During question answer hour session of the first session of the third parliament on 4th January, MP Dorji Wangdi of Panbang constituency asked the Prime Minister (Dr) Lotay Tshering on the top seven priorities of the new ruling party in the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP).
Replying to the question, Prime Minister (Dr) Lotay Tshering said that, whatever they have planned or jotted down in the manifesto is for the people and country and they pledge to work hard for the country and people in the five years.
“Simply making plans and showing the result at the end is not enough,” he said, adding that, they have to implement so to benefit the people in a long run. He said, “There will be number of issues and problems but how we tackle with the situation does matter. Therefore, the 12th FYP is bit different from rest of the plans.”
He said it is different because by 2023, Bhutan will enter into a list of middle income country from a least developed country. “So they will have proper guidance and planning on how to go about it in 12th FYP,” he added.
He also said that, their vision is to leave no one behind as along with country, people should grow rich. “It won’t be appropriate if the country and people doesn’t grow together. Thereby we did all the planning based on this vision”, he added. He said they have a plan to change the policies on taxes.
Most of the people who have bigger problems are from rural area and, therefore, he said that they have a plan to allocate 50 percent of the budget to the Dzongkhags and Gewogs so that Dzongdas, Gups and Mangmis can use their ideas in resolving the rural based issues.
In addition, he also said that with the development in the country, the mindset of the people has to be changed, their working techniques has to develop and government plans has to develop also.
“We have a plan to bring in changes in various plans in education and health. Before, Bhutan was counted as best in terms of primary health care, but with time the diseases and mindset of the people has been changing. So while considering the importance of primary health care, we need to have secondary and tertiary health care in place”, he added. Lyonchhen said have a plan to provide health services to even remote places.
In terms of education sector, he said that, there is need for change in policies. They will work towards removing the cut-off point for class X and make a viable policy for class XII students for entry in college.
He said, “We will initiate vision 2045. We must have a long-term plan and direct policies and programs towards fulfillment of that vision and we will include all the political parties, relevant stakeholders and agencies for the vision 2045 document.”
A lot of income in the country has been made through sands and stones; therefore they have the plan to study, review and investigate the policies which would benefit the people in long-run, Lyonchhen said.
Meanwhile, Lyonchhen said that, with time and development – expenditure would be more, but whatever is being spent would definitely benefit the people and society.
“What we plan doesn’t matter, how we execute the plan does matter. So we need support from people for a successful 12th FYP and to make Bhutan join the list of a middle income country. We will work hard towards achieving our vision in the next five years”, Lyonchhen added.
In terms of generating additional 5000 MW, Lyonchhen said that, they had a talk with India during his state visit to India. They agreed to finish the existing hydropower projects and they also agreed on starting the Sunkosh hydropower project. “There is need of review and change in the policies of hydropower projects,” he added.
Likewise, he said that there are many more plans which will be initiated in the 12th FYP.