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Finance Minister presents the Budget and Appropriation Bill 2019-2020

Posted on :18 June 2019

The 18th sitting began with the Finance Minister, Hon. Namgay Tshering presenting the National Budget and Appropriation Bill 2019-2020 and Supplementary Budget & Appropriation Bill for FY 2018-19 as approved by the National Assembly on 14th June 2019. Fifteen Hon. Members raised questions to the Minister on the Bill.

In presenting the Bill, the Hon. Minister reported that the key objective of the Budget is to ensure economic growth and stability as a means to achieve the objectives of the 12th FYP. He said that the Budget also reflects the commitment of the Government in narrowing the gap and fulfilling the aspirations of the people.

The Hon. Minister briefly provided an overview of the report for the 2019-2020 budget which broadly covered economic overview; fiscal policy; resources; expenditure covering the budget for FY 2019-2020, revised budget for FY 2018-2019 and annual financial statement for FY 2017-2018; public debt; fiscal risk and financial position of public sector institutions and investments.

Reporting on the Annual Budget for the FY 2019-2020, the total resource estimate was reported at Nu. 54, 619.179 million with a total estimated expenditure of Nu.61,197.307 million. Fiscal deficit was reported at 3.04% of the GDP.

The Supplementary Appropriation for the FY 2018-2019 was submitted for Nu. 1,627.410 million and the revised budget amounting to sum not exceeding Nu. 49,325.539 million up to period ending March 2019.

The Budget Appropriation for the FY 2019-2020 is for a sum not exceeding Nu. 64,826.725 million and the funds for the appropriation would be drawn from the Consolidated Fund of the Royal Government of Bhutan. 
During the financial year 2019-2020, the economy is estimated to grow at 7.2 %, which will be mainly contributed by the commissioning of Mangdechhu Hydropower Project and implementation of programs under the financial year 2019-2020.

The gewog budget will be allocated as annual grants and the Dzongkhag Development Grant has been enhanced. This was initiated in order to provide flexibility in the use of budget besides promoting ownership and accountability in the LG level.

After the presentation of the Bill, the Minister responded to questions related to fiscal deficit management; grants & domestic revenue; repayment, current and capital expenditure; rupee issues status quo; mitigating refinancing risks; utilization of allocated budget for LGs; external borrowing; tourism flagship programme; implementation of guidelines for farm-road construction; budget allotment for farm road development; clarification on National Service Programme; endowment fund; and minimization of lending rates amongst many.

Tomorrow, the House will continue with the deliberation on the Bill.



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