Unemployment problem in the country is likely to aggravate in the coming years, according to the Opposition.

This, the party said, was based on the current government’s pledge to create 5,000 job opportunities a year.

The Opposition MP from Dewathang-Gomdar, Ugyen Dorji, said that this would amount to only 25,000 jobs in five years while the estimated requirement in the 12th Plan is 81,686 jobs.

“There would be a deficit of 61,686 jobs,” he said.

Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi said that ideally there should be more jobs than the jobseekers because jobseekers would not take every available job.

“To provide choice to the jobseekers, there should be more jobs,” he said.

He said that in the beginning of 10th Plan the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent which dropped to to 2.1 percent by the end of the Plan period.

In the 11th Plan, unemployment rate increased to 3.1 percent and youth unemployment rate increased from 9.6 percent to 12.3 percent, he added.

In the 12 Plan’s target is to bring youth unemployment rate down to 9 percent.

“There is no ambition and drive,” he said, adding that the target should have been 2 to 3 percent so that even if it fell short it would land somewhere between 5 to 6 percent.

He said that the government’s modest GDP growth target would further aggravate the unemployment issue. Modest GDP growth, he said, meant low capital expenditure and lack of big employment-generating project. With 20 percent of the total expenditure earmarked for capital expenditure, he said no major capital investment was likely to happen.

He said the party’s recommendation for the government was to continue with the overseas employment programme and improvise the monitoring mechanisms.

The Opposition also stated that it and welcomed the government’s move to defer the loan repayment time for the earn and learn programme for Bhutanese youth in Japan.

The Opposition emphasised that the government needed to do more to create quality jobs in the country.

Tshering Dorji