The incumbent government, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), has definitely raised the bar for ensuing government in the future. It’s perhaps even incredible right now to think that any other government can achieve or deliver what DPT has done so during its five year term.
The figure speaks for itself. The party which committed itself to promoting ‘Growth and Equality’ recorded a whopping 98% achievement, by fully or partially having had fulfilled 150 pledges out of the 153 broad pledges stipulated in its manifesto.
This leaves them with only three unfulfilled pledges. However, delivering the remaining ones doesn’t appear grueling either as the government still has some time left before the completion of its term.
Additionally, the government’s major stride has been in meliorating rural lives by lowering poverty in some of the rural pockets of the country.
The rural poverty rate, according to the Fifth Annual Report of the Prime Minister, has been brought down to 16% in 2012 from more than 30% in 2007. With a year and a half still remaining for the Tenth Plan to wind up, Lyonchhen apprised that the country’s poverty rate had plummeted to 12% as against its target of 15%.
However, some new aspiring political parties and some sections of the people are unwillingly to buy the figures as in the report. While the report purports to exhibit success and a rosy state of the country, not everything is as rosy as it is portrayed.
Although numerous basic amenities such as motorable roads, electricity, drinking water, education, health services and mobile connectivity have been taken to the gewogs, it’s arduous to comprehend the translation of how taking some basic services to the villages result to the humungous drop in poverty rate.
This is also because rural urban migration has been continuing unabatedly. Therefore, it is also becoming worth wondering whether rural poverty rate on the wane is, as some say, because there are less people living back in the rural villages now. People are giving up farming, leaving their ancestral home and flocking in droves to urban towns.
Further, the average GDP growth rate of 9% in the current plan looks less realistic going by the developments in the economy. The Bhutanese economy continues to grapple with severe credit crunch, balance of payment issue and Indian Rupee problem.
Even after almost a year now, the economy shows little or no sign of recovery. Economic activities have been significantly slowed down. Imports have been banned, banks have stopped disbursing loans, laying off of employees in the private sector has become common and youth unemployment is becoming a serious setback. The aforementioned issues are just few of the problems we are today grappling with and that needs to be addressed. And everyone knows that not all is well, at least for now.