The government in its report on its one year in office talked about its ‘flagships programs’ which identify nine priority areas to lend its concerted effort towards addressing specific issues. It is directed towards delivering immediate and tangible impact on the people.
A budget of Nu15 billion was allocated for the programs which will be monitored and ensured for success directly under the office of the Prime Minister.
24/7 Drinking water for all
As highlighted in the manifesto, the government intents to gradually work towards the creation of an independent water agency to manage water resource.
This means that every household must have uninterrupted access to safe drinking and irrigation water supply throughout the nation.
The National Environment Commission (NEC) will be working on waste segregation as it aims to reduce waste at household levels with coded bins throughout the country.
It received a budget approval of Nu.1 billion for the project.Private sector support is expected in recycling and converting waste into earnings. The program will also look into managing stray dog population.
The information and technology and telecom department under the information and communications ministry will take up the Nu.2.557 billion program which aims at digitally integration of identity information, e-business and schools.
In the field of health, there will be the electronic patient information system (ePIS) which will enable the medical officer to trace the medical history of a patient with just a click on the computer system.
This flagship program entails to develop a national internet grid and pathway on which all digital systems in the country will ride.
The government approved Nu.1.5 billion for this flagship program as it foresees to enable “low volume, high value” tourism without seasonal peak or lean moments.
‘Taking Tourism to the Top’ is the slogan responsible for carrying out this initiation which will also aim to have equitable spread of tourism in various parts of the country.
Organic for niche marketing
The aim is to go green with green technologies with the room for expansion in agriculture from subsistence to commercial farming.
With an approved budget of Nu 1 billion, the organic production at commercial scale will be headed by the agriculture ministry.
The project will target potential markets abroad for socio-economic development and ensure safe and sustainable production of nutritious food.
Start up and CSI
The grand scope of socio-economic development to manifest with an increased support to start ups and small-scale businesses, under this flagship program. The intention is to reduce import and create a base for export.
Under Department of Cottage and Small Industries, a flagship on startup and CSI has been approved a budget of Nu 1.2 billion. The program focuses on building entrepreneurship culture, enhancing production of 20 identified CSI products and substitute imports.
Narrowing gaps in health
The health flagship is designed to mend the gap between primary and secondary healthcare system in our country.
The health flagship focuses on prevention, early screening and treatment of the three cancers. Through this, the government aims to take all basic diagnostic services to people at regular intervals. Ngultrum 1.3 billion has been allocated for the program, which will ensure common diagnostic services to the doorsteps.
Digitalising schools is not about introducing ICT or creating superficial awareness on IT. It is a serious pursuit of engaging our students with ICT from day one and imbibing it into real time programming and coding at early stages of their school life. That way, rest of learning becomes easy, relevant and meaningful for them and the society.
To begin with, Nu 1 billion has been allocated to initiate this digital move and we have devised structured plans for building digital capacity of our teachers first.
This will ensure every school, however remote, to have an adequate IT lab.
Imprints of the National Day
“Every Bhutanese draws inspiration from His Majesty the King and His words of wisdom. We follow His Majesty’s National Day addresses very closely and use it to guide our governance,” said the document.
‘The footprints of National Day flagship are meant to understand and apply every single word of His Majesty’s address. Only then do we abide by the adage ‘heavier than mountain and precious than gold’,” added the document.
The government has hence, approved Nu 2 billion for this flagship.