Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay lauded the foreign ministry for performing beyond its annual performance agreement that the ministry signed with him.

He said that among others, the establishment of the consulate office in Guwahati was a major achievement but it was not included in the APA.

“The consulate office will immensely benefit the eastern dzongkhags,” Lyonchhen said.

Foreign secretary Sonam Tshong reported that the ministry has achieved four of its 42 targets, while 37 are on track and one might not be completed during its midyear review of the APA 2017-18. The target at risk is acquisition of land for the ministry’s office.

The ministry has to look for a plot of land to build its office. “We’re in touch with the National Land Commission Secretariat for the land and hope to identify a plot soon,” the foreign secretary said.

To promote Bhutan’s sovereign independence and strengthen her role as a responsible and constructive member of the international community, the ministry facilitated to host 12 regional and multi-lateral meetings against the target of 10 organised more than four head of state visits.

The ministry also issued 18 diplomatic, 21 non-diplomatic and two special cards to foreign civil servants working in the country.

While it set a target of 13 invitations for bilateral meetings, it achieved 58.

Sonam Tshong said it was difficult to quantify what the ministry does. “Not having a planning officer also affected the ministry’s planning of the success indicators,” he said.

Gross National Happiness Commission secretary Thinley Namgyel said the position is there and the ministry only has to float the vacancy for planning officers between P4 and P2.

The ministry is also working on including the performance of its embassies, consulate offices and other establishments abroad.

Tshering Palden