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The manifesto was launched yesterday in Thimphu
The manifesto was launched yesterday in Thimphu

DPT pledges

Should it form the government, the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) pledges to make Bhutan economically self reliant by 2025. 

The party manifesto was launched yesterday in Thimphu. “The politics of Bhutan must always be about raising the happiness of our people. This is exactly what our Manifesto sets out to do.”

Highlights 

Economy

DPT pledges to put the economy back on track to by maintaining an average economic growth rate of 10 percent and reduce income poverty rate from 8.2% to 4%. It pledges to reduce trade deficits from 81% to 50% of total exports. It will maintain non-hydropower loans at 20% of the total debt and de-monopolise the economy to enhance fair distribution of wealth. 

Hydropower 

DPT pledges to revamp the national target of increasing electricity generation capacity from the existing 1,606 MW (5.5% of total potential) to a minimum of 10,000 MW by 2030. 

It pledges to execute at least three projects and promises to promote private sector participation in hydropower projects. 

Roads

DPT pledges to resume the construction of the southern East-West Highway and complete the widening of the northern East-West Highway. 

It pledges to shorten national highways by constructing alternate route and bypass and explore construction of ropeways and cable cars as alternative means of transport. 

ICT

The party pledges toupgrade and provide 3G/4G internet services throughout the country and doaway with the 5% voucher tariff. 

It will provide free WiFi at bus stands, hospitals and parks and open the third international telecommunications link gateway. The party also pledges to establish additional IT parks in different regions and facilitate FDIs in ICT-related businesses. 

Private Sector

DPT pledges to reengineer the private sector to make it a true engine of growth. It will establish a Macroeconomic Advisory Panel to advise the Cabinet and frame Cottage, Small and Medium Industry (CSMI) Policy. The party promises to convert REDCL into an Agricultural Bank to provide targeted low interest rate loans. 

Tourism 

DPT promises to promote Bhutan as a high-end, all-season, top 10-tourist destination and enact a Tourism Act. 

It promises to increase annual International Leisure Tourist arrivals to at least 150,000 and double the foreign exchange earnings. 

It pledges to open up entry and exit points at Gelephu, Nanglam, Panbang, and Samdrupjongkhar. 

Mining 

DPT pledges to review the existing mining policy to diversify opportunities, ensure transparency and fairness in allotment and leasing of mines. 

Public finance and fiscal policies 

The party pledges to enhance the financial powers of local governments and examine the income brackets to give the benefit of increased exemption amount to Nu 300,000. 

It will provide targeted subsidies to citizens below the poverty line and explore a social security system for elderly. 

DPT pledges to develop a policy paper for pension schemes in the private sector review the procurement rules to curb corruption in public procurement. 

RNR

DPT targets 100% food self-reliance by doubling the national budget allocation to RNR. It will invest in irrigation schemes and promote domestic production to substitute imports, particularly rice, vegetable and fruits. 

Education

DPT pledges to provide hot lunch to children in all rural schools and maintain schools in rural communities at least upto class VI. It will review and improve the central school policy and establish extended classrooms and ECCD centres in every chiwog. It will make teaching the profession of choice by enhancing service conditions and professional development programmes. The party pledges to increase the stipend for boarding students from Nu 1,000 to Nu 1,500 and allow one-time disqualified students from class X & XII to repeat as regular students. 

DPT pledges to upgrade and equip at least three selected schools to colleges and increase the stipend for all ex-country scholarship programmes. 

TVET

Stating that economic self-reliance begins with self-reliance in skilled workforce, DPT pledges to double the remuneration packages of the skilled workforce certified by MoLHR and train 15,000 skilled workforce. It will upgrade all existing Technical Training Institutes to Technical Colleges. 

Health

To create a healthy society for productive and happy citizens, DPT pledges to review and adopt a national health policy to ensure sustainability of free basic health care services in both modern and traditional medicines for all times to come. 

It will enact a Health Act and increase the pool of doctors and specialists. It will upgrade the Faculty of Nursing to a college; establish a National Dental Hospital, a Cancer Hospital and enhance the non-practicing, specialist, hazard and overtime or on-call payment and allowances. 

DPT plans to establish a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Bhutan to produce essential drugs and provide three specialist doctors in bigger district hospitals including a gynecologist. 

Connectivity 

DPT pledges to explore construction of additional domestic airports, encourage electric and non-fossil fuel powered vehicles and replace government vehicles with eco-friendly vehicles. 

Housing 

DPT pledges to facilitate home ownership through special home loan schemes. It will carry out a comprehensive national housing plan for the low and middle-income groups in urban areas, resettle informal settlements with proper housing and make timber, sand and stone accessible to all at affordable prices. 

Youth and Employment

DPT pledges to create 120,000 jobs and ensure employment for all. It will improve working conditions in private sector and promote easy access to finance for youth including access to loans without collateral. 

It promises to promote and expand overseas employment in high quality jobs like teaching, nursing and waive or reduce security deposits for studies and jobs abroad. 

Civil Service 

DPT pledges to raise the pay and allowances of civil servants two times in five years and ensure that the lower group receives a higher raise. 

It pledges to revise and ensure uniform mileage entitlement to all civil servants irrespective of their grades and positions. 

It also pledges to review the vehicle quota system and increase the maximum value of import exemption from Nu 800,000 to Nu 1,200,000. 

It will establish Day Care Centre and crèches in every ministry and government organisations. 

It will review the Civil Service Act and rules for reforming and promotion of Excellence in Civil Service, the Individual Work Plan and Super Structure System. DPT pledges to increase paternity leave from 10 days to 15 days and bereavement leave from 21 days to 30 days. 

Differently-Abled People 

DPT pledges to initiate the formulation of an Act to ensure differently- abled persons live decent and productive lives. 

It pledges to ensure that all public infrastructures are user friendly. 

Staff Reporter

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