New government pledges for the economics of the country besides health
Besides giving priority in health sector by the elected government for the third Parliamentary National Assembly 2018, the new government pledges for the economics of the country.
The manifesto states that “The new government pledges to keep our economy secure by developing an inclusive, sustainable and equitable economy that contributes to GNH.”
One of government's plans is to create a vibrant economy and a fairer society with decent livelihood opportunities for everyone, irrespective of backgrounds. Given Bhutan's limited financial sector and its currency being pegged to the Indian Rupee, the government attention would be to build a robust economy that, in the long run, contributes to the country's long-held vision of self-reliance.
“Recoup Nu. 10billion by strengthening tax collection and regulating tax evasion , increase personal income tax (PIT) ceiling to Nu.300,000, exempt business income tax (BIT) for business and firms that have less than Nu.200,000 turnover.
It would generate additional 5,200MW of hydropower through Sankosh, Kuri-Gongri and other projects, strengthen tourism sector by establishing Tourism Development Board to spearhead the sector. Invest 10 percent of tourism royalty in promoting and marketing tourism and enhancing connectivity, work towards a vibrant private sector by implementing recommendations of the Private Sector Development – The Way Forward, 2016.
Besides, the government would to egalize informal sector and establish an agency to protect, promote and support approximately 70 percent of the workforce engaged in it and draft Bhutan: Vision 2045 document in close consultation with all Stakeholders.
The manifesto states for the plan of action that the government will write the Bhutan: Vision 2045 document, diversify of our economy by accelerating private sector growth and investing in agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors. “This will ensure sustaining high economic growth, generating employment opportunities and creating regional balance through optimum identification project sites across the country."
To realize that, the manifesto states that they would establish business incubation centers in the four regions of east, south, central and west with enough space to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to shape and develop their business ideas.
The government also states that Priority sector lending (PSL) scheme is a good opportunity for enhancing income of farmers and youth, the government pledges to improve and expand PSL scheme by generating awareness, open information centres at gewog and chiwog levels and keep procedures simple and minimal.
It would also establish POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) distribution network at various strategic locations and regions of the country to meet growing demands from business centres and communities.
The government would expand the manufacturing sector to make it an important contributor to GDP, towards achieving this, the government pledges to support establishment of import substitution industries such as construction materials, wood-based industries, paper and agro-industries among others.
Private sector investors would receive technical and administrative assistance and fast-track procedures will be instituted to accelerate their establishments.
Manifesto further states that the government pledges to eradicate poverty within the next five years by review resource allocation framework to enable Local Governments with high levels of poverty and absence of infrastructure to receive additional development funds. Targeted area development projects will be implemented in Dzongkhags and gewogs where poverty is high.
The government pledges to strengthen hydropower development projects by completing the ongoing construction of Punatshangchhu I and II, Nikachhu and Kholongchhu projects of a combined capacity of 2,326MW.
This includes the 720MW Mangdechhu hydropower project due for completion in November 2018. With inclusion of Sankosh and KuriGongri projects, which are already in the pipeline the total generation capacity grows total generation capacity grows to 5,264MW resulting in more than 100 percent increase for export.
“We will engage timely services of Government of India (GoI) agencies for implementation of remedial stabilization measures for Punatshangchhu I dam and underground power house complex for Punatshangchhu II.”
In keeping with the socio-economic development pace of the country and hydropower being an evolving sector, the revision of the Act is overdue, the government pledges to revise the Electricity Act of Bhutan 2001.
The government also pledges to reform the tourism sector to make it more vibrant by reforming the tourism sector collectively with key players in the industry and consider recommendations of the Bhutan Tourism Review, 2016 and the Special emphasis on Services and Tourism. “We will develop and implement a comprehensive tourism policy in collaboration with key stakeholders and widespread consultation.”
The manifesto also stated that the government would build a stronger and more transparent tax system. The government will “Recover approximately Nu. 10billion by streamlining and strengthening tax collection. Income and taxes would be monitored by developing linkages between financial sectors and services to enable more transparent information sharing and ensure everyone pays their fair share.”
It would review prevailing taxes and tax bands to ensure the wealthiest Bhutanese do not pay less than hard working middle class to bridge the gap and sustain the economy. And the government will consider instituting progressive taxes and benefit systems as part of our strategy to narrow the gap, stated the manifesto.
“We will adopt appropriate tax policies and consider instituting luxury and inheritance taxes, will make private sector a partner and strengthen its contribution to the economy, would strengthen and expand small and cottage industries and would legalize, protect and support informal sector,” stated the manifesto.
One of government's plans is to create a vibrant economy and a fairer society with decent livelihood opportunities for everyone, irrespective of backgrounds