Chhimi Dema 

Despite prioritising online management systems over the Sunng Joen and Free WiFi activities, work for the Digital Drukyul flagship project is underway without disruptions, according to information and communications Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi. 

As part of the written question, Bardo-Trong Member of  Parliament Gyambo Tshering questioned the minister on the achievements, status and the budget of the Digital Drukyul project during the National Assembly Question Hour session last week. 


MoIC minister Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi

The information communication and technology flagship, Digital Drukyul, was officially approved during the financial year 2019-2020. The activities for the flagship started in October last year.

The project worth Nu 3.13 billion intends to create a digital ecosystem for citizens to allow quick and equal access to all public services. Through the initiative, Bhutanese will be provided with a digital identity that can be used to access multiple online government services such as healthcare and others.

The flagship programme features e-Patient Information System (e-PIS) that entails digital health records of all citizens and other projects like Bhutan Integrated Tax System, Integrated Citizen Services, e-Business, Digital Schools and Enhancement of ICT sector.  

“During the financial year 2018-2019, pre-ground work for the project such as drafting of project proposal documents, stakeholder consultation workshops and project components reviews were carried out,” said Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi. 

Currently, the ministry was reviewing the census and immigration data for the National Digital Identity (NDI), Lyonpo said. The ministry is in the process of recollecting all citizen biometric data and contract negotiation with an international vendor of setting up the NDI infrastructure.

Under the Government Initiated Network phase I, 240 agencies were connected with Fibre-optic and work order for phase II was issued. 

In this fiscal year, for the Integrated Business Network project, the business process re-engineering activities such as AS-IS (identifying the current business state) and TO-BE (defining the future state of a business) process will be completed, Lyonpo said. 

He said that the business licensing process re-aligning activity and development of an electronic registration system for business licensing was in progress. For the digital school project, Lyonpo said that 98 percent of the e-learning platform system was completed. The contract for development of the Education Management Information System was awarded as well, he said. 

“Detail technical assessment for e-PIS system and the development for release (Good and Services Tax and Excise modules) was underway for Bhutan Integrated Tax System,” he said. 

Lyonpo added that for enhancement of ICT sector, online training was conducted for over 100 ICT professionals on emerging technologies. 

The project lost approximately three to four months of active implementation time because of Covid-19 restrictions, he said. 

“However, the government, wherever possible, tried to make progress on the physical side through online alternatives such as conducting crucial meetings or training over the Zoom or Google-meet platforms,” he said.