The Opposition Party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), has said the government’s own assessment of its 120-day achievements is overrated and hyped up.
In a press release issued yesterday, DPT stated that on the ground, the government’s delivery did not match their assessment and did not meet the expectations of the public at large.
“Only one pledge, i.e. the institution of the Pay Commission, was fully achieved. Around four others were achieved partially, which includes the removal of Class X cutoff point and Class VI examinations, resolving taxi issues, establishment of tourism development board and private sector development committee. The rest remain unfulfilled,” states the press release.
While it’s understandable that the government needs time to study and experiment, the Opposition also asked whether or not such luxury can be afforded.
However, the Opposition congratulated the government for successfully completing its 120 days in government and expressed its appreciation on the government’s efforts to inform the nation on the delivery of its 25 pledges.
In its own assessment, the government claimed having fulfilled most of its pledges, but DPT maintained that these claims should be subjected to proper scrutiny and interpretation by the public.
Contrary to what the government claimed, DPT is vehement that the government has not fulfilled the majority of their pledges.
The Opposition Party’s assessment, according to the press release, is based on the premises of language used by the government to interpret the pledges, what it said about their pledges on campaign platform, the social and economic implications of the government’s pledges, and Opposition’s Stand and Approach.
On the positive side, according to the assessment of the government’s delivery of its 120-day pledges by DPT, the government made a good start in bringing the people together and expressed their appreciation on its efforts to be more inclusive in decision- making. .
DPT stated that the most significant pledge that the government has tried to implement was the removing of the Class X cutoff point.
According to the press release, this controversial move, despite concerns expressed by the Opposition and other stakeholders, was “bulldozed” by the government. Why and how this pledge was implemented leaves us with more questions than answers to our current social and economic woes. How this major change in our educations system would bridge the gap between the rich and poor, enhance quality of education, promote private sector participation and growth, improve the labor and employment structure, strengthen the economy and contribute towards a self reliant and healthy nation is difficult to fathom.
“If we go by what was said and reported, then much tongue-twisting and arm-twisting was done to get the private school owners to agree to the government’s terms and conditions. One overriding question is “What are the mechanisms put in place to deal with the thousands of Class XII students who would not qualify for higher studies?” the Opposition asked.
Meanwhile, out of the four pledges, where the government has pledged to establish, DPT stated that only the tourism development board is put in place and could be rated as partially achieved.
“The establishment of a high level committee to draft the vision 2045 document, a dedicated water agency and a private sector development committee, remain unfulfilled and are in a preliminary stage of discussion at best,” it added.
And of the two pledges, where the government pledged to institute, DPT maintained that only the fourth pay commission was fulfilled.
“The pledge to institute mechanisms for delivery of public services in Gewogs and Thromdes through one-stop shops remains unfulfilled as no tangible actions were seen to be taken,” states the press release. .
DPT also maintained that as admitted, the government’s intention to convert the Samrang project into a vegetable farming project was reverted in spite of their claim during the campaign that they will close the farm based on their analysis at that time and in deference to the sentiments of the public.
According to the Opposition, the pledges to develop ‘Sung-Joen App’, provide free access, 24/7, to all online data within the country, enumerate and provide budget to all community Lhakhangs, use electric/hybrid cars by cabinet ministers, etc., are not achieved and no visible actions are seen to be taken.
It also stated that the important and popular pledge to implement free nutritious lunch program in all schools is yet to materialize.
“On the other pledges, which begin with the verbs – identify, review, initiate, contribute etc., there is no basis to offer an objective assessment as a single meeting regardless of the outcome, could be construed as achievement,” states the press release.
Tshering from Thimphu