Nima Wangdi 

The government is building foundations for the 21st century economic road map which is still a draft.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said this at the National Assembly answering MP Passang Dorji’s question on the economic road map.

Passang Dorji said: “Going by the economic road map draft, country should be able to have Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 10 billion (B) USD by 2030. But, going by the recent economic report, there were not many changes.”

He also said that if the country’s economy did not grow by more than five percent, the debt-GDP ratio could increase to about 200 percent.

Lyonchhen said: “The draft of the road map is available on the Gross National Happiness Comission (GNHC)’s website. We have a few pages on hydropower projects in the draft road map. We will not implement them as it requires gradual pursuance given the problems that we are still facing.”

Lyonchhen said that one of the projects in the road map is tourism development, the second highest revenue-earning sector in the country. “We are discussing this at the moment.”

Lyonchhen said: “People think that economic road map is about taking up activities and making good income immediately. It has to start with well-planned foundations and this is what we are focusing on currently.”

According to Lyonchhen, for the successful implementation of the economic road map, human capital is a crucial element. “We have to make our youth competent. We are skilling and reskilling our youth.”

He said that Nu 1.2B  was given to the education ministry for ICTisation. “We are also reforming all the nine colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan.”

“When we showed our road map draft to the international economists, they said it could cause many side effects while trying to increase GDP from Nu 2.5 B to 10 B in 10 years,” Lyonchhen said, adding that 11 institutions that are important for the economic roadmap have been reformed already.