Good Governance, main pillar of GNH

During the State of Tsa-Wa-Sum report presentation by the Prime Minister to the joint sitting of the Parliament on June 19, the PM said good governance is the main pillar of Gross National Happiness.

The PM said the establishment of the Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS) by His Majesty the King in October 2013 has contributed much to the understanding of good governance. RIGSS has also held an executive course for two batches of senior public servants.

Democracy

The PM said the foundation of Bhutan’s 6-year old democracy is strong. He said there are laws and institutions in place to safeguard democracy. Through the several elections conducted, the people now understand the principles of democracy.

The PM said that during the opening session of the Parliament, His Majesty the King commanded that the elected leaders must consolidate and harmonize the laws, and ensure that the ones in place are implemented for the benefit of the country and people. Therefore, the PM said, from next year, the government will set up task force to review all laws and policies, rules and regulations to ensure that they are relevant and that their implementation actually benefits the country and people.

Civil Servants

PM informed that civil servants are very important for nation building. As of today, there are about 25,310 civil servants in the nation that contribute their skill, knowledge and hard work towards the development of the nation. Such 13, 810 hard working civil servants were awarded with certificates of merit and medals by His Majesty the King. ed.

“ To ensure better implementation and coordination, the government has started the Government Performance Management System (GPMS) and all the civil servants have welcomed this system, and Ministers, Dzongdas and heads of autonomous agencies have readily signed Performance Agreements. I will make sure you get whatever resources are needed to fulfill the Performance Agreements. If you fail, then I fail,” the PM added.

He informed that to enhance coordination and improve communication among civil servants, the government has launched Google Apps. He added that there are 160 Government to Citizen (G2C) program and only 54 are working. “The nerve centre for the G2C is going to be under my direct supervision so that I can monitor that the citizens receive their services.”

Constitutional Bodies

The PM said the role of constitutional bodies in exercising democratic practices is crucial to consolidating democracy, especially important is the system of checks and balance that they provide. The judiciary was congratulated on the inauguration of the Supreme Court building. The government also acknowledged the work done by the various constitutional bodies.

Local Government

The PM said the local governments are best suited to know the problems of people as they live within the same community. The report states that local governments are the main foundations of democracy. The PM said that in order to empower local governments and decentralize power, the government has provided Nu 2mn per gewog per year. Many gewogs have put this money to very good use, for the benefit of the people by building roads, renovation Lhakhangs, spending in irrigation, water supply and schools. To further improve the system, the government is reviewing the criteria and guidelines for the GDG.

He informed that the LG Act has been passed by NA. When NC passes the Act then all dzongkhags will have Thromdes and there will be a balanced economic growth.

Media

The PM said the government supports the media in four ways; firstly, by giving access to the reporters through the monthly Meet¬the-Press sessions and interviews. Secondly, he said, the source of revenue for the media is through government advertisements and the governments have not decided to reduce advertising budget for this year. Thirdly, a project is currently being implemented for institutional building and capacity development. Fourthly, the government provides subsidies to the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS). The subsidy this year is Nu 150mn for BBS.

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