For any organization, country or an individual, planning is the most important tool needed in any stages of working. The reasons to justify the importance of planning are for better position, makes efficient decision, evaluation and control and achieving desired result. Thus, planning is important to an organization or country because it gives a steady growth and prepares the organization for a desired future.
An economic plan allocates the resources of a nation to fulfill the general and specific goals as planned by the government for a specified period.
In Bhutan, these plans are made for five years and hence are known as Five Year Plan (FYP). These five year plans are ultimately a perspective plan, which outlines the long-term goals of a nation, spanning for years.
The Five Year Plans of Bhutan are a series of national economic development plans created by the government of Bhutan since 1961.
Our government has played a pervasive role in its economy and development since the establishment of Planning Commission. The economy has been guided through development plans, which the Development Secretariat and later the Planning Commission (now GNH Commission) directed, subject to the National Assembly’s approval.
In the World Bank’s 989 appraisal, it states, “Coming late to the development scene, Bhutan was eager to avoid mistakes committed elsewhere. Although strongly dependent on foreign aid, it was determined to follow its own set of priorities, keep public finance on an even keel, build up a well trained but lean bureaucracy, and prevent environmental damage from over exploitation of the forests or uncontrolled growth of tourism.”
To help avoid further mistakes, the government used traditional social institutions and involved people at the local level in planning and implementation for their own district , sub district or village. Because of these factors, the World Bank stated, “development in Bhutan has been remarkably free from seeing economic, social, or cultural disruption.”
The DNT government has come up with new proposal to do away with the traditional five year plan system. The rationales are that the plan already drafted by the previous government cannot be changed much and sometimes it is not appropriate down the line in different situations.
The Opposition party pointed that discontinuing FYP will be a big blunder affecting equity in planning and resource allocation, regional balanced development, independence of local governments and professionalism of civil service, among others.
The Opposition Party is also concerned that it may dangerously lead to highly arbitrary and politicised planning and resource allocation, undermining the functions of different institutions of governance, local governments.
The FYPs has been a guiding document for generations of planners and leaders and doing it away would mean a deeper scrutiny on why it has been reformed. Otherwise, FYPs should continue because they have always helped us.