Govt highlights economic achievements in first year

The government’s one year in office publication  – ‘ One year in Office: Laying foundation for the Change’ highlighted some key economic achievements for its first year in office.

The Mangdechhu Hydropower Plant was commissioned on August 17, 2019 marking a new milestone in the five decades of Indo-Bhutan Hydropower Cooperation.

Adding an enhancement of 720MW to the earlier 2000MW following its initiation braced by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lyonchhoen Dr. Lotay Tshering.

In the lead up to this main event, Druk Green Power Corporation and PTC India signed the Power Purchase Agreement for Mangdechhu on August 15,2019.

Sale of electricity from Mangdechhu was settled at Nu.4.12 a kilowatt hour (kWh).

The Government also approved the revision for the domestic electricity tariff on 10th of September 2019 with an intent to encourage use of electric cookers and appliances to replace non-renewable energy sources.

Considering the slogan ‘narrowing the gap’, the government granted a subsidy of more than Nu.1.4 bn a year, for low and medium voltage consumers.

Foreign investment-friendly FDI policy was launched during the 2019 BEFIT summit in order to ease routes for foreign investments, especially in identified small scale production and manufacturing sectors.

The focus is to be in harnessing technological knowledge, market, financing gap and skill attainment from high-quality foreign investments.

For the e-commerce sector, the government launched guidelines on e-commerce in July, 2019. It is aimed at catering to the challenges and opportunities associated with serving to regulate online transactions, for the traffic of which had already began in small-scale.

Bhutan also signed an agreement with Bangladesh for the consignment of goods using inland waterways, first of which arrived on July 2019.The agreement is on the use of inland waterways to transport bilateral trade and transit cargoes between the two countries.

The government plans to stabilize economic imbalance through accelerated hydropower development with the adaptation of ‘Hydropower Development strategy report’ as on 19th March 2019.

This is aimed at making institutional reforms to achieve economic goal of self-reliance through sustained economic growth.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) policy was approved on July 30, 2019 which foresees various actors in the economy such as building, industry and transport sectors to adopt the measures and create enabling environment for private sector participation in adopting EE&C measures.

The government said that it would be passing the Mines and Minerals Bill and so had lifted the mining moratorium since 2014 to in August 2019 to allow people to prepare and allow them to apply as the bill would be passed soon.

It also highlighted a civil service pay raise which it said narrowed the gap.

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