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Finance Minister introduces Budget Bills

Posted on :10 June 2020

The Finance Minister presented the National Budget Report for the FY 2020-21, and introduced the Budget Appropriation Bill for the FY 2020-21 and Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill for the FY 2019-20 to the House today. He informed the House that, with the theme of ‘Economic Resilience and Transformation’, the budget for the FY 2020-21 is aimed at intensifying and accelerating the implementation of programs and activities. The budget for FY 2020-21 is tabled in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the global economic situation and Bhutan is no exception.

The Finance Minister reported that the Budget Appropriation for the FY 2020-21 is for a sum not exceeding Nu. 73.98 billion, of which Nu. 32.90 billion is for current expenditure and Nu. 36.25 billion for capital expenditure. He informed that the domestic revenue for FY 2020-21 is estimated to decline by 14% and the economic growth for 2020 is projected at - 1.1% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The total public debt as on 31st March 2020 stood at Nu. 192.96 billion. He also introduced the Supplementary Budget Appropriation for the FY 2019-20 for a sum not exceeding Nu. 1.03 billion. 

The Hon’ble Minister said that the government has, upon the Royal Command, established National Resilience Fund of Nu. 30 billion to support Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu and 50% of the three-month interest waiver on loan. He informed the House that about 15,000 people have benefitted from the Relief Kidu and about 1,45,000 borrowers from the interest waiver. He also shared information on the government’s Fiscal Measures, Economic Contingency Plan and Monetary Measures. He also informed the House that the government, at present, has incurred a total expenditure of Nu. 1.4 billion for COVID-19 response. 

The Hon’ble Minister stated that in order to meet the cost of recurrent expenditure from internal resources, the government will implement budget policies such as rationalizing in-country and ex-country travels; deferring Leave Travel Concession (LTC) payments; not hiring private building for office space; postponing the activation of salary indexation; withholding the transfer benefits; deferring the option of monetizing Vehicle Quota; and providing the current budget as Block grants. 

Following the introduction, there was a Q&A session regarding electricity subsidy, budget policies, block grants, Renewable Natural Resources and roads amongst others.

The House will deliberate on the Bills tomorrow.

 

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