We greet the Year of the  Dragon with much anticipation. Drukyul is known by the Dragon, Land of the Thunder Dragon, and the change of the year in the context of many changes is symbolic.

Some believe the Year of the Dragon to be a year of power, wisdom and good fortune. The dragon, according to Chinese astrologers, is a revered symbol of power and one of the most auspicious signs and a year of change. Change is what is needed and promised. There are a lot of expectations as we bid farewell to the timid Rabbit and welcome the fiery Dragon.

We have a new government elected on the promise to change for the better. From the decisions they made in the first few days in office, change is what is expected.  There are executive orders and directives issued. The changes are expected to roll out soon. There are expectations that the changes will result in better service delivery, transparency and accountability.

Words are going around that the Prime Minister and his team mean business and that non-performers, including his cabinet, would not be spared or be readied for change by the time the Dragon gives way to the Snake (in one year). As of now, this is what people are expecting as they wait for changes for the better. There is excitement in the air.

The Dragon will see the 13th Plan kick off with an expected massive budget. We can see the fruition of major plans, like the two major hydropower projects – Punatsangchhu I and II come to life. As a small economy, the commissioning of a hydroelectric project heralds massive changes to our small economy.

As the Dragon entered, the newly elected government met to chart out a strategic roadmap for the future – a collective commitment to realizing the vision of a “Better Drukyul.” It was an appropriate and symbolic move.

Each changing year brings new hope and aspirations depending on our priorities. The past few years saw our plans and policies focused on ensuring lives and livelihood. The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact forced us to divert our priorities from development to saving lives. The achievement was exemplary even if we had to sacrifice a lot economically.

The pandemic is gone, we have a new Five Year Plan, a new elected government promising change and ground ready to leapfrog Bhutan into a developed country. The timing is perfect and the ground is ready.

The People’s Democratic Party seems to be serious with its promises. In Lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay, we see the seriousness and the urgency. He had visited, met and discussed so many issues, with the machinery that will help him implement his plans and dreams, in his first few days in office than many would take. Some decisions are implemented even if the impacts are awaited. More are on the way with government departments and agencies asked to submit reports to his call on change.

If the Dragon really symbolises change and good fortune will be seen when they look back to the Year of the Dragon in the Year of Snake (Lyonchhen’s birth year).