Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) has an ambitious economic manifesto, titled “Sunomics: Buddhist Capitalism with the Spirit of GNH,” outlining a comprehensive plan to boost Bhutan’s GDP to USD 10 billion over the next decade.
The DTT has set an ambitious timeline for achieving its pledges if the party is elected.
The manifesto, characterized by the philosophy of “Allow First and Regulate Later,” aims to foster economic growth through a unique blend of Buddhist values and capitalist principles.
As per the DTT manifesto, in the initial year, DTT aims to resume the Punatsangchhu-I and Kholongchu projects. Working through key agencies and the private sector via the Public-Private Partnership model, the party plans to start reservoir projects in Bunagu and Sunkosh. Additionally, within the first 12 months, DTT intends to implement 500MW pump storage facilities and 500MW of solar farm projects.
DTT has set an ambitious target of implementing the Meritocracy, Equity, Efficiency, and Transparency (MEET) system within the initial 108 days of governance, if elected. This framework will serve as the bedrock for evaluating targets and performance, ensuring a fair and transparent administration from the outset.
DTT pledges to eliminate one clause of regulation every day for the first 108 days, streamlining bureaucratic processes and creating a more business-friendly environment. Simultaneously, the Economic Development Policy will undergo rapid transformation, reduced to a bare minimum of 10 clauses within the first six months, emphasizing speed and efficiency.
Recognizing the urgency for adaptability, DTT pledges to review 10 critical policies within the first 10 weeks, addressing the current absence of effective mechanisms to evaluate policy effectiveness. In response to the persistence of decades-old regulations lacking clear evidence of efficacy, DTT has committed to scrutinizing and potentially revising or adopting policies critical to Bhutan’s development. The policies under review include those about economic development, energy, private sector engagement, tourism, industrial and manufacturing practices, local governance, fiscal policies, debt burden issues, youth-centric initiatives, and infrastructure and land development.
Within the first 100 days, DTT will lead the formulation of a detailed three-foot implementation plan, underscoring an ecosystem-based approach. This strategy aims at fostering ease of doing business and breaking down silos through a whole-of-government approach, with private sector engagement as a pivotal element in this collaborative effort.
DTT is committed to contributing significantly to the GDP, realizing Nu 6 billion annually in the initial four years and escalating it to Nu 10 billion in the fifth year. This will be achieved through sustainable logging practices and timber value addition. The party also pledges to allocate 5,000 cubic feet of rural timber for every rural house construction on inherited khimsa land.
DTT places a strong emphasis on citizens’ well-being by committing to the first-level disease screening of every citizen within the inaugural year. Simultaneously, plans are underway to launch an in-country MBBS course, an initiative set to commence within the first year.
As Bhutan holds the transformative changes outlined in DTT’s manifesto, the focus on the crucial “first year” and “first 100 days” highlights the urgency toward rapid and impactful progress.