“We’ll make every hour count to fortify Bhutan for now and the future”: Lyonchhen

… 𝑮𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒏𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒍𝒂𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒍𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒇𝒚 𝒑𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒚 𝒅𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔

Sonam Choki

In a recent message to the public, the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering emphasized the importance of clear communication and transparency in government decision-making. To that end, the government has launched a new series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help citizens better understand some of the major policy decisions made in recent years.

“We have used many platforms and channels to interact and communicate with the public,” said the Prime Minister. “But there are still deficiencies. Many aspects of governance and socio-economic development plans, major reform initiatives and activities are either misunderstood or misrepresented.”

The FAQs aim to address this issue by providing detailed explanations of key policy decisions, as well as answering common questions from citizens. The Prime Minister stressed that the government is not trying to justify its decisions or win over public support, but rather to ensure that citizens are well-informed about what is happening at the national level.

One major reform initiative highlighted in the FAQs is the launch of Bhutan’s National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF). The NPPF was established in 2017 with the goal of providing retirement benefits for all Bhutanese citizens, including those working in the informal sector.

“The NPPF is a significant step towards ensuring social security for all Bhutanese,” said the Prime Minister. “It will help us build a more equitable society where everyone has access to basic necessities like healthcare, education, and housing.”

Another important policy decision discussed in the FAQs is Bhutan’s transition to a green economy. The government has set ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable development, including increasing renewable energy production and promoting eco-tourism.

“Our commitment to sustainability is not just about protecting our environment,” said the Prime Minister. “It’s also about creating new opportunities for our people and building a more resilient economy.”

The FAQs also address some of the short-term disruptions that can occur as a result of policy decisions. For example, the government’s decision to phase out subsidies for certain agricultural products caused some initial hardship for farmers. However, the Prime Minister emphasized that this decision was necessary to promote long-term sustainability and reduce dependence on imports.

“In the short term, there may be some difficulties,” he said. “But we must remember that every change will have an impact. What we must understand is that the disruptions, if any, are short term. Give it some time and our wishes are for our nation and every Bhutanese to benefit.”

The launch of the FAQs has been welcomed by many as a positive step towards greater transparency and accountability in government. Citizens have praised the initiative for providing clear and accessible information about important policy decisions that affect their lives.

“I think it’s great that the government is taking the time to explain their decisions to us,” said Tshering, a resident of Thimphu. “It helps us understand why certain things are happening and how they will benefit us in the long run.”
However, some have raised concerns about the effectiveness of the FAQs in reaching all citizens, particularly those in rural areas with limited access to information technology.

“The government needs to ensure that this information is reaching everyone, not just those who have internet access or are able to read,” said Sonam, a teacher from Paro. “We need more outreach programs and community meetings to make sure everyone is informed.”

The Prime Minister acknowledged these concerns and emphasized that the government is committed to ensuring that all citizens have access to accurate and timely information about policy decisions.

“We understand that not everyone has access to the internet or other forms of communication,” he said. “That’s why we are also working on other ways to reach out to citizens, including through community meetings and radio broadcasts.” Furthermore, the Prime Minister also said, “We will make every hour count to realize the plans and programs that will fortify Bhutan for now and generations to come.”

The launch of Bhutan’s new FAQs initiative represents an important step towards greater transparency and accountability in government decision-making. By providing clear and accessible information about key policy decisions, the government is empowering citizens to participate more fully in shaping the country’s future.

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