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Bhutan’s economic growth rate at 8.1%

Jul 10 2012

The Prime Minister, Jigmi Y. Thinley said the country’s economic growth rate in the past one year was at 8.1 percent. He was presenting the State of the Nation report in the parliament, yesterday.

Bhutan was ranked second in the South Asia and 11th in the world by the real GDP growth rate for the year 2011. The list of the countries was prepared by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Lyonchhoen said the growth was driven by the industry with hydropower constructions contributing 44.1 percent followed by the service sector at 37.4 percent. The primary sector including agriculture, livestock and forestry contributed 15.1 percent.

In terms of minimum programme for accelerating poverty eradication, 22 gewogs out of 49 have been connected with the motor-able road in the 10th Five Plan.

About 80 percent of the families in the country now have access to electricity as of March this year. Lyonchhoen said the remaining households will be electrified by 2012-13. He said funds have been secured and the implementation of the rural electrification is under progress.

Lyonchhoen admitted that their commitment to deliver a minimum of three doctors in every Dzongkhag Hospital was a challenge.   Currently 11 Dzongkhags have three doctors each and five Dzongkhags have two doctors and the remaining four have one doctor each.

“The progress on this front has been challenging because besides the difficulty in the new recruitment, even if we did, we are unable to afford the amount they demand.” Lyonchhoen said a number of existing doctors are undergoing specialization trainings abroad. “However with accelerated mobilisation programme in place, we are optimistic in fulfilling our commitment by 2013.”

In terms of universal primary school enrollment, the gross enrollment ratio for primary education as of 2011 was 120 percent.

Lyonchhoen also said that access to safe drinking water have increased from 69 percent in 2008 to 94 percent in 2011. However he said there still are pockets in the country where supply of safe drinking water through conventional methods is not feasible. He added that alternative technologies in form of rain water harvesting and pumping water were being implemented.

All 205 gewogs centres now have mobile services.

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