Opportunities and challenges abound

MB Subba

The government is in the second year of its term. Public perception of its performance is mixed.

Some of the government’s decisions such as doing away with the Class 10 cut-off point and making teachers and health workers the highest-paid civil servants earned both plaudits and criticisms.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering recently said that the government was trying its best to address issues facing the country. He was responding to a question on how the government was looking at the public feedback on social media at the Meet the Press on November 29.

Lyonchhen said that he did not have specific comments to the question, adding that there was no parameter to measure the government’s popularity and that the government was not chasing a politically popular stand.

“I really do not know whether the government is getting too popular too early or too unpopular too early,” he said. “But the concerns of the public are definitely the concerns of the government.”

The government, he added, had taken targeted approaches to address the issues and to achieve national goals.

Lyonchhen said that the major institutional changes that the government initiated would result in “professional solutions” to the problems the country was facing. The government’s approaches, he added, were aimed at solving issues in a sustainable manner.

Challenges abound, however. The government is expected to endorse the much awaited tourism policy soon and table a new mining and minerals Bill in the winter session of the parliament.

However, issues such as rising house rents, high interest rates, lack of regional balanced development and even high mobile Internet charges remains to be addressed. Such issues, observers say, should also be given priority as they affect the general public.

The government has promised to provide affordable housing and do away with the five percent voucher tax.

Some members of the private sector said that they were waiting for some significant policy changes in terms of ease of doing business and opportunities for investments.

The government says that the establishment of the Private Sector Development Committee would help address the private sector problems.

One of the immediate issues at hand remains the private schools’ grievances on the government’s decision to do away with the Class X cut-off point. The private schools fear loses if the government school students that do not qualify for Class X.

The private sector also remains aggrieved about the rising gap between the private sector employees and public servants. But the government has said that it would come up with tax measures that will make private enterprises better off.