In the first Meet-the-PM programme in Thimphu yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering announced that the draft 12th Five Year Plan was approved.

Prime Minister said that the government met with the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) on December 6 to discuss the 12th Plan. “We discussed all the Plan’s activities in detail, and now the plan is ready.”

The 12th plan had been planned well, he said. “Apart from a few policies that need to be reviewed and sorted, the 12th plan prepared by the previous government has been left as it is.”

He said that generally the party that forms the government changed the whole plan. “However, the plan had been aligned well with the pledges. GNHC worked hard to incorporate pledges together with the activities in the 12th Plan.”

After the joint Cabinet meeting yesterday endorsed the draft 12th Plan and its framework, GNHC secretary, Thinley Namgay, said that the commission’s target was to complete and finalise the 12th Plan by January next year. “It will take a couple of weeks to review and make changes to some of the things which are yet to be finalised.”

Foreign minister Dr Tandi Dorji told Kuensel that the Plan is endorsed in principle and that the estimated outlay of Nu 310 billion is based on the projected Mangdechhu tariff, which is still being negotiated.

Addressing the media, Prime Minister said, “I was treating individuals until now. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to treat the diseases of the nation.”

He said that it was alarming to know that there were more than 50 new constructions for office space, ministries, buildings, which were immediately stopped. “A taskforce has also been instituted led by the Cabinet secretary that will look into the existing office spaces and assess the need, including the decongestion of Thimphu. They will report to the Cabinet in about five months.”

Prime Minister said that almost 80 percent of the pledges of the previous government is included in the 12th Plan. “Pledges from the Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa which are good have also been sorted and incorporated in the plan.”

Rinchen Zangmo