Economic revival and infrastructure top priorities in 2024-2025: PM

DECHEN PEM

Thimphu

In order to revive the economy, the govt will support private sector development by lifting the moratorium on loans through the Economic Stimulus Programme said the Prime Minister while presenting the State of the nation report as he referred to govt plans and priorities for 2024-2025.

He said the government will facilitate low-interest loans to revive and expand businesses and encourage new business startups. “We will also implement business friendly policies, regulations and guidelines to strengthen the private sector and improve the ease of doing business.”

In order to enhance public infrastructure, the govt will widen 11 national highways and construct seven new highways. “To this end, the government will establish dedicated monitoring teams to ensure timely completion and quality public infrastructure,” PM said.

To develop and diversify tourism, the govt will improve on policies, systems, and services. Additionally, govt will focus on identifying and tapping into new tourism markets.

For the development of the ICT sector, the govt will facilitate business opportunities for ICT companies. Additionally, initiate the establishment of a third Internet gateway and work towards reducing internet tariff charges.

The Economic Development Board will actively explore and identify diverse economic opportunities to attract and enhance foreign direct investments in the country. The govt will also review and enhance the Foreign Direct Investment Policy, and create special investment opportunities for Bhutanese living abroad.

In addition, to increase the country’s hydropower generation, the country will start transmitting power from the Punatsangchhu-II Hydroelectric Project this year. Furthermore, construction activities for the Punatsangchhu-1 Hydroelectric Project are scheduled to resume soon.

Concurrently, the govt have initiated construction on several other hydroelectric projects, including the Kholongchhu, Suchhu, Burgangchhu, Yungichhu, Druk Bindu-1, DrukBindu-2, Gamri-1, Begana, and Jomori.

Meanwhile, in order to formalize the 21st-century economic roadmap toward strengthening the economy and advancing its growth and development, the govt will provide low-interest agriculture and livestock loans to farmers through the Economic Stimulus Programme. The govt will repair and blacktop 20 Gewog centre roads to improve transport services and carry out the repair and maintenance of a total of 200 chiwog roads. A total of 56 new irrigation projects will be initiated within this financial year, of which 47 are new irrigation projects.

Moreover, the govt plans to install chain-link fencing in about 200 chiwogs and formulate a new policy and programs to identify and prioritize cereals, fruits, and livestock products, and ensure access to the market. Further, it will introduce a low-interest loan program to enable our farmers to purchase power tillers and will develop policies and plans for crop and livestock compensation and insurance.

This year, the govt will focus on the human resource development which includes the inauguration of the Gyalsung program on 5 September 2024. This historic milestone will have immense benefits to our nation’s future. The government is fully committed to supporting the Gyalsung program in every possible manner to ensure its success.

Second, in keeping with the Royal Kasho on Education Reforms, the govt will enhance and strengthen education policies, plans and programs and will initiate upgradation of 63 schools to central schools, with the formulation of new policies, systems, and guidelines for this purpose.

The govt will start the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck Mother and Child Hospitals in Thimphu and Mongar, to further enhance healthcare services.  A detailed project report for a specialized cancer hospital in the country will be undertaken and the govt will explore new ideas and strategies to expand the Health Trust Fund.

The govt will also upgrade and promote all vocational training institutes to impart essential vocational skills to Bhutan’s youth. National sports plans will be developed and implemented in collaboration with the Bhutan Olympic Committee.

Recognizing the serious issue of substance abuse in the country, the govt is committed to addressing and eradicating it through collective action.

“Our plan includes establishing a new school tailored for students struggling with substance use, and creating a specialized center dedicated to rehabilitating and treating individuals affected by substance abuse,” the PM added.

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