The details of the His Majesty’s Royal Kidu and announcements show a lot of practical thinking and good sense that even Nobel Laureates would appreciate.
A few weeks ago, a news channel was hosting two Nobel laureates in economics on what they would do to help with the situation in a major developing country.
Pat came the reply that the foreign government should keep the relief measures simple and clear and implement it across the board, even though some people may benefit more. This would ensure that the needy are not left out and measures can be immediately implemented without delay.
The foreign government in question did not take that advice and is now paying a price for it.
His Majesty’s Kidu initiatives in that sense would get high praise from these Nobel laureates as they have the characteristics of equity applied across the board, clarity in terms of no confusion on who is left out or in and simplicity in implementation.
The initial proposal by some officials was to only target the tourism sector, but His Majesty has clearly foreseen that the current problem would clearly spread beyond the tourism sector, which it has, and hence the measures will now help the other badly impacted sectors too.
The Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu and loan interest waiver of three months will provide an important breathing space for not only businesses that employ thousands of Bhutanese but also many Bhutanese who do not have a source of income.
There are some international best practice cases being cited across the world in terms of containing the spread of COVID-19 and taking mitigating measures.
Bhutan’s steps and successes under the leadership of His Majesty deserve top billing in the context of such success stories. Bhutan’s 30 bn National Resilience Fund compared to the GDP is one of the highest in the world if not the highest, and here again, it would receive high praise from the best minds in the world.
His Majesty’s measures are important not only in the short and medium term to deal with the crisis, but it has an important long-term vision behind it that will strengthen Bhutan and its people.
The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.