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The National Assembly resumes to discuss the National Budget for the FY 2020-21

Posted on :01 June 2020

In accordance with Article 14, Section 8 of the Constitution of Bhutan and on Royal Kasho to resume the Third Session to discuss the Budget,  the Finance Minister presented the National Budget for the FY 2020-21, Budget Appropriation Bill for the FY 2020-21, Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill for the FY 2019-20 to the House today.

The Finance Minister tabled the Budget Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2020-21 for a sum not exceeding Nu. 73,989.881 million including repayment and on-lending.  Of which Nu. 32,900.00 million is the current budget and Nu. 41,089.881 million is the capital budget. The appropriation is to be drawn from the Consolidated Fund of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB).

The Finance Minister also tabled the Supplementary Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2019-20 for a sum not exceeding Nu. 1,031.062 million on account incorporation of donor funded activities and technical adjustment. The revised budget after supplementary appropriation is for a sum not exceeding Nu. 66,756.064 million, including Nu. 898.277 million tabled as Supplementary Appropriation Bill for the FY 2019-20 in the beginning of the Session. The supplementary appropriation is to be drawn from the consolidated fund of the RGoB.

Reporting on the National Budget for the FY 2020-21, the Finance Minister informed that that the COVID 19 has caused global health crisis and economic downturn and has also adversely affected Bhutan. He reported on the measures taken by the government to improve the economic growth prospects, create employment opportunities and address immediate economic challenges. Some of the measures reported were the establishment of the National Resilience Fund of Nu 30 billion as per the Royal Command, to support the initiative of Druk Gyalpo Relief and 50% of three month of interest waiver on loan. About 15,000 people and 145,460 borrowers have benefitted from the Kidu and bank interest waiver respectively. The Finance Minister also reported on the Fiscal Measures, Economic Contingency Plan and Monetary Measures. The theme adopted for the budget 2020-21 was “Economic Resilience and Transformation

The Finance Minister informed that the overall revenue for the FY 2020-21 is estimated to decrease by 14% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has also readjusted the recurrent budget within the estimated domestic revenue, considering the revenue situation and constitutional requirement. It was also reported that fiscal deficit remains at 7% against fiscal target of 5%. However, the Finance Minister reported that the transmission of fiscal and monetary measures supported by higher capital budget allocation is expected to boost demand, increase economic activities and generate employment, helping steer the economy back on track.

The House referred the Bills to the Economics and Finance Committee for further deliberation. The Committee is scheduled to report back its finding and recommendation to the House on 6 June 2020.

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