An agriculture enthusiast among NC aspirants from Chhukha

A Royal Thimphu College graduate and an agriculture enthusiast is one among the many aspiring candidates who would be contesting in the upcoming National Council elections this year from Chukha Dzongkhag.

Hem Kumar Ghalley, 32, said he would look into the policies favoring rural farmers if elected. He reasoned that most of the people are rural farmers and that their livelihood is at stake from degrading agricultural productivity.

“The time has come for the government to stress more to help these farmers as they are the backbone of the nation,” he said, adding that his priority would be on the upliftment of rural livelihood through various policies. He also plans to revisit the current policies that have not brought positive impacts to the nation. “There are other issues and policies where people are impacted negatively. Time has come for the policy makers to review which I am planning to work on it with proper consultation with the local communities,” he said He added that modern agriculture has still remained backward and if not addressed it would compel the youth to add to the increasing trend of rural-urban migration.

“The prices of farm products like cardamom and ginger, a primary source of earning for the farmers, have fallen and the time has come for the government’s necessary intervention in their favor. I would look into developing favorable national policy for these farmers which is my main pledge,” he said.

As a son of a farmer, Hem Kumar Ghalley has also worked on cooperate farming in his village where he plans to use his experience in exploring market situations and be the voice of the people.

He said that Chukha Dzongkhag being one of the highest earning Dzongkhags equally has poverty stricken population at the rural areas.

“This means that there are enough scopes of earning but have not reached the rural communities, resulting in earning gap. I will also focus on the possibilities where those deprived villages will have the access to earning,” he said. Given that the commercial hub of Phuentsholing Throm, the industrial estate in Pasakha and Chhukha hydropower plant are all within Chukha Dzongkhag, Hem Kumar Ghalley plans to let the people reap the full benefits from such institutions by taking advantage of the locations within the Dzongkhag.

“Still people need right directions to reap their economic benefits through various measures. And I will explore every possibility,” he said, assuring that people are least impacted by these establishments but benefitting more through compensation and employment opportunities for them. Hailing from Ramitey in Phuentsholing gewog, Hem Kumar Ghalley has also taken part in the 2013 elections as a candidate from Druk Chirwang Tshogpa.

“Through that experience, I am planning to move ahead as I have witnessed a lot,” he said. Hem Kumar Ghalley also plans to focus on provision of efficient public service delivery and nation’s safety and security, address the housing problems in Phuentsholing, recreational facilities and deprived parents in old age homes. “I will also work on bringing balanced socio economic development and good governance, which are the pillars of Gross National Happiness,” he said.

With the slogan “Together with new thought and new leader”, Hem Kumar Ghalley believes that team work can turn even the impossible to possible. He said with a majority of people’s support he is contesting for the National Council elections.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing