Op­po­si­tion Leader out­lines party’s achieve­ment as the op­po­si­tion

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley from Nor­gay­gang, Samtse

Op­pos­ing the govern­ment on the cor­po­ra­ti­za­tion of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Na­tional Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal and for­ma­tion of Ru­ral En­trepreneur­ship Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited (REDCL), rais­ing con­cern on the na­tion’s ex­ceed­ing debt bur­den, and op­pos­ing the Bhutan, Bangladesh, In­dia and Nepal (BBIN) Mo­tor Trans­port Agree­ment, among oth­ers, are some of the no­table con­tri­bu­tions of Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT) as the op­po­si­tion party.

These were high­lighted by Op­po­si­tion Leader (OL), who is on an of­fi­cial tour in Samtse from Jan­uary 7-13, to the pub­lic of Samtse Dzongkhag last Mon­day. Dr. Pema Gyamt­sho was de­lib­er­at­ing on the roles and works un­der­taken by DPT since it as­sumed the post of the op­po­si­tion party in 2013.

He said the party serv­ing as an op­po­si­tion party has al­ways kept the pub­lic con­cern in mind be­fore voicing out any­thing.

“We had to averse to the govern­ment’s plan to cor­po­ra­tize JDWNRH. This, we thought, was to­tally un­called for be­cause this could af­fect the lives of our peo­ple gravely. Once cor­po­ra­tized, any pa­tient re­fer­ring the hos­pi­tal has to pay cer­tain amount as fees and charges. Mean­ing, noth­ing comes free of cost,” he said, adding that the con­sti­tu­tion grants peo­ple the right to re­ceive free med­i­cal ser­vices and medicines, and that Bhutanese pub­lic at large are still fi­nan­cially un­pre­pared to pay and get med­i­cal ser­vices.

“Fur­ther, the govern­ment of the day did not have proper plans as to how to go about this,” he said, adding that there were no proper ways for the peo­ple to fol­low.

On the for­ma­tion of REDCL, the OL said it has not ben­e­fit­ted the gen­eral pub­lic at large and es­tab­lished with­out com­plet­ing le­gal for­mal­i­ties.

“Above all, we felt that no prior con­sul­ta­tions with peo­ple and rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers had been done by the govern­ment,” the OL told the con­gre­ga­tion.

DPT dur­ing its ten­ure as the op­po­si­tion party also re­jected pass­ing the BINN Bill in the par­lia­ment due to its un­ac­cept­able long term con­se­quences for the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to the OL.

“We are not yet ready to com­ply with the pro­vi­sions of the agree­ment. We will have nu­mer­ous im­pli­ca­tions on cul­ture and en­vi­ron­ment and se­cu­rity among oth­ers,” he ex­plained.

Dr. Pema Gyamt­sho also said that the party has voiced out against the cen­tral school sys­tem, which un­der­mined the pre­vi­ous ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy of ‘Univer­sal ed­u­ca­tion for all’.

He said the es­tab­lish­ments of cen­tral schools were bi­ased as only the stu­dents in cen­tral schools re­ceive all the fa­cil­i­ties and not by stu­dents of other schools.

He added these stu­dents would lose the bond be­tween par­ents and chil­dren and could be de­prived of the holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion from home and the com­mu­nity. “There is a chance that they may later think they do not owe any­thing to their par­ents,” he said.

As the op­po­si­tion party, Dr. Pema Gyamt­sho ex­plained that the party mem­bers only voiced out con­sid­er­ing the ben­e­fits of peo­ple at large. He added that the op­po­si­tion has also voiced out dur­ing times when po­lices were framed which were detri­men­tal to the na­tion’s sovereignty, peace and har­mony.

“Oth­er­wise we have al­ways sup­ported the govern­ment when­ever nec­es­sary with­out dis­turb­ing its func­tion,” he said.

The OL said that DPT has also al­ways tried to be an ex­em­plary op­po­si­tion party.

“We have al­ways sup­ported the moves of the govern­ment in the last five years. The op­po­si­tion has voiced out many times against the govern­ment, but never re­sorted to le­gal tus­sles. The role of the op­po­si­tion party is not to op­pose and hin­der the func­tion­ing of the govern­ment. But some­times, when peo­ple feel that the govern­ment is go­ing wrong, the op­po­si­tion has to step in and op­pose or refuse cer­tain propo­si­tions,” he ex­plained.

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