ABSD Project on track with satisfactory output says Prime Minister

The 7th quarterly joint review of Accelerating Bhutan’s Socio-economic Development (ABSD) was held by the Cabinet and Committee of Secretaries on 11th May 2011.

The conference was about the sector performance report, which was generated within the ABSD initiative.

he ABSD program helped in generating about 21,000 jobs across five economic sectors namely tourism, construction, agriculture, culture and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the last 33 months.

From the 11 sectors, the economic sector performed very well.

Out of 71 initiatives reviewed, 33 have been completed satisfactorily, 30 are on track, 6 are at risk and 2 are overdue.

However, construction under the economic sector achieved their target by introducing New Point Based System for contractors, contractors’ classification system and creating employment opportunities in the construction Industry.

Thus the score for outcome under the construction sector was 99% for the activity they performed. However, tourism sector was just 1 percent behind the construction sector.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector couldn’t perform well as they couldn’t achieve the targets they set.

Even then the second international ICT gateway, 50-kilometer Optical Ground Wire fiber network between Gelephu and Bagaigon, Assam, was inaugurated on 26th March 2012.

Soon the gateway at Gelephu would complement the only International gateway at Phuentsholing to help provide better and reliable internet services in the country.

Ministry of Agriculture and Forest (MOAF) has not been able to score anything under the media parameter but had an average ranking in outcome and activity.

According to the MOAF presentation review on ABSD project they have not been able to achieve the key performance indicator in areas under rice commercialization and other targets set.

School education ranked on top in the Public sector. The Prime Minister stated that enrollment figures for secondary and primary education was beyond the target they have set.

The school rankings for 2011 were based on academic learning, enabling practice in teaching and learning, and Gross National Happiness.

Vocational and G2C services have achieved their targets following School Education. Vocational training services performed well by training the trainees and providing them with employment opportunities within four months.

While Government to Citizen Services (G2C) has automated about 34 services against 120 services which is an average performance. The G2C services included the processing of security clearance, passports, forestry clearance, sectoral clearances and trade licenses.

This focuses on the most common services sought by citizens at the community level.

Among the various Public sectors, the health sector ranked at the bottom and had not performed well through all the parameters.

Health care sector was unable meet the indicators of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).

Lyonchhen, In respect of health sector stated that, the data for IMR, MMR of MDGs is updated periodically.

“Therefore to penalize the agency for not having upward change in the data is not fair”, he said.

The program has helped the government streamline procurement of construction materials and several other categories.

Today the nation has accrued Nu 131mn of savings from the target of Nu 260- 340 mn by June 2013.

However, the Lyonchhen stated that the evaluation on performance of any sector by any organization or the individual cannot be absolute and accurate.

“Since the performances are related to the resources used, there is relationship between input and the output”, he added.

Therefore in the next ranking of ABSD off-site the input and the output of the sector performances would be mentioned.

Lyonchhen also stated that by 2015 the government should fulfill all the Millennium Development Goals which includes 8 main goals and several sub goals.

Bhutan aspires to be an example before the international world community he said.

Therefore, he suggested the nation to keep a track against the progress of MDG which is extremely important for a country like Bhutan who has taken a leadership role.

Lyonchhen said the progress was very satisfying for the nation while some sectors failed to achieve their target.

The prime minister said that the shortfalls were due to resource constraints, limited human resources and change in climate.

The conclusion was that the progress of the project was satisfactory since it accelerated and ensured the targets are to be achieved within the 10th Five year Plan with minimal resource and savings wherever possible.

One of the parameters used was the media parameter to assess whether their achievement and efforts have been recognized in the form of media headlines.

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