To spearhead economic developmental activities and to facilitate growth of business opportunities in the dzongkhags, the economic affairs ministry have recruited 10 economic development officers (EDO), a new post started in the ministry.

With the approval from Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) and with the inception of the 12th Plan, the ministry would be deploying EDOs in all the 20 dzongkhags to contribute towards economic diversification in the 12th Plan.

The EDOs would play a crucial role in achieving other national objectives of poverty eradication and reducing inequality, employment creation, according to the draft terms of reference (ToR).

The main objective of the EDO, apart from spearheading economic developmental activities, would be to facilitate growth of business opportunities, support and strengthen the implementation of the PSL scheme and other economic flagship plans and programmes.

Officiating Secretary Phuntsho Tobgay said the post comes at the right time because the 12th Plan of the ministry articulates the diversification of economy. The job also requires EDO to identify business opportunities and initiate promotional activities, coordinate with sectors and integrated economic development activities, serve as focal person for priority sector lending scheme (PSL), and serve as focal person for services related to tourism council of Bhutan.

Phuntsho Tobgay said the EDOs would act as a focal person of PSL scheme in terms of updating the scheme, member secretary of the dzongkhag economic development committee and provide advisory services and information to walk-in-clients, which is a completely new set of responsibility that RCSC and MoEA have come up with.

In keeping with the existing BSCR rules and regulations, the draft ToR stated that the mode of requirement of EDO should be done through lateral transfers and contract employment.

Phuntsho Tobgay said 10 EDOs have been appointed in 10 prioritised dzongkhags where the PSL scheme is fully rolled out. The EDOs would be deployed in Chukha, Dagana, Sarpang, Wangdue, Tsirang, Mongar, Zhemgang, Pemagatshel, Lhuentse and Trashiyangtse.

The recruitment process would be done in a phased manner covering 10 dzongkhags in each phase over the period of two years. The second batch would be recruited towards end of 2019 to cover rest of the dzongkhags by 2020.

The EDOs would also serve as focal person for tourism related services, agro based business, and employment schemes and other related services in the dzongkhags.

The establishment of EDO for 10 dzongkhags would cost about Nu 4.63 million. Meanwhile, 10 EDOs are currently undergoing two weeks intensive induction course, which began from yesterday.

Yangchen C Rinzin