Thinley Namgay

Labour Minister Ugyen Dorji told the members of the National Assembly that MoLHR created more than 5,300 jobs in the last one and a half years.

This was in response to Bardo-Trong MP Gyembo Tshering’s concern about the issue of growing unemployment in the country. He said that the country’s unemployment rate had risen to 3.4 percent in 2018 from 2.1 percent in 2012.

“Youth unemployment rate was 7 percent in 2012 and reached 15.7 percent in 2018. The unemployment rate among university graduates is 65 percent. As per the report of the national statistical bureau and the RBP, the youth-related problems could be due to the unemployment,” he said.

Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said that the youth unemployment problem was a national concern and government was working on solutions. “The ministry’s different activities had created more than 3,100 jobs.” He added that with taxation reforms the government would encourage small business through fiscal incentives

“That is expected to benefit 13,000 business people and could help create job opportunities. Tax reduction for the commercial entities from 30 percent to 25 percent is also intended to create jobs,” lyonpo said.

Further to that, for economic diversification, lyonpo said the government had allotted a budget of Nu 1.2 billion to develop the cottage and small industries. “Under this plan, the government will open three centres besides incubation centres and Fab Lab.”

He informed that MoLHR in collaboration with Prime Minister’s Office was working on youth facilitation centres to create a platform for the youth to decide whether to open new businesses, look for jobs or to participate in the training programmes after completing their studies.

Whetting the foreign direct investment policy and revamping TVET programme is also aimed at improving businesses and jobs creation.

In collaboration with relevant government agencies, MoLHR is working on creating jobs through Job Responsibility System. The ministry is also collaborating with the World Bank to study the relevance of the existing policy to help create the jobs in the country.

Lyonpo said that questions related to the unemployment would continue to be asked because of rapid socio-economic changes that the nation was experiencing. He added that solving the unemployment problem was not the responsibility of MoLHR alone.

Nanong-Shumar MP Lungten Namgyel asked the labour minister why the government delayed establishing the employment and Livelihood Corporation to solve youth unemployment.

“As per the research by the specialists, mindset change was necessary and we didn’t find important to start the corporation for the moment,” lyonpo said.