Prime Minister of Bhutan shares his concerns over the country’s economy during, the “Public-Private Dialogue,” the first of its kind on December 29.
Lyonchhen pointed out that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Bhutan stands at Nu104 bn which was at the 166th position out of 190 countries.
“Our GDP is very small and our GDP is not very strong,” Lyonchhen said. “The economy is small and weak and so all the people must be worried,” Lyonchhen added.
Highlighting on the budget for the 11 FYP, Lyonchhen said of the total budget outlay of Nu 213bn, Nu 92bn has been allocated for the capital sector of which Nu 83bn is for the construction sector.
Lyonchhen said from this, most of it would go into the manufacturing sector and so he urged the private sector to take it as an opportunity to improve the country’s economy.
Lyonchhen said it has been decades, where people have been reiterating that the private sector is the engine of growth but until now there has been no clear idea on how much the private sector contributed to the country’s GDP. Lyonchhen said National Statistical Bureau has been asked to come up with the figures.
In the hydropower projects front, Lyonchhen assured that the private sector can take part in the construction of new hydro-projects in the country but they would have to build capacity to take part.
“If you are interested in improving your competitiveness, productivity and technology by injecting capital and by improving the quality of human resources, the government will help,” Lyonchhen added.
Lyonchhen also talked about the Business Opportunity and Innovation Centre (BOIC). Lyonchhen said of the 2,000 applicants, 514 projects has been accepted, of which 35 were for the manufacturing and 479 were for non-formal rural projects.
Lyonchhen added, of the Nu.1.9 bn capital allotted to BOIC, in four months time, it has released Nu 427 mn. Lyonchhen also shared that in February 2015, BOIC branch offices would be set up at Trashigang.
The day also saw the launch of Better Business Council, which would be headed by the Lyonchhen himself. Lyonchhen also said that he will meet the business community this every Monday from 9 am to 11 am. Lyonchhen said the meetings will only focus on the administration and corruption lapses that have altered the work of the business and it would not entertain Kidu.
In the discussion with the private sector, business people said the government should look into using the electricity domestically for value addition, frame an industrial policy and look into the carrying capacity of the transport vehicles, fronting issues and labor issues.