19 January, 2008 - Prime Minister Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji formally announced yesterday in Thimphu the formation of the GNH commission, which will combine the functions of the Planning Commission and the Committee of Secretaries and streamline the philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) in the countrys plans and policies.
This will bring about greater efficiency and better coordination as the government functions as one body treading the same path towards a common goal, said the prime minister.
The prime minister will chair the commission with the cabinet secretary as vice-chairperson and all government secretaries, including the head of the national environment commission secretariat, as its members. The present planning commission secretariat will assume the role of GNH commission secretariat.
The Center for Bhutan Studies (CBS) will develop practical and target-oriented indicators for GNH and provide feedback on issues under consideration in the GNH commission, said the prime minister. The Bhutan Development Index (BDI), being developed by CBS, will be adopted by the government as our development measure.
The prime minister also said that the commission will initiate an independent think tank on policy and governance issues, so that through its studies and research it will be able to play a critical role in objective evaluation of policy implications.
He added that all ministries will have a GNH committee and it will comprise of the secretary as chairman, the directors as members and the chief planning officer as member-secretary to the committee. Such a system will be developed for the dzongkhags and gewogs in the most effective manner possible, he said.
According to the prime minister, the GNH-ization of plans and policies will focus on the immediate tasks of promoting the objectives: investing in the nations greatest asset, in harmony with tradition and nature, effective and good governance and developing a dynamic economy as the foundation of a vibrant democracy.
By Phuntsho Choden