A budget of Nu 1.5bn has been allocated for four industrial parks and these industrial estates would be established by the end of this year.
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering while meeting with the officials from the Department of Industry and Gross National Happiness Commission on Tuesday told them to complete the building infrastructure by the mid of this year.
Since the first government’s term, Motanga Industrial Park in Samdrup Jongkhar, Dhamdum Industrial Park in Samtse, Jigmeling Industrial Estate in Gelephu. Bondeyma Industrial Park in Mongar and Jigmeling Industrial Estate in Gelephu were identified.
The economic affairs ministry received a budget in the middle of the 11th Plan and planning for industrial estates began in the 10th Plan. The actual works like providing electricity, temporary water supply and access roads began from 2016.
Lyonchhen said that government will accelerate the completion of industrial parks within 2021 by giving the required budget and use of additional contractors.
Meanwhile, incomplete infrastructure development at the industrial estates, non-issuance of clearances for various agencies, and bureaucratic hurdles have kept more than 150 applications to set up industries pending,
To boost the economy and enhance private sector development for which industrial park development has to move faster, Lyonchhen said, and the government is trying to sort out these hurdles.
“Industrial park development is a major work of economic affairs ministry and I wanted to find out the status of the parks and what government can do to coordinate the works,” he said.
He added that these applicants could create employment but they are kept waiting while there is a lot of need to solve unemployment. “More graduates are encouraged to do business through entrepreneurship courses, start-up training, but on the other hand, some people who are genuinely interested to do business are still stuck.”
During meeting, Department of Industry’s Director General Yonten Namgyel said that the development works are underway to provide immediate amenities like electricity, water, and roads.
He said that some of the challenges like some areas require clearances, and obtaining them take a long time delaying the entire work.
He added that coordination and waiting for clearances for every work from the National Environment Commission (NEC) takes time but there is no shortage of budget and that the ministry is trying to use the funds wisely.
He added that the government will also expedite approval of business proposals by addressing issues with the environment clearances, immigration and work permit issues or other required clearances.
For Bondeyma Industrial Park in Mongar spanning 110.348 acres of land, a budget of Nu 570mn is projected. Activities worth Nu 152.554mn were completed in the 11th Plan and another Nu 295.0mn fund has been allocated for it in the 12th FYP. At the moment, Nu 53.655mn is allocated for construction of infrastructures (road and street lighting).
Around Nu 2267mn is the projected cost for Dhamdum Industrial Park in Samtse covering 349 acres of land. Nu 322 fund is allocated for 11th FYP activities and Nu 536 for the 12th FYP activities.
Likewise, for Jigmeling Industrial Estate in Gelephu with 649.57 acres of land a budget of Nu 2098.885mn is projected and a total of Nu 265.5mn of 11th FYP activities were completed. A total of Nu 536mn is allocated for the 12th FYP. Further, Nu 142.135mn is allocated for construction of infrastructures (road and street lighting).
Motanga Industrial Park in Samdrup Jongkhar with 155.568 acres of land has a projected budget of Nu 850.25 mn and Nu 100.mn is allocated in the 11th FYP. Nu 300.50mn is fund allocated for 12th FYP. Further, Nu 44.234mn is allocated for construction of infrastructures.
For Bjemina industrial Estate, 32.759 acres of land, and Pasakha Industrial Estate of 188 acres, Nu 75mn is allocated in the 12th FYP. Currently, around 36 and 41 plots are on lease including medium, small and cottage industrials. Widening and improvement of existing internal road and construction of new footpath are still underway.
Kinley Yonten from Thimphu