KARMA CHIMMI | Thimphu
The economic affairs minister, Lok Nath Sharma, during the ongoing parliament session, reported that the government has initiated a slew of reforms to support private sector growth.
Bartsam-Shongphu MP, Pasang Dorji (PhD), questioned the minister on the government’s specific strategies to help bolster the growth of the private sector.
Dr Pasang Dorji said that though the private sector is the engine of the economy, it is still trailing behind. For the development of the private sector, the MP said, Bhutan lacked business policies and plans, financial assistance, infrastructure, a taxation system, and business skills, among others, that hindered its growth.
Regarding the government’s strategies to develop the private sector, the minister for economic affairs reported that the government in 2019 constituted the Private Sector Development Committee (PSDC) considering the role of the private sector as an engine of economic growth. Through the PSDC numerous reforms were initiated to support the sector.
The minister also submitted that even during the pandemic, the government provided interest waivers, demand charges waivers, working capital, support for non-performing loans, and skills development programs for youths.
The minister further elaborated that the government’s initiatives created business infrastructures such as the dry ports in Nganglam and Samdrup Jongkhar, besides developing industrial estates. He also shared plans for establishing a one-window service to import expatriate laborers.
Further, to enhance trade, the government is working to enter Preferential Trade Agreements with Thailand and Nepal. The government is also looking for waterways with India and Bangladesh, among others.