DPT was the first democratically elected government that came to power with a landslide majority in 2008 winning 45 of the total 47 seats. Since it was an unchartered territory, DPT faced numerous daunting challenges during the formative days. The glare of our expectant public and that of the international community were upon us and every move we made was scrutinized, analyzed and judged by the public and the media. Our actions were often put through the highest standards of moral compass and performance barometers. Despite those seemingly insurmountable challenges, we have reasons to believe that we did well for the following reasons:
- In any democratic system, the transition is rift with controversies and teething problems. However, DPT was able to see through the transition without any major problems.
- The success and failure of a democratic government is judged by the fulfillment or non fulfilment of its campaign pledges. For the period 2008 – 2013, DPT prepared a broad range of 153 pledges encompassing almost all sectors of our country’s socio-economic domain. Despite numerous formidable challenges, at the end of our term in 2013, we were able to fulfill 151 pledges (98%) and only 2 pledges remained unfulfilled (2%). To justify our claim of achieving 98% of our pledges, the following are some of our major achievements that impacted the lives of every single Bhutanese:
- Started 5 hydropower projects – Dagachu, Punatsangchu I & II; Mangdechu; and Nikachu.
- Expanded our road networks by 5,980 Kilometers (3,400 km of farm road) easing the drudgery of having to walk long distances and opening up markets to farm produces.
- Provided electricity to some 40,000 households, illuminating people’s lives and enhancing economic opportunities.
- Enabled mobile phone connectivity to all 20 Dzongkhags, 205 gewogs and almost all villages, facilitating the ease of communication and bridging the gap of geographical distance.
- Took education to the doorstep by opening up Extended Class Rooms (ECR) all over the country, eventually achieving 100% Universal Primary Enrolment.
- Likewise, health sector received one of the highest priority and annual budget allocated to the sector was consistently one of the highest. The system of ‘mobile ambulance’ was initiated for the first time to save precious lives and ease the burden of scarce transportation facility in rural areas. We fulfilled our pledge of providing 2 doctors and 2 ambulances to every Dzongkhag hospital.
- While our campaign pledge was to bring down the unemployment rate to 2.5 % (full employment as per ILO’s definition), through concerted efforts of planning, programming, and implementation of effective employment policies, we were able to bring down the rate of unemployment from 4.1% (2008) to 2.1% (2013) exceeding our target and expectations.
- Finally, the cumulative impact
- Ωof all the aforementioned achievements were manifested in the reduction of poverty from 26.7% to a mere 12% at the end of our term.
The foregoing are not an exhaustive list of our achievements but just some of our major accomplishments quoted to lend credence to our claim that we are a party with a proven track record in terms of leadership and performance.