The Member of Parliament (MP) from Bardo-Trong, Gyambo Tshering, raised the issue of unemployment problem in the country during the National Assembly’s Question Hour session. The Labour and Human Resources Minister was asked to inform the House on the number of employment opportunities created thus far, and also the plans and policies that are formulated to solve the unemployment problem in the future.
In response, Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji, said the ministry has records of over 5,300 employment opportunities created over the past one and half years. The government has also taken few initiatives, especially on the education front to address the problem.
One of the initiatives that the ministry has taken is to revamp the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), so that the youth can learn skills that are relevant for the future as well. A long-term strategy that the ministry is adopting is to turn TVET will turn into an autonomous agency after it is delinked from the ministry.
The minister also mentioned about the Cottage and Small Industries (CSI) startup flagship program. Here, the ministry has allocated Nu 1.2 billion to encourage entrepreneurship so small businesses can grow and thrive, and thus create the opportunity for self-employment. Along with the creation of more job opportunities, the main strategy is also to boost the private sector and diversify the economy.
Lyonpo also talked about the other economy policies, like FDI policy revision. More investment from foreign and domestic sources translates to more job creation, he pointed out. FDI policy revision is seen as a step towards creating employment opportunities.
Another initiative is the tax reforms, and fiscal incentives for small business. Some 13,000 businesses stand to benefit from the Fiscal Incentive Bill to be tabled in the current NA session. Similarly, the tax cut for the corporate sector, from 30 percent to 25 percent, is expected to encourage investment by the corporate entities, and more investment would mean more work and opportunities, said Lyonpo.
Lyonpo also mentioned about the employment responsibility system that is being worked out. “The ministry will try to bring in more collaborative approach effort towards tackling the problems in this system. All government agencies will work with the private sector to see how the government can work together, identify issues, solve the issues, and create a more conducive environment,” Lyonpo said.
The ministry is also working with the World Bank to come up with the strategies and new ideas to address the unemployment challenge but Lyonpo said the ministry would explore beyond this.