DNT President healthy in south Thimphu
Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s president focused on health services and youth problems, however, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s candidate, Kinley Tshering prioritized on economic self-reliance in the election public debate on October 9.
In the primary election, Lotey Tshering secured total votes of 2816 compared to 1146 by Kinley Tshering. There were 2311 votes through electronic voting machine (EVM) and 505 from postal ballot for DNT. Kinley Tshering secured 939 votes from EVM and 207 from postal ballot.
Giving the people a choice for the vote, Lotey Tshering said that it would depend on the pledges of the political parties. He highlights some of the party’s important pledges of maintaining healthy body and resolving youth problems through education. ”If some people are doubtful, give us opportunity to fulfill these pledges,” he added.
Giving insights on the pledges, Lotay Tshering said that the party’s first priority is providing health facilities like medical equipments and specialists in the rural areas. He also mentioned on doing away of the class 10 cut-off point.
DPT’s candidate, Kinley Tshering questions Lotay Tshering on the change in the living standard of the people and commits that DPT has plans to bring the present poverty rate of 8% to 4%.
Responding to this, Lotay Tshering said that the party would closely follow the 12th five-year plan along with the new ideas. He said that there are plans to initiate one big and two small hydropower projects according to the five-year plan. He also said that the class 10 students are not able to join the job market because of the legal provisions of under age, thus, providing free education until class 12. He said there are 5300 youths who are unable
to get through to class 11 yearly.
DPT’s Kinley Tshering shared his concerns on the misuse of social media as a tool for criticizing the parties. He said that the party’s manifesto is based on vision of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) prioritizing at national, gewog and municipal level. “To meet the goal of GNH, we should have the self reliant economy by 2025,” he added. He feels that it is important since Bhutan is graduating for least developed countries by 2023, it would be difficult to get grants from foreign countries.
For self-reliant economy, he said that the blacktopping of the roads catalyst the socioeconomic development where cash crops could be sold easily.
As the debate continues, Lotay Tshering said that the pledges of the two parties are similar which is both improving the economic situation of the country. He said that party could not make black topping as priority since the expenditure is huge.
DPT’s candidate justified that the expenditure for blacktop would be met by Tala and Mangdichhu hydropower projects.
Lotay Tshering said that the government would incur 11bn for blacktopping whereas 0.6bn to fulfill the pledge of free education until class 12, 3bn for the health services and 1.8bn for the incentives to the mothers.
Kinley Tshering argued that incentives to mothers benefit only to about 17000 however, road helps for people of the gewogs. He also highlighted on the free internet of DNT being expensive.
DNT also plans provide youth employment through starting a employment agency in overseas and developing skills of youths by setting up colleges.
The DPT’s candidate was questioned on the whether the political and economic ambitions can be matched by our financial resources and human capital.
Kinley Tshering said that it is important for the political parties to make pledge according to the income of the country. He said that 12th five-year plan has a limited budget outlay of Nu. 313bn and if pledges are not able achieve, and then will look for other alternatives. He also said that hydropower would generate income in future where 70% of the budget is loaned and 30% as grant by India that is repayable in 12 years. Kinley Tshering said that the party plans to open cooperative agriculture banking that would provide loan with 4% interest rate to the aspiring young entrepreneurs.
Concluding the debate, Lotey Tshering calls for paradigm shift in the development approach to narrow the gap between haves and have-nots. While Kinley Tshering urge the people to refrain from criticism in social media.