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Highlights from Question Hour

Posted on :16 May 2017

Taxation on cash crops questioned

The Member from Dophuchen-Tading constituency questioned the Minister for Finance on taxation policy on agricultural products specifically on tax incentives pertaining to cash crops. In his response, the Minister for Finance clarified that the taxes pertaining to cash crops were not introduced by the present government but was already in practice as per the Income Tax Act of 2001. He also informed that there is a provision for 30% tax deduction on cash crops applicable at present which may include expenditures and highlighted that total exemption of tax would not be possible for the government.

 

Status of Chamkharchu hydropower project questioned

The status of works on Chamkharchu Hydropower project was questioned by the Member from Panbang constituency. The Minister for Economic Affairs answered that the works pertaining to Chamkharchu hydropower project could not be started despite the completion of the Detailed Project Report mainly because the concessional agreement for the Kholongchu hydropower project could not be finalized. A Special Committee of Experts has been constituted and tasked to study and make recommendations. It was added that once the concessional agreement for the Kholongchu hydropower project was finalized the same would be applicable for other three joint venture projects including the Chamkharchu hydropower project.

 

Employment status questioned

The Minister for Labor & Human Resources was questioned by the Member from Kengkhar Weringla constituency on the utilization of the supplementary budget of Nu. 262.808 million which was approved last year. It was also questioned on the number of people employed after the passing of the supplementary budget. Responding to the query, the Minister said that that supplementary budget was mainly used in implementing various employment programs like the overseas employment scheme. He further informed the House that a total of 2,208 people have been given employment so far and a total of Nu.80 million was spent with works still in progress.

 

Strengthening the private sector questioned

The Member from Boomdeling-Jamkhar constituency questioned on the government’s plan to develop the private sector. He said that the private sector was already being affected since the government has established many business ventures thereby depriving the private sector. Answering the query, the Minister for Economic Affairs said that ever since Bhutan started treading on the path of modernization, the government had always initiated the projects which were not within the capacity of the private sector and was gradually handed over to the later. He however said that at present, indications were in favor of positive growth of the private sector. It was informed that increase in payment of taxes by the private sector, increase in the loans availed and the higher ranking of Bhutan in the ease of doing business in the region were all indicating of the growth of private sector.

 

 

 

 

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