Bhutan’s Tendrel Party (BTP) has announced its ambitious economic plan, known as Ju-Nor Nga: The Five Key Economic Drivers aimed at propelling the country’s growth and prosperity. The strategy encompasses agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, energy, and mining (ATIEM), and aims to transform key sectors to boost the economy.
Ju-Nor Dhangpa: Agriculture
Under the ATIEM plan, BTP aims to shift from subsistence farming to commercial farming and double annual export earnings to Nu 7 billion by 2029. The strategy includes measures to enhance agriculture production, develop domestic and international markets, and establish crucial infrastructure and networks.
This involves the construction of cold storage and logistic facilities to prevent post-harvest losses, the revitalization of minor cereal cultivation in fallow lands, and the promotion of high-value agriculture, livestock, and medicinal products for the premium market.
Additionally, the plan focuses on improving coordination and decision-making within the agriculture sector through the establishment of a robust information system.
Ju-Nor Nyipa: Tourism
BTP aims to promote tourism as a holistic industry and increase its contribution to the economy. The plan includes a comprehensive analysis of the Tourism Levy Act and the Tourism Rules and Regulation, in consultation with stakeholders, to ensure sustainable development. Efforts will be made to diversify tourism products, such as agro-tourism, geo-tourism, cultural festivals, and sports tourism.
The strategy also seeks to simplify entry procedures for tourists, explore additional international airlines, and establish seamless international payment gateways and visa processing systems.
Furthermore, the plan emphasizes promoting tourism in all dzongkhags through destination management and community-based tourism initiatives.
Ju-Nor Sumpa: Infrastructure
To stimulate the economy, create jobs, and enhance logistics efficiency, BTP will implement the National Infrastructure Plan with an estimated investment of Nu 50 billion in the first three years.
The plan encompasses the construction of innovative infrastructure, including buildings, highways, roads, railways, airports, bridges, hospitals, schools, and broadband connectivity.
It also focuses on improving water and sanitation systems, outsourcing road maintenance, and conducting feasibility studies for metro transport and water sports.
Additionally, the plan aims to establish fuel and gas stations, railway links, and a national broadband connectivity strategy, while promoting digitization and innovation centers.
Ju-Nor Zhipa: Energy
With a focus on hydropower and renewable energy, BTP aims to complete ongoing large hydropower projects to generate 2,442 MW, stimulating economic growth. The plan also includes initiating an additional 8,886 MW of large and small hydropower projects, as well as exploring regional energy market integration to replace fossil fuel-based energy with renewable sources.
Solar power generation will be diversified, targeting 578 MW, with financial support from various sources. The plan also emphasizes the generation of energy from mini-hydel, wind, biogas, and hydrogen to address seasonal variations in energy supply.
Furthermore, BTP aims to register qualifying projects as Clean Development Mechanisms to receive payment for environmental services.
Ju-Nor Ngapa: Mines and Minerals
Recognizing the economic potential of the mines and minerals sector, BTP aims to generate an annual earning of Nu 20 billion. The plan includes amending the Mines and Minerals Act to attract investment and revising regulations to align with international standards.
The strategy also focuses on high-volume, high-impact industrial minerals and construction materials for market expansion and diversification. It promotes broad-based ownership by allowing primary mining and sale of minerals to broad-based companies, ensuring equitable sharing of benefits.
Priority will be given to the Khepchishi Hill graphite mining project and the establishment of a beneficiation plant. Additionally, nationwide surveys and the collection and sale of mineral crystals and lapidary units will be encouraged.