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DNT launches its manifesto on August 23 in Thimphu
DNT launches its manifesto on August 23 in Thimphu

How DNT would narrow the gap

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has said that the party’s manifesto is the people’s manifesto.

Party leaders said the manifesto was an outcome of consultations with the people over the last five years.

To align the country’s priorities with that of the party’s, DNT also reviewed the draft 12thPlan. “Our manifesto outlines plans for your every need,” the manifesto states.

Party leaders said that with rapid development of the country, the growing divide between rich and poor was the biggest concern. “In all our efforts, we will be guided by the overarching goal of narrowing the gap.”

Health

The party said it was concerned about inequities in healthcare across the country and quality of services.

DNT would ensure, the party leaders said, equal access to quality specialist services for all people.

The party pledged to invest in prevention programmes, strengthening and investing in public health porgrammes, and help families care for relatives confined to bed with terminal illnesses.

DNT plans to establish a multi-disciplinary sub-specialty hospital for tertiary care. Hospital would have facilities for kidney transplant, cardiac surgery, comprehensive cancer treatment, nuclear medicine and fertility centre, among others.

It has plans to upgrade strategic district hospitals with specialist services, upgrade medical care in BHUs, and make specialist services available in the gewogs.

The party pledged to train, recruit and send doctors specialised in general practice and family health to the districts and to hospitals with the higher patient load to ensure efficient service.

To take better care of health workers and address their needs, DNT has pledged to review and provide incentives and allowances for extra hours of work, hazard and health risks, night duties, and emergency services.

Economy

DNT’s pledge is to keep the country’s economy secure by developing an inclusive, sustainable and equitable economy that contributes to Gross National Happiness (GNH).

If elected, DNT would develop Bhutan: Vision 2045 in close consultation with stakeholders, including political parties. The document, the party claimed, would secure the nation’s future by providing a clear direction for any political party to align themselves with the vision.

The party has plans to establish business incubation centres in the four regions of the country to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to shape and develop their business ideas.  It would improve and expand priority sector lending (PSL) scheme by generating awareness, open information centres at gewog and chiwog levels, and keep procedures simple and minimal.

Among the party’s economy pledge is also Gumba ra lu layo ray scheme, which would ensure that each poor household receives an employment opportunity. It has plans to enhance in-country capacity building of hydropower construction and work on reforming the tourism sector.

DNT pledges to push for greater investment in funding small, micro and cottage industries and strengthen private sector.

Sustainable water

The party pledges to address the water needs of every Bhutanese within three years.

Jobs and livelihood

DNT has pledged to ensure that all Bhutanese youth are gainfully employed or are engaged in meaningful livelihood projects.

Besides increasing the daily wage to Nu 450 a day, the party would guarantee credit, provide incentives, simplify the process and develop schemes to enable trained entrepreneurs to start business immediately.

Agriculture

To enable rural prosperity, the party has pledged to establish a network of agriculture marketing centres through outlets and establish cold storage and warehouse in strategic locations. It has plans to make farming easier and cheaper by supporting farmers with essential facilities, ensure irrigation throughout the year and by providing crop insurance schemes for farmers. The party has committed to remove taxes on income generated from primary agriculture producers and to support employment in agriculture.

Culture

DNT has pledged to close Samrang meat processing project and turn it into a commercial vegetable venture. It has committed to revive festivals by providing adequate funds to all community-managed lhakhangs to conduct traditional festivals and strengthen cultural heritage of all communities.

The party plans to invest in promoting Dzongkha, expand opportunities for Dzongkha language specialists, and establish a film, music and documentary promotion fund.

Education

DNT has pledged to do away with Class X cut-off point to enable financially challenged students to continue until Class XII and enable students who passed Class X but disqualified by the cut-off point to return to study until Class XII. The party has plans to work with private schools to enable students to be distributed in private schools under government scholarships, expand their infrastructure, and improve their standards.

The party has committed to support private schools to improve standards, enhance quality, and include enterprise, technical and vocational skills development programme in schools. It would reopen community and primary schools that are strategically located to benefit people and establish more special needs school.

It has offered to make teaching attractive profession and offer minimum of five prestigious scholarships annually for teacher to the best universities.

Nutrition

DNT has pledged to provide free, nutritious lunch to the student of identified schools and institutes with a minimum of 500 kilocalories per meal.

Women and Children

To offer adequate support and enabling facilities to women and children, DNT has pledged to review and adopt a policy to employ foreign domestic workers so that mothers have a helping hand to raise their children within right environment.

It has committed to initiate six-month maternity leave in all corporations and private firms and introduce allowances that match the daily wage rate for women in rural areas during the initial months of childbirth. This is to ensure the benefits are extended to all the women who give birth so that it contributes to childcare as well as mother’s health.

The party pledges to protect women and children from violence and abuse by scaling up women and children’s protection services by establishing efficient institutional referral linkages. The party has plans to fund shelter homes and implement targeted skilled-based programmes for women who experience abuse, abandonment and violence. It would also institute mother and baby friendly services in all the hospitals.

It would also design programmes to strengthen women leadership and actively encourage women’s vibrant civic leadership as board members in various NGOs and agencies.

DNT has pledged to provide free sanitary pad in all girls’ washrooms in schools.

Dechen Tshomo

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