MTR: The people of Paro have asked the government to revise some of the dzongkhag’s development targets.

Mid-term review of the dzongkhag found that Paro has more than achieved some of the plan targets, particularly production of milk and egg.

Prime Minister approved the dzongkhag’s request to increase production target of milk, egg and meat.

The dzongkhag produced 700 percent more milk than annual target of 279 metric tonnes. The dzongkhag’s meat production exceeded the target by about 200 percent.

The 10 gewogs of Paro will now have to produce 2,355 metric tonnes of milk, 20 metric tonnes of meat, 333,333 dozens of eggs annually.

The dzongkhag’s three community forests made Nu 1 million in the last two years.

Of the 43 key performance indicators (KPIs), 30 were achieved and 13 are on track.

The dzongkhang’s total budget outlay  in the 11th Plan is Nu 705.769M. The expenditure against outlay is 21.065 percent while the expenditure against budget is 92.1 percent.

The dzongkhag administration and the gewogs did not propose any budget reprioritisation; most of the gewogs reported having used more than 90 percent of the allotted budget.

Some of the dzongkhag’s key target areas are to enhance rural household income, food grain sufficiency, health status, quality of urban life, sustainable management and conservation of natural resources,  accessibility to quality education, and preservation and promotion of traditional and cultural heritage.

Improving transparency and efficiency in public service delivery is one of the seven key results areas for the dzongkhag.

Dzongdag Chencho Tshering reported three activities under threat in the dzongkhag: three infants died in 2014; and site for sewerage network has yet to obtain public clearance; paddy production target is the only target that the dzongkhag has tried to reduce.

Chencho Tshering said: “The dzongkhag has only 4,000 acres of wetland and, with productivity of 2.1 metric tonnes on an acre, only 7,850 metric tonnes is achievable annually.”

Because much of Lamgong Gewog’s wetland belongs to monasteries and temples, the problem of fallowing land is increasing in the gewog.

“Because the farmers can earn more when they work for wages instead of sharecropping,” Lamgong gup Phub Tshering said. The gewog has requested the government to reduce the paddy production target.

The dzongkhag’s gups said that wetlands are also lost to other non-agricultural purposes like construction of houses.

Paro also has one of the best teacher-pupil ratio in the country – 1:18. It has 100 percent primary and basic education completion rate. All the 29 schools in the dzongkhag have disaster management plans, and every gewog has a disaster management committee. However, the Dzongdag said that there is a mismatch between demand and supply of teachers.

The dzongkhag has challenges in meeting the target of pork production.

The local leaders blamed poor target setting done by the Gross National Happiness Commission when the plan was formulated.

However, the targets make no mention of other highland crops except wheat and select vegetables.

With the revision of the targets, the dzongkhag now has challenges to deal with farmers influenced by religious sentiments and dropping poultry and piggery farms.

Prime Minister said that the dzongkhag has to submit proposals to the Gross National Happiness Commission on the need to revisit certain targets and the RNR data collection issues with the commission.

“While there are adequate teachers in the dzongkhag, on the issues with teacher deployment the dzongkhag has to write to the Royal Civil Service Commission and GNHC,” said Prime Minister.

Prime Minister applauded the local leaders for achieving the plan targets and assured adequate budget for the second half of the Plan.

The mid-term review of 10 ministries and three dzongkhags has been completed so far.

The rest will be completed before April 16.

Tshering Palden