The Annual Performance Agreement (APA) 2015-2016 was signed between the Prime Minister and the ministers of the 10 ministries yesterday in Thimphu.
Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) took the top rank with a score of 94.95 out of 100 in APA 2014-2015. Minister of Works and Human Settlement, Lyonpo Dorji Choden, said that ministry will work towards the construction of durable and quality roads and bridges without affecting the environment.
Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that main objective is to construct the roads and bridges, and developmental needs the thromdes. She added that last year there were only 6 objectives in the APA. This year the ministry has agreed to work on 10 objectives divided under the three departments, that is the Department of Roads, Department of Human Settlement and Department of Engineering Services.
The 6 objectives in APA 2014- 2015 was to develop the national road network within the mandate of Department of Roads (highways, hydro power projects roads, gewog centre roads, and dzongkhag and inter dzongkhag roads), development and promotion of value engineering that also promotes traditional architecture and adding modern technologies to reduce disaster related risks, to ensure access to adequate portable water supply and sanitation facilities in all thromdes, dzongkhags and throms.
Facilitation and support in the preparation of human settlement plans and development of livable and environmentally sustainable human settlements, development of regional hubs for balanced development, and establishment of CDB as an effective regulatory and promotional autonomous body were also part of the 6 objectives.
Another objective seen by MoWHS is to bring in the ease of doing business. The ministry cited delays caused by the many works done by private individuals, the lack of budget needed on time, reconstruction of road and bridges due to natural disasters, adhoc work and land issues in thromdes as challenges faced by the ministry while working on the objectives.
MoWHS has a budget of Nu 6.893mn this year. Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that the ministry, this year, will carry out maintenance work for 4000km of roads and 3000km of new roads, and blacktopping works will be done and 14 bridges will be constructed.
Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) came in second with 94.65 followed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) with a score of 93.35. Ministry of Education (MoE) ranked fourth with 92.55.
Minister of Education, Lyonpo Mingbo Dukpa, said that education is fast developing in Bhutan, with 658 schools and more than 8000 students today. He said that the 11th FYP objective is to improve access to education, and increase the relevance and quality of education. MoE’s mandatory objectives include the improvement of effective public delivery, ease of doing business and national integrity and anti-corruption strategy.
Lyonpo Mingbo Dukpa said there are school reform program being implemented, like access to education, quality of education and system efficiency. Works are also ongoing in establishing central schools, ICT master plan, teacher HR policy, national youth action plan, and giving autonomy to schools. MoE has been given a budget of Nu 7438.73mn in 2015-2016.
Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) took the fifth rank with 92.25, while Ministry of Finance (MoF) came in sixth with 90.6, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) ranked seventh with 90.525 and Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs (MoHCA) ranked eight with 90.2.
Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) took the ninth position with 86.5. MoLHR Minister, Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, said the ministry has provided 97.4 percent employment even when the state of the economy is not good. The government has allocated Nu 627mn to MoLHR for 2015-2016.
Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said that in 2014, the national unemployment rate was 2.6 percent, but the ministry aims to decrease it to 2.5 percent. The youth unemployment rate in 2014 was 9.4 percent, and the target is to decrease it to 7 percent. The female youth unemployment rate in 2014 was 10 percent and the ministry aims to decrease the rate to 8 percent. Ministry of Health (MoH) ranked last with 86.4 out of 100. Health Minister, Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk, said that the ministry is working to increase the numbers of doctors and health workers. MoH is also working on telemedicine facilities. Lyonpo said that the ministry plans to have medicine accessible in every place, construct new hospitals and improve the maintenance of existing hospitals.