Nima Wangdi 

The government has not framed any policy to address the issue of people going abroad for better opportunities, according to Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering.

He said the government does not even see the necessity to have a policy.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said this during the question-answer session on June 3.

He said it is natural for people to go abroad for better opportunities and the trend will continue. “Everyone is concerned about what this trend could lead to, but the government has not framed any policy to address this. It is not necessary either.”

He said people would look for better opportunities like cattle that seek greener pastures and cooler water when untethered.

Asking the question, Mongar’s Member of Parliament, Karma Lhamo, said people, especially the elderly citizens are worried about the trend of young people going abroad seeking employment opportunities.

“The country could run out of productive population in the future if the trend continues,” she said.

She said while people migrating for better opportunities is good for the country’s economy, it is concerning since highly learned people leave their jobs.

MP Karma Lhamo said it is a national concern.

Lyonchhen said His Majesty the King is also equally concerned about it and De-Suung skilling project is one of the ways to provide skills to the people and make them able to earn well in the future.

“His Majesty the King has told us that the De-Suung skilling project is not to provide the usual skills but to equip them with the skills that the 21st century requires,” Lyonchhen said.

He said His Majesty The King also commanded the government to make income attractive for people within the country so that they don’t get attracted to other countries. “His Majesty has also commanded us to make it possible for the Bhutanese to work for other organisations and institutions from Bhutan and also work for institutions in Bhutan from elsewhere.”

Lyonchhen said people migrate to Australia because they can earn one month’s earning in Bhutan in a day there. “This is why they are leaving for Australia.”

He said that country should create good opportunities for our people within the country and people will not leave for other countries in about 10 years from now. “Bhutanese people are scattered and working in 102 countries so far but there are no data on how many are working where at the moment.”

He said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already started working and they will have all the data soon. “For now, people are asked to first study the earning, working atmosphere and situations of the country they are planning to go as some countries are unpleasant to work.”