PDP’s Day One Agenda Unveiled

As Bhutan braces itself for the inauguration of its fourth democratically elected government, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has wasted no time in unveiling its ambitious agenda for day one in office. Having secured victory in the 2023-2024 National Assembly Elections, the PDP is set to fulfill 13 key pledges that were central to its election campaign promises.

The stage for these transformative changes will be set during the first cabinet meeting, where the new government is poised to make pivotal decisions that will shape the nation’s trajectory over the coming years.

One of the groundbreaking announcements is the declaration of Saturdays as “off days” for teachers and students, aiming to provide a much-needed respite and contribute to a healthier work-life balance within the education sector.

In a move geared towards housing reform, the PDP plans to issue an executive order revising the tenancy agreement for residents of Changjiji Housing Colony. This initiative is designed to enable residents to occupy their apartments until retirement, fostering a sense of stability and security.

The party’s commitment to streamlining entry into the country is evident in its pledge to eliminate the collection of Nu 10 from Bhutanese citizens entering at Phuentshogling, a measure expected to ease the financial burden on travelers.

Economic development takes center stage with the proposed establishment of an Economic Development Board, where the Prime Minister will serve as the chairperson. Additionally, a high-powered task force will be created to develop an implementation plan for the Nu 15 billion economic stimulus program, reflecting the government’s dedication to fostering financial growth.

Recognizing the need for a conducive business environment, the PDP vows to commission a comprehensive review of business regulatory processes, both at entry and exit gateways. The results, expected within three months, will offer concrete recommendations aimed at removing barriers and facilitating smoother business operations.

Other significant pledges include a revision of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy, a review of the Institute Work Plan (IWP) in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, and the establishment of a sub-committee of the cabinet dedicated to regularizing contract employees.

Tourism, a vital aspect of Bhutan’s economy, is not overlooked. The PDP plans to review the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) regulation for tourists in southern border towns, exploring the possibility of exempting tourists within these areas from the levy. Furthermore, Bhutanese embassies abroad will be mobilized to contribute ideas on promoting inbound tourism, and a separate action plan will be developed to increase the annual tourist influx to 300,000.

As part of its commitment to national connectivity, the government aims to undertake a feasibility study for the construction of five strategically located airstrips, signaling a focus on enhancing accessibility and transportation infrastructure across the country.

As the ten-day election petition period comes to a close on January 24th, the People’s Democratic Party stands on the cusp of leading Bhutan into a new era, armed with a comprehensive plan to address pressing issues and propel the nation towards prosperity and inclusivity.

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