Comprehensive National Development Plan 2030 for equitable development

To reduce regional disparity and promote balanced development in the country, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in collaboration with JICA came up with a Comprehensive National Development Plan 2030. The plan aims to link urban centres from different regions to create market and boost economic activities. A seminar to present the plan was held in the capital last week.

The primary focus of the Comprehensive National Development Plan 2030, which was formulated in 2019, is to reduce migration and promote equitable development.

At the seminar, officials highlighted that focusing only on the capital city and neglecting other areas will not promote regional development.

Under the national plan, five linked-urban centres have been identified in the east, south, central, and western parts of the country.

In the southern-central regional plan, the Sarpang-Gelephu linked urban centre is the first regional project, which would benefit neighbouring districts like Zhemgang and Tsirang.

“We have to cater to the whole region so the conventional way of planning for a city is not really helping the region to grow. So, the linked urban centres are now identified across the country mainly to reduce rural and urban disparity, then promote regional development, and to establish an economic basis for the region, so that the people in the region remain in the region,” said Wangda Dorji, the chief urban planner of the Department of Human Settlement. 

He added that every stakeholder has to take ownership of the plan, refer, and use the components relevant to their sectors.

“So, during the implementation, it is the responsibility of all the sectors now to use this holistic approach of implementing the plan. Sectorial projects can be priorities among the sectors because we have already assessed what is to be done by each sector. So, all the sectors are responsible.”

At the seminar, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport said that the linked urban centres outlined in the Comprehensive National Development Plan 2030 are key hubs for commerce, employment and high economic activity.

He added that it will also provide the highest level of services in the planned region.

The distribution of linked urban centres across the regions also aims to minimize overcrowding in the National Capital Region.

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