The five National Council (NC) candidates of Trashigang pledged to solve national and community issues towards achieving socio-economic development, while their primary duties would be to review policies and enact new laws.
Former television anchor of Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS), Sonam Tobgyel, 44, from Phongmey, identified human-wildlife, farm labour shortage, rural-urban migration, water shortage and unbalanced regional development issues.
The population of Trashigang dzongkhag is more than 45,000 and about 11,000 people are living in poverty.
He said that his objective is to alleviate poverty, create income-generating opportunities in the country and improve rural life encouraging to live the village.
For the above issues, Sonam Tobgyel will advocate for equitable distribution of national resources through reasonable budgetary allocation. He will focus to review laws to enable farmers defend sustainable crops damaged by wild life.
He said he would also advocate to increase the national wage rate for lower income group, promote community and eco-tourism in eastern Bhutan and review gewog development activities. Reviewing the timber allocation policy in urban and rural areas will be another priority.
Gongsar Karma Choppel from Radhi said that laws and regulations need to be in tune to the local needs while continuously making concerted effort to address the obvious issues such as disputes over water, conservation of catchment areas, construction within 20-30feet of the road etc. There is also a need to revisit the provision of the Land Act prohibiting the conversion of wetland, Chhuzhing.
He said there is a paradigm shift in thoughts of taking up more vegetable and horticulture in an organic environment, which would lead toward less water demand and be less labor intensive. Such conversion may also lead to less production of green house gases (GHG) to aid the Nation’s Climate Change initiatives.
The exodus of talented youths leaving the country and gungtongs in Trashigang are also concerns. He shared that life in villages are not so comfortable, roads are dusty and bumpy and that for a basic LPG gas people need to undertake a day’s work to ferry from the town. He also said phone network is poor. Several labor contributions, attending death rituals, ad hoc zomdus keep the community engaged and prevent from undertaking any useful income generating endeavors.
He said he would reduce the number of unnecessary zomdus and encourage community to engage in vegetable and horticulture and sell in nearby markets. Improving facilities and reducing social obligations, youths will be encouraged to be in rural areas.
Reviewing policies and enacting new laws to safeguard the sanctity of the Constitution, is what Jakar Dorji from Kangpara said. He also added that he would assist to carry out socio-economic development activities, particularly in the agriculture sector.
He would focus to resolve unemployment crisis with realistic solutions and intervene to address social inequalities. To enact and review Treasury Act 2015 ensuring strict implementation for the benefit both owners and tenants is a prominent pledge.
“I would work hard to ensure that the existing Acts are reviewed to benefit the people and country,” said the 44-year-old candidate.
He pledged to focus on developing agriculture policies and systems, and the youth unemployment issues. “Youth employment issue is increasing by the year. I would priorities youth unemployment problem by reviewing and making new laws.”
He also pledged to review the Tenancy Act of Bhutan 2015 for the benefit of both tenants and landlords. “I will be a trustworthy and responsible representative by reviewing planned activities of the central and local governments.”
Jakar Dorji has a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Canberra, Australia. He worked with Regional Revenue and Customs and was a manager at Bhutan Ferro Alloys Limited.
Sangay Tenzin from Thrimshing pledged to review the existing laws that do not benefit society with multi-pronged interventions.
The candidate would focus on youth related issues and request the government to examine the necessity of any law propose new law in close consultation with electorate for better Drukyul.
Attention of the ministries and relevant stakeholders shall be sought on any matter which is urgent to address public inconveniences.
With a Bachelor in Public Health Sciences, from Khesar Gyalpo University of medical sciences of Bhutan, Sangay Tenzin worked as an Assistant District Health Officer.
Galey Tenzin from Samkhar could not respond to Business Bhutan. During the public debate, he pledged to propose a policy and strategies to address the goongtong problem in consultation with the government.
Former chief environment officer for PHPA, Gongsar Karma Choppel has a master’s degree in Science from Texas State University, the USA.
Sangay Rabten from Thimphu