Draft Five-Year Plan critical: DPT

Discontinuing it will be a big blunder, says the DPT

Having learnt that the present government is adamant on discontinuing the time-tested development planning tradition of preparing a draft Five-Year Plan, the Opposition Party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, maintained that this abrupt decision will have huge implications, seriously disrupting the socio-economic development and overall governance of the country.

“The Opposition Party is deeply concerned about it,” states the press release issued by the party on September 9.

According to the DPT, preparation of a draft Five-Year Plan is critical to inclusive, equitable and balanced outcomes of socio-economic development of the country. It provides continuity from one plan to another, and forms an important basis for an elected government to build its five-year development plans and programmes in line with the overarching national vision and goals.

“The immediate impact of the absence of a draft Five-Year Plan will include: affecting equity in planning and resource allocation, regional balanced development, independence of local governments and professionalism of civil service, among others,” states the press release.

“Dangerously, it will lead to highly arbitrary and politicised planning and resource allocation, undermining the functions of different institutions of governance, local governments, for example.”

As a draft plan will be critical to both domestic and external resource planning and mobilization too, the DPT stated that it will be a big blunder thus on the part of the present government to do away with the practice of preparing a draft Five-Year Plan.

“With just two years left to end the present plan and the tenure of the present government, it will be timely to be start the preparatory works. Further, new local governments will be in place by early 2022,” states the press release.

The DPT has, therefore, strongly urged the government to immediately advise the Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat to initiate the process of drafting the 13th Five-Year Plan to ensure a professional, seamless and progressive planning and development.

Staff Reporter from Thimphu