Includes pledges to be achieved on the first day in office

KP Sharma

No entry fee for Bhutanese at the Phuentsholing entry gate, an economic development board, a task force responsible for devising the implementation plan for a Nu 15 billion economic stimulus plans, will all be in place on the first day in office, if the People’s Democratic Party wins the upcoming election.

This is according to the 137-page manifesto, which pledges to make Saturday an off day for teachers and students while the education ministry would be asked to review the individual work plan (IWP) and create a performance management system.

What could appeal to those in the tourism and hospitality sector, the party states it will review the possibility of allowing tourists to visit bordering towns in the south without the SDF, issue executive orders to relevant agencies to develop a separate action plan aimed at achieving an annual inbound tourist number to 300,000 annually.

The party also pledges to establish a sub-committee of the Lhengye Zhungtsho for the regularisation of contract employees and undertake a feasibility study to construct five airports in strategically important locations across the country.

These are other immediate initiatives the cabinet will undertake upon taking office as the government on the first day.

PDP’s manifestoes in detail here!


PDP promises to Increase the GDP from USD 2.5 billion to USD 5 billion including the investments in the hydropower sector.

The party pledges to raise gross domestic product (GDP) per capita from USD 3,400 to USD 12,000 over the next 10 years and achieve full employment at a rate of 97.5 percent within five years, generating 10,000 jobs annually including 2,000 in the digital sector.

To revitalise the tourism industry, the party pledges to boost private sector investment, increasing it from 40 percent to 60 percent.

PDP plans to increase the annual average of tourist arrivals to 300,000 with 50 percent coming from third countries while promises to raise foreign direct investment (FDI) from Nu 43 billion to Nu 500 billion in the next five years.

In achieving the economic pledges, the party commits to establish an economic development board and inject Nu. 15 billion as an economic stimulus package to rebuild the economy.

Hydro power

In the hydro power sector, PDP claims it had laid plans to build six mega hydropower projects – Nyera Amari, Dorjilung, Bunakha, Kuri Gongri, Chamkharchu and Sunkosh. This is besides seven small hydropower projects that includes Suchhu, Yungichhu, Burgangchhu, Jomori, Gamri-I, Bindu I and II, Dangchu, Begana, Dagachu and Gongri- Jerichhu.

PDP commits to complete PHPA-I and the PHPA-II hydropower projects and expedite the completion of Kholongchu hydropower Project.


To make tourism vibrant, PDP says it will expand and modernise Yonphula, Bumthang and Gelephu Airports.

The party pledges to mandate all dzongkhags to develop tourism packages and promote tourism within their respective areas. It further pledges to offer policy, financial and tax incentives to stimulate the construction of tourist hotels, restaurants, and village homestays.

What is seen as sensitive to many as of now, PDP states that it will establish exit and entry points for tourists in the border towns of Samdrup Jongkhar, Nganglam, Gelephu, Samtse, Panbang and Jomotshangkha to facilitate border access.

“The prime minister will take a lead role in marketing Bhutan as a tourist destination with the involvement of embassies on the global stage,” the manifesto states.


An idea of the party when it governed from 2013- 2018, PDP will review and if required, establish central schools. Every student in the boarding schools will receive free meals, school uniforms, stationeries and bedding, the party pledges.

In areas with large chiwogs, schools designated as chiwog schools will be established after thorough analysis. Chiwog schools will include an early childhood care and development facility (ECCD) and offer classes from PP to III.

The party also pledges to reduce the workload of teachers and prioritise their professional development.

It also aims to standardise the employment of ECCD and non-formal education (NFE) instructors as professional positions and plans to establish an international school and make support staff positions into para regular employment.

A college in Tsirang focused on promoting ICT and a vocational training institute (VTI) in Dagana and Tama, Zhemgang are also in the list of pledges.


Every gewog health center will have a doctor, adequate health staff and additional doctors will be deployed to all 20 dzongkhag hospitals with each hospital having to assign a doctor for monthly visits to all gewog health care centers, according to its promise in the health sector.

The party also wants to upgrade the Thimphu National Referral Hospital into a super-specialist teaching center capable of organ transplants and other specialised medical services.

The regional referral hospitals in Mongar and Gelephu, its says, will be upgraded to multi-specialist hospitals with a minimum of two specialists in each specialised area.

To address congestion, PDP will establish a dzongkhag hospital in Thimphu, transform Samtse hospital into a regional referral hospital and establish a cancer hospital in Thimphu.

It also pledges to set up 10 specialist centers with operational facilities at strategic locations and establish a mother and child hospital in Gelephu.

For the LGBTIQ community, PDP pledges to address legal and cultural barriers that hinder the community from exercising equal rights.

It pledges to foster an inclusive work environment and conditions that fully embrace the needs and rights of the LGBTIQ community.