12th Plan Mid-Term Review underway

The Mid-Term Review (MTR) for the 12th Plan began on Thursday with the government looking at the status of the projects under the ministries, quality of service delivery, budget spent, how to improve performance and the use of resources till now and the way forward.

The MTR will also see an integration of Annual Performance Agreement and budget allocations for 2021-2022 to narrow down to those activities that align with the overall national priorities.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering expressed that the MTR must be done seriously for all the agencies, as it serves as the foundation of the next plan.

 “The need to revisit the five-year planning mechanism was also highlighted in the context of the fast changing modern world.”  

“The MTR, which starts today, will conjure a heightened appreciation of our collective accomplishments in such difficult times,” Lyonchhen said.

The session started with the assessment of the programs and activities under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA).

The ministry has got six programs which include to enhance growth the sector diversification, to promote export, use of alternative renewable energy, to enhance sustainable hydropower generation and transmission, to reduce and assess risk associated with geo-hazards, and to enhance public services delivery.

The total initial outlay is Nu 3,355mn with 55 indicators.

Of which, Nu 2118.75mn was allocated to enhance growth the sector diversification, Nu 110.25mn to promote export and Nu 116.50 for use of alternative renewable energy program.

In addition, Nu 177.50mn was allocated to enhance sustainable hydropower generation and transmission, Nu 44.79mn to reduce and assess risk associated with geo-hazards, and Nu 787.21mn to enhance public services delivery.

According to MoEA, the budget was revised to Nu 4,989.56mn and with the 55 indicators the ministry has achieved 13, 39 are on track and 3 are at risk.

The assessment of the programs and activities under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) was held on Friday.

Under the ministry, the RNR sector has four objectives – enhance food and nutrition security, accelerate RNR sector growth, enhance sustainable rural livelihood and to promote sustainable management and utilization of natural resources.

Out of 46 indicators, the ministry has so far achieved 10, 32 are on track and 4 indicators are at risk.

According to the ministry, under enhancing food and nutrition security program, 88% vegetable self-sufficiency is achieved.

Total annual vegetable production (18 vegetables) was 47,080MT (2019) – Onion-155MT, T0mato-230MT, and chili-7,673MT. The highest chili was produced by Paro with 1,066MT, followed by Tsirang with 183MT. The highest quantity of beans was produced by Punakha with 379MT.

The ministry stated that the way forward on vegetables included onion, chili, and tomato as mandatory vegetables with targets of 257MT for tomato, 172MT for onion and 8,441 MT for chili.

It was also apprised that a total of 40,708 acres were brought under assured irrigation (Cumulative achievements) with 12 major irrigations channels constructed/renovated centrally, benefitting 1,755 households, covering 3,657 acres in seven dzongkhags.

According to the MoAF, there are 5,369.5km of electric fencing in the country. About 2,169.5km of electric fencing were constructed in two years, covering 14,020 acres and benefiting 920 households. The longest electric fencing was installed in Wangdue with 670km, followed by Bumthang with 361km.

Likewise, the country’s dairy self-sufficiency is 93%, stated MoAF. About 57,546MT of milk (2,126MT of butter and 4,090MT of cheese) was produced annually. The total national consumption of dairy products stands at 69,092MT against the domestic production of 63,763MT.

During the session, the MoAF submitted the overall financial progress; the initial outlay was Nu 3,050.35mn and budget as of March 2021 was 5,450mn and about 91.90% budget utilization against the initial outlay.

Meanwhile, the assessment of the programs and activities under the Ministry of Labor was held with four key focus areas, including Build Bhutan Project, TVET reforms initiative and Coursera and Skill share among others.

The ministry highlighted that with the Build Bhutan Project, around 633 people are engaged. Under skilling, there are 451 who had completed and 261 are undergoing training with 36 established specialized firms.

According to the ministry, a total of 11,742 have applied for the program, 10,033 were provided access to the coursera program. A total of 6,843 learners joined the program.

In skill share program, about 1,000 learners are currently enrolled in the program since February this year. They will have access to 30,000 plus online courses till February next year.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu