Neten Dorji | Trashigang

The five National Council (NC) candidates of Trashigang pledged to resolve the goongtong and youth unemployment issues in the dzongkhag.

Sangay Tenzin from Thrimshing pledged to review the existing laws that do not benefit society. He said he would address the youth unemployment issues and emphasised on balanced socioeconomic development.

“I will ensure that the planned activities and approved projects benefit the people,” said Sangay Tenzin. “I will be a bridge between the government and the people.”

Sangay Tenzin has a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Science from Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan. Before contesting for the NC election, he worked as an Assistant District Health Officer.

Gongsar Karma Choppel from Radhi said that there are more than 4,000 empty houses, out of which 1,055 are in Trashigang.

“If I am elected, I would propose a policy and strategies to address the goongtong problem in consultation with the government,” said the 52-year-old. “The dzongkhag also has a large number of unemployed youth.”

He also pledged to focus on equitable development. “To address the people’s problem directly, I would work as a strong link between government and people. Moreover, with expertise in water, I would support in formulating strategies to address the water shortage problem facing the communities.”

Gongsar Karma Choppel has a master’s degree in Science from Texas State University, the USA. He worked as the Chief Environment Officer and resigned in 2013 to work as Chief Environment Officer for PHPA.

Jakar Dorji from Kangpara said that he would uphold the sanctity of the Constitution while reviewing and enacting laws.

“I would work hard to ensure that the existing Acts are reviewed to benefit the people and country,” said the 44-year-old candidate.

He pledged to focus on developing agriculture policies and systems, and the youth unemployment issues. “Youth employment issue is increasing by the year. I would priorities youth unemployment problem by reviewing and making new laws.”

He also pledged to review the Tenancy Act of Bhutan 2015 for the benefit of both tenants and landlords. “I will be a trustworthy and responsible representative by reviewing planned activities of the central and local governments.”

Jakar Dorji has a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Canberra, Australia. He worked with Regional Revenue and Customs and was a manager at Bhutan Ferro Alloys Limited.

Sonam Tobgyel, 44, from Phongmey, a former BBS anchor, said that his focus would be on economic development, good governance and the legal system in the country. “It is impossible to make our people self-reliant if people do not get better services and facilities on time. I would work on providing these services to the people. I will also emphasise the preservation of our cultures.”

If elected, Sonam Tobgyel said that he would work towards making Trashigang town a thromde. “If Trashigang becomes a thromde, the dzongkhag would get yenglag thromdes, and the nearby gewog would develop fast which will contribute greatly to the economic self-sufficiency of the people.”

Gelay Tenzin from Samkhar said that he would focus on reviewing and drawing guidelines to make concrete drainage systems, causeways and culverts along the farm roads.

He pledged to review and suggest lasting policies for easy access to rural housing loans. “There is no concrete measure on what the government can provide and what the farmers can do to meet food self-sufficiency,” said the formal general manager of Bhutan Agro Industries Limited. “If it is reflected in the policy, it would not give unnecessary problems to the people.”

He also pledged to formulate policies to create income and employment opportunities in rural areas. “Nothing has been reflected in the policies to help farmers. The government needs to support people by opening small mills to produce flour where rural people can earn money.”

Galey Tenzin has a master’s in Project Planning and Management from the University of Bradford, the UK. He worked as a dzongkhag agriculture officer and resigned as a general manager in Bhutan Agro Industries Limited.