An actress, Lhaki Dolma, 39, has declared her intention to contest in the National Council (NC) election from Dzomi gewog in Punakha.

The winner of four national film awards for acting, lyrics and movie said, she decided to contest in NC because it is an apolitical body.

She has a Bachelors of Arts in Language and Culture Studies and secured the second position in the civil service examination in 2003. She then worked as the human resource officer with the ministry of agriculture after completing a postgraduate diploma in development management.

Lhaki Dolma said she would work with local governments by connecting them to people with expertise and resources. “I feel this is what I could do and how I could be useful to the people”.

She said NC doesn’t have a direct say in developmental activities or have access to financial resources. But the lack of financial authority does not mean that an NC member can’t do anything. “There is something called social capital which means having large social networks that one can put to use for the growth of an organisation.”

Lhaki Dolma said she is close to the community and as an actor, people feel connected to her. “I feel people would also feel comfortable with me to raise their concerns and issues.”

If elected, she said she would promote art, culture and philosophy and also replicate the best practices of developed countries to generate employment and strengthen the country’s sovereignty.

The NC aspirant said Punakha has a mild climate suitable for double cropping and with easy access to a large market in Thimphu, people will slowly return to agriculture, farming and horticulture. “I would suggest the development of new legislation and policies that could provide tax breaks, incentives, training and subsidy for people to grow more crops and start agro-based industries.”

She said she would initiate policies and legislation to review and promote the cultural sector, resolve the unemployment problems and support initiatives towards economic self-reliance. “It is also important to formulate laws that generate employment and better policies to incentivise employers in the private sectors.”

Kelzang Wangchuk