Opposition warns unemployment will worsen under this government

The Opposition party has warned that unemployment problem in the country will only become worse during this government’s term.

Speaking at the Opposition’s Press Conference on Thursday, Member of Parliament (MP) from Pangbang, Dorji Wangdi, said that the biggest problem in the country is unemployment and that it is going to aggregate and become worse.

“Looking at the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP), the unemployment problem in the country is going to get worse than what it is today,” he said. “When the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), growth rate is modest it clearly means that the government is not going to invest in the bigger projects and when there is no major investment in major projects there will be no employment opportunities.”

Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi said that the present youth unemployment rate is 12.3% and the government plans to reduce it to around 9%. “Their target should be to reduce youth unemployment rate to 2-3%. Only if the government aims to reduce to 2-3% then the government may reach to 5-6% or to 7-8%.”

He said that there is no ambition to resolve the issues and unemployment issue being one of the biggest problems in the country should be the main focus of the government.  “We have to plan to provide variety of jobs and job seekers should freely choose their jobs depending upon their interests,” said MP.

In addition, DewathangGomdar MP, Ugyen Dorji, said that unemployment rate is increasing every year.

He said that in 2008, the unemployment rate was 4.1 % and DrukPhuensumTshogpa (DPT) pledged that during the due time of five years, it will reduce the unemployment rate to 2.1 %.

“As pledged by the DPT, in 2013, DPT reduced the unemployment rate to 2.1% and it was one of the significant achievements of DPT,” said the MP Ugyen Dorji.

However, he said that during the time of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the unemployment rate increased to 3.1 %. “Youth unemployment rate in 2013 was 9.6% and in 2018 the youth unemployment rate increased to 12.3%.”

Further, he said that regarding unemployment issues, the government has pledged to provide 5,000 employment opportunities yearly, which means 25,000 employment opportunities will be created in five years. However, he said that according to the 12th FYP, about 81,686 jobs have to be created within five years.

 “But the government’s pledge is to create only 25,000 employment opportunities in five years of the 81,686 jobs that has to be created within five years according to 12th FYP,” said MP Ugyen Dorji.

If only 25,000 jobs are created in five years, he said, the deficit comes to around 61,686. “There is a need for the government to come up with proper plans and policies to solve the issue.”

Another employment problem according to MP Ugyen Dorji is an oversea employment issues.

He said that the government has pledged to have different plans on how to tackle overseas employment problems like establishing of monitoring mechanism scheme to monitor the youths and to solve the problems related to youths working overseas. “But if we look at the present scenario of our youths working in Japan, it is high time for the government to look into the matter,” he said.

Dramedtse-Ngatsang MP, UgyenWangdi, said that rather than importing foreign domestic workers, school drop outs can take up the profession if given a reasonable salary, which will basically create employment within country.

“The shortages of caregivers in the country as of now can be because families are not willing to pay more, rather they go for cheap foreign workers,” he said.

Jigme Wangchen from Thimphu