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Introduction of the National Budget Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2016-17

Posted on :14 June 2016

Today, the Hon’ble Minister for Finance (MoF) presented the National Budget to National Council (NC). In doing so, the Minister introduced appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2016-17, Supplementary Budget and Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2015-16 and Revised Taxes and Levies Bill of Bhutan 2016 as per Article 13.2 of the Constitution of Bhutan. 

The Minister, while presenting the Annual Budget report for the Fiscal Year 2016-17, reported that the total resources estimated for the FY 2016-17 is Nu. 41,605.862 million of which the domestic revenue is Nu. 27,247.169 million and external grants is Nu. 14,338.693. Total estimated expenditure of Nu. 51,884.367 million consists of about  49% of current and 51% capital expenditure.
 

Following the presentation, members took turn to seek clarification on various aspects of the Budget ranging from the roles of the Finance Committee of the National Assembly on the budget process and their recommendations on the budget, the government’s basis to measure the goal of economic self-reliance  since 2013, the government have the plan to share the 11th plan Mid-term report with the Parliament and its impact on the impact of the 2016-17 budget, Dzongkhag Development Grant and its guidelines, the implication of revising tax bracket and granting education allowance on the revenue projection and the government’s plan on the pool vehicles system.

 

Based on the recommendations from NC, the budget now has a separate chapter on the current status of the hydropower sector and its development activities. Hydropower is one of the largest sectors and main driver of our economy. The details of annual capital budget of Dzongkhags and Gewogs were also included in the budget for greater transparency and information based on the recommendation of NC from its past session. Some of the NC’s recommendations from the past session that has been accepted by National Assembly and included in the budget provision for the construction of farm road be moved from Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement as per the Road Act of Bhutan, procurement of vehicle for Drangpons to facilitate justice, The budget also has a separate chapter on Foreing Direct Investment (FDI). It was also reported that as of December 2015, a total of 4,473 employees are being employed in 33 FDI projects.

In conclusion, the Chairperson acknowledged the due regard accorded by National Assembly on the recommendations and comments passed by NC for improving the budget.  

The deliberation on the budget will continue after the question and answer session with the Hon’ble Minister for Works and Human Settlement on 16th June 2016. 

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