PM’s Inaugural Week and the Transformative Voyage Ahead

It has been a demanding week for Prime Minister (PM) Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay, marked by a multitude of responsibilities as he attended to the call of duty. Ranging from signing and issuing executive orders to welcoming citizens coming forth to offer their wishes, the PM’s week was filled to the brim. The week also saw the visit of Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwartra to Bhutan. The PM further visited Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), and the new Desuup center in Choego.

These events underscore the tasks at hand and the pressing urgency accompanying them. Beyond fulfilling some pledges of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which require the Royal Monetary Authority’s (RMA) green signal, collaborative efforts between the government and the Central Bank are essential to revitalize the economy.

Lyonchhen’s visit to JDWNRH reflects acknowledgment of the challenges faced by the country’s premier health center. As the hospital aims to become a multi-specialty facility, retaining healthcare staff becomes crucial amidst their increasing migration to other countries. Addressing this workforce challenge is imperative.

The brief but significant visit to Choego aimed to explore the effective integration of Desuups, who completed the De-suung Skilling Programs (DSP), into the labor market. This initiative needs to go beyond Desuups, to tackle both unemployment and the shortage of skilled labor.

Indian support is crucial for the 13th Plan and the stimulus plan that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rode high on through its campaign. We do not know if this was discussed during the visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary. But the people believed the PDP saying that the Nu 15 billion is ready. And the people are waiting!

While we do not know the intensity of the internal rumblings, words have it that some supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are not very happy with the composition of the cabinet. This is not new in politics. Given an opportunity, everyone would prefer the orange to the blue. The PM is known for holding his flock together. He did this even when the party was not part of the parliament. Thus, the government can navigate such challenges adeptly.

Similarly, just as there are supporters, there are also people questioning the lifting of the Nu 10 entry fee at the Pedestrian Terminal in Phuentsholing. The PM would have seen this coming when they drafted their contract with the people. However, as pledged, the government did away with it.

The events of the first week are just indications of what lies ahead. The PM and his nine-member cabinet did not have a day to rest once they took on their sacred responsibilities. The coming days will be no different. This is the beginning of the five-year journey; one where every move of the government will go through the citizens’ microscope, where leaders will be applauded and criticized, when moments will require the PM to sometimes hold back and at other times push forward.

Bhutan is set for exciting times.