English | Dzongkha Friday, October 19, 2018

First-ever ‘National Construction Policy’ in making

Samten Dolkar & Pema Seldon Tshering, Thimphu
Jan 31, 2018

Towards improving and fostering construction sector in the country, a National Construction Policy is in the offing. The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) is in the process of drafting the policy. As part of the initiative, a consultative workshop was held in the capital, today.

Among many issues, the policy will look at strengthening employment opportunities in the construction sector. Today, most construction workers are hired from outside the country. Thimphu alone has more than 9,000 foreign workers against the unemployed youth population of 10,000.

“We see that there a lot of unemployed youth, why are they not attracted to the work in the construction site. So we really need to see what is the issue and accordingly we have to come up with mechanism, strategy and enabling environment,” said Dorji Wangmo, Chief Planning Officer of MoWHS.

The policy also expects to certify engineers, plumbers, and contractors, and improve coordination among the various stakeholders for quality construction. “We will have to come up with various objectives which I was mentioning how we can go about creating jobs,” added the Chief Planning Officer. “How do we go about professionalising sector and strengthening institutional mechanism.”

The draft policy will be submitted to the Gross National Happiness Commission for approval. The construction sector employs over 3000 contractors, contributes to about 16.86 per cent of GDP and employs 3.2 per cent of the labour force.

The government appropriations reveal that about 60 per cent of the total outlay is allocated for procurement, out of which 80 per cent accounts for procurement of construction works.

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