhutan as a high- end, all- sea­son; top 10 tourist des­ti­na­tions in the world; en­act a Tourism Act to pro­mote high value, low im­pact tourism amongst oth­ers.

School Education, DPT will strive and ful­fill the na­tional pri­mary en­rol­ment rate of 100 per­cent by 2020; in­crease the na­tional lit­er­acy rate to 80 per­cent from the cur­rent 71.4 per­cent by 2023 main­tain schools in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties at least upto class VI amongst oth­ers. In­crease the stipend for board­ing stu­dents from Nu. 1, 000 to Nu. 1, 500. Al­low one­time dis­qual­i­fied stu­dents from class X and XII to re­peat as reg­u­lar stu­dents.

Tech­ni­cal and Vocational Education and Train­ing ( TVET), the man­i­festo stated that in­vest­ing in TVET is crit­i­cally im­por­tant for in­creas­ing our own pool of tech­ni­cal pro­fes­sion­als and skilled work­force. Eco­nomic self- re­liance be­gins with self- re­liance in skilled work­force.

TVET cre­ates em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, im­proves liveli­hood, al­le­vi­ates poverty, en­hances eco­nomic pro­duc­tiv­ity and en­sures sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. How­ever, we faced with a paradox of high un­em­ploy­ment and im­port of large num­ber of for­eign work­ers num­ber­ing over 50,000 at any point in time. “We must make TVET a main­stream ca­reer choice for youth and so­ci­ety at large and earnestly work for sel­f­re­liance in the skilled work­force.”

For health, the DPT said they will strive to ex­pand and im­prove the health sec­tor in­cor­po­rat­ing the best of the modern and tra­di­tional health prac­tices and pro­mote re­search and ca­pac­ity for prompt and ef­fec­tive ser­vice as a mat­ter of pri­or­ity by re­view­ing and adopt a na­tional health pol­icy to en­sure sus­tain­abil­ity of free ba­sic health care ser­vices in both modern and tra­di­tional medicines for all times to come, en­act a Health Act, ac­cord high pri­or­ity to in­creas­ing the pool of doc­tors and spe­cial­ists in all ar­eas of med­i­cal care, up­grade the Fac­ulty of Nurs­ing to col­lege

and in­crease the pool of nurses and im­prove di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices with modern di­ag­nos­tic fa­cil­i­ties in all hos­pi­tals.

Im­prov­ing do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional air con­nec­tiv­ity, the DPT said they will strive to ex­pand and im­prove do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional air con­nec­tiv­ity to serve crit­i­cal needs in­clud­ing travel, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions.

Na­tional Hous­ing is a ba­sic hu­man ne­ces­sity and it is the duty of the state to en­sure that ev­ery ci­ti­zen has a de­cent hous­ing. DPT will en­cour­age and fa­cil­i­tate home own­er­ship through in­tro­duc­tion of spe­cial home loan schemes amongst oth­ers.

Youth and Em­ploy­ment: DPT pledges that they will cre­ate a min­i­mum of 120, 000 jobs and en­sure em­ploy­ment for all, pur­sue the pol­icy of reg­u­lar em­ploy­ment and de­cent jobs for all and Re­view the Labour and Em­ploy­ment Act and Na­tional Em­ploy­ment Pol­icy.

For civil ser­vice, DPT will re­spect and en­sure the in­de­pen­dence; in­teg- rity and apo­lit­i­cal sta­tus of the civil ser­vice, as a con­sti­tu­tional in­sti­tu­tion raise the pay and al­lowances of civil ser­vants two times in five years to keep pace with in­fla­tion and ris­ing cost of liv­ing, and en­sure that the lower group re­ceives a higher raise and re­vise and en­sure uni­form mileage en­ti­tle­ment to all civil ser­vants ir­re­spec­tive of their grades and po­si­tions.

Re­view the ve­hi­cle quota sys­tem for civil ser­vice to spread ben­e­fits to other po­si­tions and in­crease the max­i­mum value of im­port ex­emp­tion from Nu. 800, 000 to Nu. 1,200, 000.

Women and Chil­dren, DPT en­sure they will en­sure im­ple­men­ta­tion var­i­ous na­tional and in­ter­na­tional leg­is­la­tions for pro­tec­tion of rights and em­pow­er­ment of women and

Chil­dren; pro­mote greater par­tic­i­pa­tion of women in all spheres of life with gen­der re­spon­sive and fam­ily- friendly poli­cies to sup­port devel­op­ment and advancement of women by ad­dress­ing the eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural bar­ri­ers.

Amongst oth­ers, DPT pledges to sup­port the Dif­fer­ently- Abled Peo­ple by ini­ti­ate the for­mu­la­tion of an Act to en­sure that dif­fer­ently abled per­sons can live de­cent and pro­duc­tive lives and en­sure that all public in­fras­truc­tures such as ac­cess ways, toi­lets, park­ing fa­cil­i­ties and seat­ing plans are user friendly; Civil So­ci­ety Or­ga­ni­za­tions ( CSOs) and they will as­sist the CSOs to garner ad­e­quate funds from var­i­ous sources for their so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.

DPT: We look to achieve na­tional eco­nomic self-re­liance by 2025

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.