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Motion to improve the livelihood of highlanders discussed

Posted on :16 May 2017

A 13 member ad-hoc committee formed on drawing recommendations for the improvement of livelihood of highlanders presented its report to the House today. As the Chairperson of the committee, the Leader of the Opposition whose constituency also consists of highlanders presented the report. The report included various recommendations from improving banking facilities to enabling easy access to helicopter services at high altitude places. It was also recommended that tourism in high altitude areas be further promoted among others.


Deliberating on the report, the Minister for Finance expressed that banking services for people in remote places were being provided by the Bhutan Development Bank Limited and that it was committed to enhance the banking service. Similarly, the Minister for Agriculture & Forest informed that in a bid to improve the livelihood of the highlanders, various initiatives have been undertaken including revision of the Forestry & Natural Conservation Rules & Regulations and the next annual budget would include an endowment fund for crops and livestock among others.


The Health Minister also took the floor to inform that the health ministry was already working on enhancing the health services for highlanders as recommended by the committee. He highlighted that the helicopter services and the Mobile Health Clinic under the patronage of His Majesty the King has greatly benefitted people living in the high altitude areas.


The Minister for Information & Communication informed that Government to Citizens Service (G2C) has been introduced in 200 Gewogs and only five Gewogs remain to be connected with the service. He said that while the works for introduction of G2C services in four remaining Gewogs were underway, the Bhutan Power Corporation is yet to finish its share of work in Lunana Gewog. It was further informed that a separate mobile network through terrestrial connection was being worked out for Lunana. On the introduction of satellite phone in high altitude places, the Minister said that the South Asian Satellite recently launched by India will hopefully help on the matter.


On the recommendation to strengthen law and order in high altitude places, the Minister for Home & Cultural Affairs informed that in addition to the role played by the highlanders in the security of the high altitude territories, the armed forces were also rendering their service. He also reported that adequate training was being provided for promotion of local culture and arts including to those from high altitude places.


Concluding the deliberation, the House resolved that while most of the recommendations submitted by the committee were being implemented, the other recommendations should also be considered for implementation by the government.  




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