Bhutan has launched its comprehensive National Development Plan (CNDP) for 2030.
The CNDP, launched on June 27, identified various issues such as an increase in rural-urban migration, mainly from east to west.
This is believed to cause labour shortages leading to increased fallow agricultural land and fragmentation of socio-cultural values in rural areas.
The project will promote well-balanced development between urban and rural areas. Identifying fragmentation of policies, plans and programmes as a major concern, the plan was aimed to facilitate a coordinated approach to development.
The report highlighted the importance of integrated sectorial interventions in development of special economic zones, industrial estates, hydro-power projects, tourism, farming, and agro-based industries.
Works and human settlement minister, Dorji Tshering said that the essence of development has diluted among laws, plans, and policies.
“Development and urbanization had left unwanted by-product – rural-urban migration and regional disparity among societies,” he said, adding, “This indicates that the development activities were not on the right track.”
However, he said that the formulation of CNDP came at the right time. The report will be the mother document for all developmental activities in the country.
One of the causes of domestic migration was the gap in happiness levels between urban and rural areas. According to the third GNH survey 2015, the GNH index in urban areas was estimated at 0.811, compared to 0.731 in rural areas. Also, according to Poverty Analysis 2012, the poverty rate in urban areas was around 1.8 per cent to 16.7 per cent in rural areas.
Bhutan is the only country in the world that lays more emphasis on happiness than just economic development.