PDP manifesto brings everyone on board

From promising unemployment allowance to the youth and old age homes for seniors the PDP presents a Manifesto that pledges to table the Right to Information (RTI) act, do away with Pedestrian Day and start a ‘Meet the People’ initiative

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) sticking true to its slogan and ideology of Wangtse Chhirpel puts the local government (LG) at the centre of its development philosophy. And the recently publicized party manifesto prioritizes empowerment of the local government.

Empowering Local Government

The PDP pledges to empower the local government to give it more administrative powers, whereby, it will be given maximum autonomy to take decisions, to prioritize developmental activities, and even change developmental activities based on the need and urgency.

It would receive more financial powers, as PDP believes local government bodies have limited financial power, in terms of available funds or the discretion to use it.

Within the first week of forming the government, PDP will call on the Pay Commission to look into the salary and benefit packages of local government officials. It will look into the possibilities of at least doubling the salary of gups, and increasing the allowances and other benefits.

Besides this, the party promises to include a delivery of at least one utility vehicle, black-topped motor road in every gewog centre, a fuel station that will sell kerosene, gas cylinder, petrol, and diesel, at least one FCB shop to sell subsidized goods and commodities, and a farmer’s bank are listed on the manifesto.

PDP also promises to make a special loan schemes under which the farmers can buy utility vehicles likes power tillers and bolero pick-up trucks, and every chiwog/village will have at least one power tiller.

Thromdes

PDP will establish a thromde in every dzongkhag headquarter as required by the Constitution. Every thromde will have a thrompon. The establishment of the thromde will expedite the uniform urban development in all dzongkhag towns in the country.

Dzongkhags

Every dzongkhag is promised at least one good school with boarding facilities under the dzongkhag administration, and it will encourage having students from within the dzongkhag.

Besides that, the party pledges one excavator for every dzongkhag, a fire fighting unit in each dzongkhag, two ambulances for every hospital, and three doctors per dzongkhag hospital with one specialist among them.

The manifesto specifically mentions that “DPT promised this, but failed.”

Youth

The party besides ensuring ‘guaranteed employment for youth’ also promises to initiate unemployment allowance for youth while it would also offer student discounts for public transport including air travel.

Women

The party will look into the possibilities of establishing quota for women in the Parliament, and the local government, and extend maternity leave for new mothers.

Civil Servants

PDP will initiate a house rent allowance of 20% for civil servants, and also revise the salary and all allowances including TA/DA in the civil service.

Also, the Bhutan Civil Service Rules (BCSR) will be revisited and necessary changes would be made. It will encourage home posting of civil servants and couples in the civil service to be posted together. It promises to come up with special schemes for civil servants posted in rural areas, and initiate rural posting allowance.

The PDP pledges to do away with preliminary exams before the Civil Service Board Exams for entry into the civil service for university graduates.

Private Sector

PDP will promote corporate social responsibility and offer schemes including tax relaxation to businesses that value, respect and fulfill social obligations, and will promote environmentally friendly businesses.

The party pledges to revisit the Company’s Act while studies will be done to explore possibilities of enhancing productivity of existing industries. It will be a priority to encourage FDI promotional activities and felicitate private entrepreneurs to new opportunities.

Efforts will be made to renew existing bilateral trade agreements, and PDP will prioritize to spread business and business opportunities across the country, particularly to the east.

It will promote self-employment and will initiate support schemes like loans for new entrepreneurs. PDP will study the possibilities of introducing a cap on taxi numbers in the country and introduce business licenses to run taxi services in the country.

The party encourages worker’s associations which will be able to voice the collective concerns of employees.

Economy

The PDP promise a growth rate of 10%, to promote special economic zones and industrial estates, to promote FDI, initiate special schemes for green industries and encourage green businesses

Welfare and Social Security

PDP will start homes for the elderly near monasteries, construct wheel chair ramps at public places, and bus terminals, special seats in public buses for those with special needs, and introduce insurance for disabled workers.

A Blueprint to Develop Eastern Bhutan

PDP will fast-track tourism projects in the east and prepare a special international marketing package for the eastern districts. Accessibility to sites of historic, religious and architectural importance will be enhanced and tourism facilities at places of natural attractions will be increased.

The hydropower power projects in the east will be fast-tracked and mini-hydel projects will be planned.

The party will institute an Eastern Bhutan Development Committee that will look at an economic package for the east and also identify viable FDI projects in the region, start three colleges, and explore the viability of Yonphula airport

The East-West National Highway will be made double-lane to decrease the time of travel and also to improve the movement of goods. And Samdrup Jongkhar will be developed as a port of entry for the whole of eastern Bhutan.

PDP Pledges in the First 100 Days in Office

PDP will initiate the ‘Meet-the-People’ program where the Prime Minister will dedicate the two weekend days to meeting people. All other cabinet ministers will also be available in their office on Saturdays where any citizen can walk in to meet the ministers without appointment.

It will start a Social Media Wing that will use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to keep Bhutanese across the globe to be connected with the government.

The party also pledges to table the Right to Information (RTI) Bill and do away with the Pedestrian Day rule

PDP will initiate a nationwide poverty census within the first 100 days of its governance to identify the poor people living under the poverty line in the country and then initiate a special poverty alleviation program to help all the identified poor in the country.

To promote meritocracy in the civil service, the PDP government will initiate prestigious scholarships in prestigious universities around the world which will be given to civil servants based on their accomplishments, performances, and their potential.

The party also pledges to revise the Tenancy Act to make it more practical and implementable. At the same time, it promises to review the nutrition level in food given to students in boarding schools and appropriately improve it to meet the required nutrition levels.

“The extent of students suffering from the lack of adequate nutrition has not even been studied and the need to provide good food to students has been largely undermined,” stated the PDP manifesto.

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49 comments

  1. Ramesh Pradhan

    PDP, also please mention that PIT would be revised and that higher income group would be taxed more. The other point that missed attention to my opinion is that there are many disabled children in Bhutan, they should have special school in each dzongkhag, or they should also be given maintenance allowance just like proposed unemployment allowance. There should be a provision for exemption on lumpsum basis for such disabled children just like exemption of Nu. 5000/- for in-country school going children while filing of PIT.

  2. Some of the pledges seem to be to far to achieve in five years term.

  3. This is no more less like an Indian politics…. money…. money…. for votes

  4. Hope PDP is not out of mind… promising some impossibilities wit due fact that country’s economic is weak… 

  5. PDP is just saying like opposing while they were formal opposition party. they have no idea about actually what they are saying…

  6. All the best PDP. It is doable which can bring more happiness to the people of Bhutan

  7. Those promises are not unattainable. It is doable. Look at the last five years, DPT government wasted away almost 2 billion ngultrums by investing on unnecessary projects and consultancies. Nu 500 million for McKenzie, Nu 450 million for IT park, Nu. 500 million for Education project, Nu. 500 million for domestic airports. Add to that Nu. 2 billion for Chigphen Rigphel Project which basically teaches basic computing to engineers and accountants, and and not Nu 50 million by giving prados to 12 people. When these much amount could be wasted away, i am sure PDP can achieve their ambitious project, if they are willing to work with all the people of Bhutan. Go PDP….mathematically, your proposed projects are achievable. If DPT get elected, what they will do? They will spend more Nu. 300 million for IT village park in Babesa which all of us know that the fortress that stands there now remains vacant still. They will spend about Nu. 500 million to construct GNH sanctuary in Bumthang, which we don’t need. They will spend another 500 million for education city. List of frugal investments goes on and on.

    • you have made a good response, and a correct one at that. yes pdp is an action oriented party, not a philosophical one which people don’t understand. make the nation by practicing and not by preaching elsewhere. people learn more by doing.

  8. I have come up with a rough lay man’s calculation for the proposed PDP’s expenses:

    1. 20% rent allowance = Requires Nu. 6.5 billion in the next five years
    2. Excavators for 205 Gewogs = Nu. 3.875 billion (i am sure PDP dont mean to buy one each for Gewog. Perhaps they meant that they will ensure that there will be one ready for every gewog should the farm roads get blocked. Then this cost will exponentially reduce as 50 or so excavators could well handle the task for all Bhutan. Even they could hire the excavators from private owners. They don’t have to buy one each. They should ensure that the farm roads get cleared within a weeks notice from the people)
    3. 205 power tillers = Requires Nu. 50 million
    4. Farm road pavement (4000 km) = Nu. 6.5 billion
    5. Gewog development grant (2 million for five years) = Nu. 2.05 billion
    6. 70 years plus allowance @ 1000 per month = Nu. 1.3 billion

    The above estimate is roughly Nu. 20 billion which is only 10% of the estimated 11th plan budget. So it can be done, if PDP comes to power.

    • If PDP can do everything they have promised, even I will vote for them.

    • good estimation. but you missed two choppers. how much will it cost???????????

      • Flabbergasted

        The OL says the 2 choppers cost way less than the $10 million (Nu. 560million) the DPT govt. paid to get advice from Mckinsey junior consultants. 

        • Still going on about Mckinsey, don’t have anything else to say or what and far from what people think, Mckinsey has given very good inputs, which if followed would save lots of money, however, if it is not working, we have to blame the very civil servants that are not doing their jobs properly.

    • Heart core DPT

      Power tiller for each chiwog.. I think there are more than 1000 chiwog… Bank in each gewog. Oil depot in each gewog, FCB outlet in each gewog….. road in each village… two helicopters.. 20% hoursing allowance… add all this find out the estimate!

  9. PDP man from the beginning

    Go PDP go! I am with you all my life.

  10. Unemployment allowance for youth, great, looks like my children still have hope then.

  11. @ karma. You have done nice job coming up with this calculation. Can you add up the cost of the following:

    1. two helicopter ambulances
    2. Salary increment for civil servants and Armed forces
    3. TA/DA increment
    4. Periphery placement allowance.
    5. Construction of homes for elderly near monasteries
    6. Hiring charges for medical doctors from abroad to be placed at monasteries 

  12. I read only part of civil service promises, home posting was failure before. What makes PDP think they will succeed. Unemployment allowance is borrowed from west which unattainable. Making them intern to gain experience and paying is better than unemployment allowances.

  13. Looks like big wish list, but all these are doable, if you have the right set of minds and commitments…..  and most importantly the support and trust of the people. I think we should also learn to appreciate and extend support and courage to those who are whole heartedly working for the king, country and people.

  14. who will fuel all those excavators, boleros, powertillers, helicopters or whatever…i mean who is going to bear the expenses of excavation works on the roads, transporting the patients in choppers to regional hospitals, expenses for oldage homes and so on… The estimated cost plus expenses, imagine how much the total cost will come times 5years. You will need billions of dollars pouring in. No country in the world spends on the field where there is only loss, like in the US they have constructed the subway system but they are earninp millions of dollars a day. Likewise they have central parks which earns. Each and every activity they plan must not affect the economy. If PDP comes to power and spend in uncessary activities our country will go backwards. I don’t mean that govt. should stop totally spending but must balance everything.

    • Heart core DPT

      Helicopters are meant for Lyonpo’s Dasho’s and aums! Not for us! 

      • Hard core PDP

        Yeah, if DPT gets to rule, they will use the choppers for their Ministers and probably at the end of their term, they will request our king to give the choppers as soelray for the outgoing PM and the OL.

  15. Bhutan is a small country with a small population if our leaders are clean and committed to what they say, and use knowledge and wisdom, I think whatever PDP has promised they sound achievable, so keep up PDP. I literally appreciate that this party wants to introduce helicopters for emergencies to rescue the victims.This party also pledges to address some of the pertinent issues that the country is facing that’s great! May God bless this Party.

  16. 7. Two helicopters = Nu 162 million (There is no need to buy these copters by the government. They should push for private operators to come up with helicopter business in Bhutan so that when government needs one during emergency, they can hire. OR ask GoI military in Haa to help us during medical emergency. I am sure they will consent to this services for the people of Bhutan. If there is no other way, buy it. It will only cost half of what DPT would spend to construct GNH sanctuary in Bumthang.

    8. Salary increment, TA/DA revision and periphery allowance = Nu 6.5 billion. (My understanding from any political party is that they would not give rent allowance and another raise in salary separately. If at all they are generous, it will not cost more than Nu 6.5 billion. Not a bad investment for Bhutanese workers.

    9. Homes for elderly (10 homes across the country) = Nu. 30 million

    10. Hiring Doctors = Nu. 600 million for 100 doctors for the next five years.

    In total, my calculation adds up to about 28 billion, which is roughly about 10% of the total projected budget. The good thing about these investments are that they are not a wasteful investments. People will be benefited immensely.

    • Karma, while we understand and know that you are not a PDP supporter and hate the PM, please don’t go over board, anyone with a mind of their own would know that what PDP is promising is not practical at all, unless you have a mindset like that very pessimistic guy who goes by the name of KOTA.

      • i do not belong to any party because i love my country above all. I voted for DPT in the last election because i saw potential in them. I feel i am responsible to help any potential party that could benefit our country in the next five years. I have prove it mathematically that some things are doable even if it sounds too good to be true. The only thing we need is a leader who wants to listen to us.
        The numbers i have come up with are not fictitious in any way. they have a sound basis.

        • Haha, good try, I agree that everything is doable, but by just giving them what is promised is not going to work, we would also need responsible people on the ground to see that what is given is used judiciously, more than anything else, this balancing act will be the biggest headache. At the same time, wherever there is money, there will be misuse, so how do you curb this misuse. If everything  PDP is promising becomes a reality, I can see more chaos erupting all over Bhutan.

          As for the helicopters, once you buy them, we need crew to fly them, crew will also have to be trained, so the expenditure would go much higher.

          The above are my reasons for saying that the promises made are not practical.

          • Are you mean to say that after investing on IT park building, you don’t have to put any money to look after that vacant building. I am sure recurrent expenses on the IT park building is running into millions.  Similarly any programs will need recurrent expenses. Look at the difference though. Do you want to spend billions of ngultrums into wasteful programs like IT park, education city project and GNH sanctuary? Or do you want to invest in programs that benefit people directly? That is your choice. 

  17. Sorry, please read as not a DPT supporter.

  18. the promises of the PDP looks great. we really need to control house rents, inflation for consumer items, allowance for house rents( only in Thimphu, pling, sj,gelephu. other areas need less , approx 15% rent allowance as these are cheaprt.
    need to vote pfr PDP

    • Do you really believe that the PDP is going to control house rents, if you believe that than you are a fool. House rents are dictated by landlords and no one will be able to force them to agree to low rents if they know they can get higher rents. This is exactly why the tenancy act is not working even though we have one in place.

  19. Even poor country like Nepal provides unemployment benefit so why not Bhutan,,, Bhutan is really corrupted country and under the leadership of JYT country has drowned.. There should be right utilization of funds rather than spending unnecessarily.. We have very small population yet thousands are living under poverty line,,, This is the sere failure of DPT,so corrupted….All promises are attainable if worked sincerely n appropriately…So PDP go on…u can achieve it without a problem……….

    • Bhotay, please calm down and are you really sure Nepal provides unemployment benefits, I don’t believe you. I also don’t believe the majority of the Lhotshampas are with PDP. Please provide proof if you want us to believe you.

      • Lyonchen is yet to convert southern Bhutanese into DPT..thats why people think they are supporting PDP…

  20. I am so happy that all most all southern people are with PDP…That’s the spirit…Go on people.. At least you knew the real scenario of Bhutan,,….go on..Good luck PDP……….

  21. Another false promises from another party. Be realistic PDP! Make promises which are feasible. Do not think that people are fools

  22. where’s the money going to come from for all these promises to be accomplished? I hope our national security is not compromised just for politicking.

    • karma, someone posting under the same name as you seems to know where the money is going to come from, so better ask him.

  23. I won’t be suprised the news of Southern People are with PDP. This was same in 2008 where almost 70% of bhutanese people were with PDP before voting time and on the real day 98% have voted for DPT. Our people are very clever and they never let others down but they will do justice on the voting day.
    PDP’s promises are beyond their own capacity and fulfilling all those will require money but how they will mobilize fund will be a big topic. It is easy to promise and make commitments to our people but the fact lies with how the leaders of PDP are well recognized by the people around the world especially bhutan’s close friend INDIA. Bhutan is still in the process of showing some developments so we want the leaders who can convince the people outside to help Bhutan to develop not the one who can find only mistakes of others and unknown to outside bhutan. At least for this time, Bhutan is not ready to change new and inexperience leaders. Hope all my friends will atleast think it over and make some logical judgement. I have no conflict of interest and I can’t say which party is best or not but let us choose a party with adequate experience atleast for this time so that Bhutan’s democracy will mature and we can bestow confidence in any of the new parties with new leaders.

    • You know what, you need to understand the countries beyond our frontiers. When donor countries give money to Bhutan, they don’t give it to PM or Minister of Bhutan. They give it to the people of Bhutan. As long as you come up with good proposals and justifications, donors will continue to support Bhutan irrespective of who the next PM will be. So don’t you worry about any new leadership of not being able to get fund from India or other countries.   

  24. KUMBO CHHODUP

    ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.DPT WANTED ALL BENEFFITS FOR THEMSELVES AND THEY ARE KEEPING QUIET NOW.I AM FOR YOU PDP,GO AHEAD PDP.

  25. Well said Mr. Samten! One must think from broader perspective and analyse which party is going to benefit as a whole, not individual, everything must be taken into account from party’s leadership, it’s member, it’s potential, capabilities etc. Don’t just judge from the unrealistic promises made which will never be achieved. So choose the govt. which will benefit the country as a whole which would bring prosperity, harmony and at the same time boost our economy by investing in hydropower projects which is backbone of our economy.

  26. Undecided voter

    I was not going to vote for DPT, but thanks for helping me change my mind.

  27. This report on PDP manifesto should have been otherwise. The PDP’s manifesto is one such kind designed to attract voters like a hanging banana at the entrance of a monkey trap. The pledges are highly irrational and irrelevant. There’s no basis for the pledges. It’s like a child making a wish list without a penny in his pocket.  It’s a clear indication of how this media is affiliated to PDP and making all its efforts to credit PDP and discredit DPT. This is indeed dangerous and would undermine true democracy. Please, the Bhutanese, people of Bhutan are not fool enough to be fooled by your paper. We would appreciate if your reporting is bit democratic. I have many more in store to justify my stand.. no hard feeling anyway..   

  28. I will vote for the party, which promises to look into and control ever escalating food and essential commodities.

    Any takers for this!!!

  29. PDP pledges should be specific with details such as where the hydro power will be established and with what capacity there is no mention about the corruption to be handled and wings strengthened and old cases to be solved.Eastern/Southern Bhutan wants industrialization of eastern Bhutan if PDP to be a ruling government not vague promises, that is why PDP didn’t win the votes in primary round same will happen in this general round if PDP makes same vague promises.

  30. Eastern/Southern Bhutan wants Industrialization in form of Hydro power Project construction not as happening now in Western/Central Bhutan.

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