<strong>Minister says development between rural and urban areas should go together</strong> 

Minister says development between rural and urban areas should go together 

During question hour on June 20, 2023, the National Assembly (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) Dr.Ph.D Passang Dorji of Bartsham Shongphu constituency, Trashigang, questioned Minister Ugyen Dorji, Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), about the government’s plan to balance rural prosperity and urban wellbeing. 

The MP underlined that in the next 10–15 years, about 70% of the population will be urban. He expressed his concerns about the implications of this trend, such as the increase in gungtong, the threat to food security, and the challenges to achieve economic self-reliance. 

The MP said, “If the problem is unsolved, there are chances that it will impact the country’s sovereignty and security.” 

In response, the MoHA minister said that both rural and urban areas need to be developed simultaneously. 

The minister said that all necessary facilities, including schools and healthcare services, are being extended to remote villages and communities, ensuring their well-being. 

However, the minister said, many educated youth are compelled to migrate to urban areas, including abroad, in search of better opportunities. 

The minister also highlighted several ongoing development initiatives. Projects such as the installation of electric fencing to protect farmlands from wild animals, water projects, and road maintenance activities are being undertaken in rural communities at a huge expense. 

The minister also commended the progress made in rural development through the allocation of internal grants from the local government. 

Moreover, the community provides support by providing different skill development and training programs. 

Furthermore, the minister said that the government is actively supporting the rural community by providing skill development training programs. 

However, the minister emphasized the need for adequate trading routes and markets to promote rural entrepreneurship and enable the sale of locally produced goods. Thus, the minister stressed the significance of urban development alongside rural progress. 

The minister called for policy and development plan reforms in both rural and urban communities to address the evolving needs of the population effectively. 

Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu