After covering 17 of the 20 dzongkhags in the country with the exception of Wangdue, Zhemgang and Gasa in the last three weeks, Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) concluded its campaign for the primary round in Haa yesterday.
DCT president Lily Wangchhuk said although the three-week long campaigning was hectic and demanding, it was worth the while. “I had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, interact with them and talk about issues that affect our lives as individuals, communities, and a nation,” she said. “I was overwhelmed by the kind of support people showed and I am genuinely thankful to them,” she added.
In the last leg of her campaigning, Lily Wangchhuk shuttled from Chukha to Tsirang and Dagana, and back to her own constituency in North Thimphu for the common forum.
In North Thimphu, DCT president spoke about the importance of positive development in the capital. She talked to the people about the need to address a host of urban related problems, such as the need to curb crimes, youth problems, address sanitation issues, and safe drinking water among others.
The DCT president also talked about the urgent need to build a sustainable economy by prioritizing wealth creation, economic prosperity, and self-reliance. “Our nation will only move forward when our citizens are economically empowered, when all of us prosper together,” she said. “Our nation’s sovereignty will be strengthened only when economy is self reliant and independent,” said the DCT president.
Touching on DCT’s plans to boost private sector growth, she said, “Private sector in Bhutan is suffering because of myopic policy intervention and unhealthy business climate. DCT will introduce a policy environment conducive for private sector growth.”
DCT pledged to review the FDI policy and encourage client friendly policies that will bring in more FDI into the country. “Our party is committed to develop and expand medium enterprises by putting in place strategic measures, and legislative environment. We will encourage competition and innovation in the market, and improve market access to local produce both within and outside the country,” she said.
On addressing women empowerment she said DCT will institute family friendly policies at work place. “We will review and extend the duration of maternity leave for both female workers and paternity leave for their male counterparts,” she said. “We will promote and provide affordable daycare centres at workplace.”
In Phuentsholing, DCT president talked about the plight of many Bhutanese who live across the border in Jaigaon, India, unable to pay the exorbitant house rents this side of the border. “Why are Bhutanese people forced to live in Jaigaon? Because they cannot afford housing in Phuentsholing,” she said. “We cannot turn a blind eye to their sufferings.”
She said DCT will provide housing for low income group by developing a comprehensive national housing plan for the low and middle income group, ensuring that these groups have access to a decent home and security, and the comfort it provides.
Lily Wangchhuk also touched on issues regarding safety and security of the people. With a lot of kidnapping cases reported in recent years, that brought undue trouble and worry to the people living along the border areas, she said that DCT will engage in bilateral discussions with the government of India to beef up security measures along the borders, increase the deployment of police troops, and initiate rural police forces for vulnerable communities.
She further talked on addressing Indian Rupee shortfall.
Lily Wangchhuk also talked about the need to address the census issue faced by certain section of Bhutanese people. “As a GNH nation, it is our responsibility to ensure that there is no discrimination,and that everyone enjoys dignity and respect in the country.”
In Paro and Haa, she spoke about how her party will promote wealth creation, economic sustainability, and self-reliance. “We shouldn’t be proud when a majority of our development activities are funded by donor countries. It’s time we embark on the journey of creating our own wealth. Our people are hard-working, and our country is endowed with enough resources. What we need is right policies, direction and political will,” she said.
She added that DCT can offer an alternative choice to the people in this election. “We are driven by the motivation to bring about positive change. People like, you and I, from humble backgrounds have formed DCT. We understand what you go through every day of your lives, and we are confident of solving your.