100-day pledges questioned

The Member of Parliament of Panbang, Dorji Wangdi questioned the Prime Minister on how many of the 100-day pledges have been fulfilled during the 4th Question Hour of 3rd session of the National Assembly on June 3.

It was pointed out that many people are doubtful about the fulfillment of the 100-day pledges, especially since the government has had 300 days in the office. The Opposition party said that of the 42 pledges, only 11 pledges have been fulfilled within the 100 days. The pledges left unfulfilled are; the time extension of maternity leave for working mother that is nine months of flexi time, the pledge to do away with the preliminary examination, exemption of taxes for small and rural business, the ground work to build homes for elderly near monasteries, the launch of allowance scheme for senior citizens above 70 years of age, to initiate rural positing allowance for civil servants, to introduce government subsidized loan scheme for students to pursue higher studies, to restart the Bhutan lottery business, the youth employment policy to ensure that all young people have a job, and to come up with a comprehensive private sector development plan in consultation with the private sector.

In the response to the questions, the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said the government has not only focused on the fulfillment of the 100-day pledges but other pledges outside the 100-day. The PM said 34 pledges as promised in the 100-day, along with other pledges, have been fulfilled. He said the government has assigned agencies to work on the pledges that are yet to be fulfilled and they are waiting for the results.

The PM said first pledge, the meet¬the-people program, is going well as the PM and ministers meet with people once in a week. He said the program allows the government to solve issues raised by the people almost immediately and if complex, the cases are forwarded to the concerned ministry.

The second pledge was to start a social media wing which is yet to take off. The PM said the government plans to work on it earnestly as the social media wing will help the Bhutanese across the globe to be connected with the government through regular meetings with members of the Cabinet. The PM said that the third pledge is to call for a Pay Commission to revise the salary and allowances and introduce 20 percent housing allowance for the civil servants.

The fourth pledge is to revise the Tenancy Act. The PM said the amendment is not in the hands of the Cabinet as it has to be discussed in the Parliament, but the amendment has been submitted to the Cabinet.

The PM said the revision of the wage     rate, one the pledges, has been fulfilled as minimum wage rate, previously Nu 100 per day has now been revised to Nu 125 per day.

On the RTI Bill, the PM said it was discussed according to the rules and regulation of the Parliament. He said the approval of the bill is in the hands of the Parliament.

The other pledge, which is fulfilled, was to do away with the pedestrian day rule as it caused much inconvenience to people.

The PM said all gewogs will be provided Nu 200,000 annually as part of the GDG to be used for developmental projects or any other related expenses as promised.

The government pledge to offer discount for students using public transport is fulfilled, as students now get 30 percent discount in the city buses and 10 percent discount for students who travel long distance in public transport.

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