Should the party come to power, the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) has plans for several strategic interventions to promote equitable and balanced development,.
These include five key areas of action drawn from its 25 areas of action recognizing the current socio-economic challenges. This is what was discussed in the recent DCT press conference.
These five key areas includes, firstly to promote economic prosperity and self-reliance by encouraging research, innovation , creativity and entrepreneurship while ensuring equity, balanced regional development. Second is the sustainable use of natural resources for inclusive growth with a people-centric development approach that focuses on improving local communities’ self-reliance, social justice, and participatory decision-making.
Thirdly, DCT endeavors to develop and execute policies that will address the socio-economic gap between regions, Dzongkhags and people to minimize inequalities of income and promote equitable distribution of public facilities among individuals and people living in different regions of the country and lastly, encourage and foster private sector development with supportive environment for its growth.
The DCT President Lily Wangchhuk believes economic development cannot be brought with one strategy and it cannot work with just one strategy.
“Everything is interrelated and interconnected. If you want to address economy, we have to address education, health, agriculture, finance, unemployment and all has to be addressed because, all these contribute to the economy,” she said.
Thus, DCT plans to achieve the above through various strategies with multi-dimensional approach covering different aspects. It will further cover people-centric policies, activities and programs that is responsive to the needs of the people in a holistic manner.
The DCT President said, “Bhutan has made little progress in expanding economic freedom and lingering constraints on private-sector development include an inefficient regulatory framework, high tariffs and pervasive non-tariff barriers, and rudimentary investment code”.
The financial sector remains small and without adequate regulation or supervision and “lack of access of financing is a serious constraint for potential entrepreneurs”.
The press release stated, “Although Bhutan has maintained impressive economic growth and made commendable progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is still challenged by a narrow economic base, low employment elasticity in the hydropower sector, inadequate involvement of the private sector in economic development, administrative limitations on the expansion of the private sector, and a rapidly growing number of educated but unemployed youth”.
It further states that the driving force behind Bhutan’s economic growth has been hydroelectric projects to service our own market, with spinoffs in transportation improvements, the construction industry and energy-intensive manufactures.
“Since the power projects mainly relied on migrant Indian labor and expertise, the impact on Bhutan’s Labor force capabilities has been limited,” stated the press release.