Going digital, safe and affordable transport and supporting media in MoIC’s APA

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With a total budget allocation of Nu 1,082.47mn in the fiscal year 2019-2020, the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) of the information and communications ministry (MoIC) was signed with Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering yesterday.

The five crucial activities in the APA among others are the spillover construction of a film studio in Thimphu and Cinema Hall in Samdrup Jongkhar, for which a budget of Nu 57mn has been allocated. Additionally, Nu 15.5mn would be used for replacing existing equipment to ensure in making DrukREN (Druk Research and Education Network) operational. It would enable network extending high-speed connectivity to 25 research and education institutes including the Royal University of Bhutan’s colleges and hospitals.

Further, Nu 183.270mn has been allocated for runway resurfacing at the Paro International Airport. And for the Digital Drukyul Flagship programme, from the total allocation of Nu 453.019mn, Nu 15mn is kept for space and satellite initiative of which Nu 10mn would be used for construction and satellite control center and policy development, Nu 4mn for implementation of South Asia Satellite project and Nu 1mn for mandatory meetings on Space and Satellite.

Officiating Secretary of MoIC and Director General of Road Safety and Transport Authority, Pemba Wangchuk, said one of the initiatives to increase public transport is to connect all Dzongkhags to Thimphu with public transport services.

Another program, according to him, is to develop proposal on sustainable media and submit to the Cabinet. He assured on having independent media and look into the sustainability of the media houses. 

Pemba Wangchuk said going digital is challenging because of the changing technology that requires upgrade and human resource.

On procuring 300 electric vehicles to be used as taxis in the next three years, he said 15 charging stations would be installed in Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Paro and 80 electric taxis procured by this year.

He added that the ministry is also requesting ministries and private sector to go for electric cars.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering offered his support for the successful implementation of the programs during the signing event.

“MoIC is small yet powerful as it controls the software of the country and I urge you make use of every component of the Memorandum of Understanding,” Lyonchhen said.

“If we want to digitalize the nation, we should digitalize the mindset of students from the beginning,” he said highlighting the importance of the Digital Drukyul Flagship programme.

He added that media houses can also be included in the national knowledge network and can go international.

Lyonchhen also mentioned introducing one month as APA month from next year where all the agencies and stakeholders take it seriously in discussing and prioritizing the activities.

pic courtesy: facebook (Riku Dhan Subba)

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu

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