In 1999, the then Council of Ministers came up with a document ‘Bhutan 2020: A vision for Peace, Prosperity and Happiness’.
The vision document set broad targets in a range of social and economic areas.
Today, the report card on the Bhutan 2020 is a mixed bag. While a lot of the objectives have been completely or largely achieved there are still major challenges.
In terms of sovereignty, it can be safely said that Bhutanese sovereignty and identity is stronger than ever before from its foreign relations to its own internal stability.
In 1999, the 3.1 percent population growth was seen as a challenge but today the reverse is true as a 1.7 fertility rate is a matter of concern.
The document said that looking ahead, a total of 267,000 jobs will, even under the most favorable demographic assumptions, need to be created in the next 20 years.
However, unemployment continues to remain a major challenge, and especially so, in the case of youth unemployment.
The report pointed to a challenge like Rural-Urban migration. In hindsight the 2017 PHCB showed that around 62.7 percent of the population lives in rural areas but it found that 21.7 percent of people had migrated to urban areas in their lifetime.
By 2020 many negative impacts of urbanization have also come to fruition.
The document said although we have made rapid strides in the field of education and human resources development, there is still a long way to go before our nation is equipped with the human resources required to sustain the process of development.
While our school enrollment rates have dramatically improved in terms of quantity, there is the challenge of ensuring quality now in the Digital Age and especially so in terms of independent thinking entrepreneurs.
Even in health we have made many leaps and the focus now has to be on quality and more specialized care.
The private sector was a concern then and it still is now.
One of the big achievements is poverty reduction.
The document said proportion of Population below national poverty line should be at 20 percent by 2015 but it had dropped to 8.21 percent by 2017.
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.