Thukten Zangpo

Samtse — “If people feel that the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) as government have delivered the best despite all circumstances, then why not support us again?” DNT’s President, Dr Lotay Tshering said at the kickstart of the party campaign from Bukey in Samtse yesterday.

A candidate from Phuntsho-pelri Samtse constituency, Ngawang Nidup, said: “People have experienced the three governments for one-time tenure, we have not experienced the government for the second term.”

Later, the president met with the people of Gashing Gaon in Gomtu.

Urging for continuity, Dr Lotay Tshering said that the party’s top priority is health and education.

He said that the DNT government provided medical facilities with pediatrist, gynecologist, heart specialist, and CT scan in Samtse hospital, which has reduced the patients’ travel to Thimphu.

Given the infant mortality rate of 20 children per 1,000 live births and 60 mothers out of 1,000 dying in the country because of pregnancy complications, Dr Lotay Tshering said: “Maternal mortality rate must be reduced to the minimum and infant mortality rate has to be eradicated.”

The DNT government started check-ups for cervical, stomach, and breast cancer every year in every gewog, he said.

Dr Lotay Tshering said the government also started a comprehensive mother and child health programme, whereby Nu 50,000 will be provided to the mother for three years as financial assistance.

Additionally, he said that his government procured a multi-vitamin tablet from Germany for mothers for lesser risk of hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.

Dr Lotay Tshering said that information and technology knowledge is a must for the students. The government, he said, spent Nu 1.2 billion for the project, where each computer is benefiting 10 students, and pledged to reduce this ratio to 1:5.

Talking about some of the bold moves the government took, he said that “as a government, my responsibility is not to make people happy, but to make a better nation.”

A move like revision in the property tax with increased tax revenue base could be reallocated to provide chain-link fencing, road improvement, and support school feeding programmes, Dr Lotay Tshering said.

He promised to increase the stipend to Nu 2,200 per student to support the school feeding programme, which is the amount required to meet all nutrition for students. The DNT government increased the stipend to Nu 1,500 from Nu 900.

“Party that brings development and improves their livelihood is their priority,” said a voter from Malbasey, Nirmal Ghalley.

Another voter, Zangmo Lepcha, from Dewathang chiwog under Samtse gewog said the bridge would be an immediate need for her village where river level rises during summer.