My Sincere Submission to the Government of the “Day”

While there has been much hype with regards to Suung-joen app and free WIFI, I don’t think it will be wise on the part of the government to go ahead and do it just because it is in their manifesto. The government should instead take in some [I’m sure this is happening] good proposals from other parties and we should all work together as a Bhutanese to achieve the task of “Narrowing the Gap”.
Let’s make some equations for the planners to slot in numbers. We have 205 gewogs in Bhutan and let’s say each gewog is given only one WIFI hotspots [remember we are not even talking about Chewog as one WIFI hotspot in a Gewog is better than not having it]; say, a monthly charge is jus Nu.500 for WIFI [majority of Bhutanese use more than the data that comes in lieu of Nu.500] = Nu. 1.2 million / year. If we plug in “realistic” numbers [{hotspot number to reach a wider audience (let’s say one for each Chewog) X Realistic monthly charges for data X 12} + maintenance cost + current expenditure], and this is not considering the initial investment of buying equipment; transportation; installation etc., the figure would come-out scary. We will not be able to afford it to keep running.
Now, let’s imagine that the government went on to build Suung-joen app and installed WIFI hotspots to fulfill its pledge. Will the next government continue to keep the money to keep it running? will the next government continue updating and improving the app? Even if the answer to these questions is Yes, can Bhutan afford? As we gear to graduate from LDC in 2023, it is about time for us to reduce freebies and focus on improved service delivery to our people. Thus, my submission would be:
– improve existing G2C apps [reduce the inputs required to lodge an application and make it a computer operated application until it reaches approving authority]
– bundle all G2C apps into one mobile app [include paying electricity bill; phone bills; house rent; renewing vehicle registration; paying insurance; etc]
– initiate a discussion to make mobile data affordable to the public [basically saying give more data for the same amount of money (Nu. 99;299;499 etc.)]
I’m sure people will thank the government more than the Suung-joen and freeWIFI. I may be wrong as I may be totally missing another point of view.

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