Instead, a temporary secretariat was formed at the MoEA to carry out the work

The Better Business Council, which was supposed to take off as an autonomous agency in July 2014, never operationalised.

The council was supposed to bridge the trust deficit between the private sector and government through regular dialogue and recommend the government on improving the business climate in the country.

To this effect, a full time secretariat was to be tasked to conduct research, policy analysis and provide technical backstopping. In a follow up meeting last year it was also decided that the Chief Executive Officer of the Secretariat would be from the government, who will be selected by the Royal Civil Service Commission.

However, during the last meet-the-press session, the Prime Minister said that the council couldn’t decide on the institutional mechanisam.

Initially the idea was to form an autonomous agency, but doing so was seen as adding another level to bureaucracy.

To get works started quickly, lyonchhen said that a temporary secretariat was formed within the policy and planning division of the economic affairs ministry.

“Some potential donors expressed interest,” Lyonchhoen said. We wish to wait for external grant financing,” he added.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has also made a grant available for this purpose and provided the expertise.

“Though the council was not officially established but work was carried out by temporary secretariat because they have large access to experts,” he said.

Results, he said can be seen from economic growth data to ease of doing business index.

Given that it is the last year of the government’s term, Prime Minister said that he has asked for a final proposal from experts working with the secretariat as to what they wish to accomplish in the next nine months. “And it will be guided by their proposal.”

In the executive order issued in 2014, the institutional framework of the council was such that the high-level business council was supposed to function as the apex body for policy formulation and decisions. The high-level business council was to be chaired by the Prime Minister.

The high-level council was supposed to meet as and when required provided that the time span between two meetings does not exceed three months.

A full-time secretariat was also supposed to be formed and operated as a neutral platform, independent of government and the private sector. This was supposed to be headed by a CEO.

Tshering Dorji