So far, so good, but still a long way to go

Lyonchhoen’s evaluation of the APA midterm reviews submitted by eastern dzongkhags

Governance: Dzongdas of the six eastern dzongkhags presented their mid-year review on the annual performance agreements (APA) to the prime minister on January 30 in Mongar.

Lyonchhoen congratulated the dzongkhags for fulfilling most of their targets and said that setting specific targets contributed substantially in efficient delivery of services.

“It shows that the dzongdas have performed quite well in the last six months, but a lot remains to be done,” lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay said.

Lyonchhoen said the agreements were aimed at establishing clarity and consensus on the annual priorities for the dzongkhags, by identifying results and evaluating the dzongkhags’ performances at the end of the financial year.

“If dzongdas bring good result, then they can be set as examples for other dzongdas and rewarded,” lyonchhoen said.  But if some don’t achieve as per the APA, the government needs to know why they failed, and what support could be provided to address the problem.

Trashiyangtse dzongkhag has to date achieved 16 of the 45 indicators of success, while 24 are on track and five at risk or overdue. The activities that are on track are enhancing rural access, increasing rural household cash income, generating employment opportunities and enhancing adult literacy and primary enrollment.

Pemagatshel has achieved 26 of the 35 success indicators; eight are on track and one, chilli production at risk.  It has produced 111MT of chillies, less than half of the 300MT target, which the dzongda explained was because of small-scale cultivation and shortage of farm labour.

The delay in the release of budget for seeds and seedling procurement from the project funded programs also attributed to less chilli production.

The dzongda raised the issue of insufficient budget for construction of farm roads, drinking water problem, insufficient budget for pool vehicles and insufficient travel budget for officials after the revision of DSA.

Of the total 39, Lhuntse has scored 14 success indicators, 22 are on track and three are at risk. In terms of enhancing rural household income and food security, Lhuntse had achieved a production of 2,489MT of paddy against its target of 3,006 MT

Lhuntse dzongda said shortage of farm labour, human wildlife conflict and the increasing fallow land have attributed to less production. Religious sentiments of the farmers in rearing livestock were cited for 1.63MT of chicken against the target of 5.4MT.

Samdrupjongkhar has achieved 14 success indicators, 25 are on track and three are at risk. The district is at risk of not meeting its target of enhancing adult literacy due to the dropping number of NFE learning.

Of the 42 success indicators for Trashigang, the district has achieved 21, while 18 are on track and three are over due. It couldn’t yet achieve its target of zero maternal mortality after a case was reported while the target of adult literacy and primary enrollment couldn’t be achieved because of inadequate primary teachers, shortage of subject teachers and secondary school teachers unwilling to teach in primary school.

Mongar dzongda presented that of the 40 indicators, it has achieved 24, and 12 are on track, while four indicators are at risk. Among the four at risk are improving health status of community and adult literacy and school enrollment.

The dzongdas informed the prime minister that they faced challenges in budget releases, shortage of TA/DA budget, lack of computers and other office equipment for field staffs and replacement of school buses and ambulances. Some dzongkhags also raised the issue of facing difficulties in waste disposal and drinking water supply in town areas.

The annual performance agreements, Lyonchhoen said, were in place to allow civil servants to excel and accomplish their goals and not to judge failures.

By Tashi Phuntsho, Mongar

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