Chhimi Dema 

The advent of Covid-19 has led to the proliferation of various online systems for complimenting the e-governance initiatives in the country, according to the information and communications minister.

Druk Trace app, Checkpost management system, quarantine management and security system, and health facility system, among others, the minister said, helped the country in tackling the pandemic.

Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi was addressing the virtual International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Development Forum for Asia and the Pacific region (RDF-ASP 2020) yesterday.

Lyonpo said that the government has prioritised Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development, with the vision: “An ICT-Enabled, Knowledge Society, as a foundation for Gross National Happiness.”

He said that e-Government policy, developed and approved in 2018, aims to provide guidance and ensure the availability and accessibility of government e-services.

Lyonpo said that the policy would enable the government to fully leverage on existing and emerging ICTs, to increase competitiveness, enhance productivity, improve service delivery and strengthen good governance in pursuit of Gross National Happiness.

“Despite being a landlocked country, Bhutan has made significant achievements in the field of ICT,” Lyonpo said. “However, in order to further advance ICT in the country, I would like to request the ITU for its continued support, in the development of Bhutan’s ICT sector.”

The ITU RDF-ASP 2020 forum will end on November 5.

There are 741,999 mobile cellular subscribers in the country and 681,239, 3G and 4G internet subscribers, according to MoIC’s third quarterly report.

The forum aims to understand issues and challenges the member states were facing post-Covid-19 and formulate action plans to assist the countries.