GDP growth of 2.05 percent is unacceptable for a small country like ours, says PM
The economy of our country for the year 2013 has grown by 2.05 percent of GDP as compared to 5.07 percent of the GDP of the previous year. The growth has slowed down by about 3 percentage point. However, the average growth in the last five years showed at 6.7 percent.
The decline in the growth was attributed by some sectors which showed a negative growth to the extent of 8 percent.
During the 13th meet the press session last Friday, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.05 percent is unacceptable for a small country like ours and that too compounded with serious fiscal problems, rupee issues and foreign currency issues.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said that the maintenance of the rupee shortage is because of the administration and poor management of monetary and fiscal policy. He further added that the growth rate has been declining and a series of problems over the past few years which have expressed themselves at this decimal growth rate in 2013.
The government has taken corrective actions, opened up trade and also exercising fiscal discipline and ensuring that monetary policy is reasonable. This is why though we have opened up trade in areas that has been closed, the rupee situation has improved, said the Lyonchhen.
He further mentioned that we have a rupee surplus, and we have sufficient foreign currency reserves that are growing to make matters better and we have large amounts of projects at hand.
However, Lyonchhen said that these figures would mislead, because the current rupee reserve is associated with the money from the economic stimulus plan (ESP) and for the hydropower projects construction.
For the construction sector, Lyonchhen said that a loan in 11th FYP is estimated at Nu 100bn, so there are lots that can strengthen our economy but going back to work, are we going to work hard, there are lots of hydropower projects on line, lots of other infrastructure works, whether schools, roads, farm roads or the geog roads that are going to be constructed.
While government is emphasizing for the self sufficiency, Lyonchhen said that government is giving lot of emphasize on agriculture productivity and government hope to increase domestic productivity, replace the need of imported goods and will increase the exports outside the country.
He further mentioned that in that way, Bhutan can have growth and a healthy current account situation. We can have growth and not have to deal with rupee crisis and that was the situation until a few years ago.
Lyonchhen said that government has targeted at 10 percent on average and growth without excessive pressure on monetary system.
The only way to ensure the route is by increasing the productivity within the country, Lyonchhen said that five jewels has been identified, for instance hydropower, agriculture and manufacturing, business and minerals, tourism for the growth of the economy.
Meanwhile, according to the Lyonchhen a foreign currency reserve as of 30th September 2014, was at US $ 879 mn and as of 30th June, 2013 it was at US$721mn and there has been increase by Nu.158 mn.
He further mentioned that about rupee reserve, as of 30th June 2013, rupee reserves have been 5.93 bn and today as of 30th September, 2014 it was 14.29 bn. He said that it has risen up by 8.36bn.