Achiev­ing self reliance by 2020: PM

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

he Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment from Pan­bang con­stituency, Dorji Wangdi ques­tioned the Prime Min­is­ter dur­ing ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion of the na­tional as­sem­bly last Fri­day with re­gards to the sta­tus of achiev­ing the self-reliance by 2020 as it is one of the most im­por­tant na­tional poli­cies and goal. He asked if we still on the track to achieve the goal by 2020.

Re­spond­ing to the ques­tion, Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay said that ques­tion can be best de­ter­mined af­ter the end of the 11th five year plan and when dis­cus­sions are held for the 12th five year plan. In ad­di­tion, the Prime Min­is­ter in­formed that af­ter the com­ple­tion of hy­dro­elec­tric projects, Bhutan can choose to re­main with­out ex­ter­nal fund­ing pro­vided no fur­ther ex­pen­di­ture is spends on ba­sic in­fras­truc­tures.

Ly­onch­hen added that ev­ery­one knows about the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion of the coun­try be­fore. Dur­ing the year 2013 when the sec­ond gov­ern­ment started gov­ern­ing the coun­try, there were many prob­lems such as short­ages of ru­pee; prob­lems of not get­ting loans and im­ports of goods were pro­hib­ited. To start the 11th Five Year Plan, the grants from for­eign coun­tries were not there but still with such sit­u­a­tion the new gov­ern­ment started to work.

Ly­onch­hen said that to pro­vide Bolero pickup to each Ge­wogs, the bud­get has been al­lo­cated and be­side that the gov­ern­ment has also pro­cured one he­li­copter which is pro­vid­ing its ser­vices and the other is ex­pected some­time next year. He said that there is noth­ing to do with eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion of the coun­try.

When it comes to the hy­dropower project al­though it will be de­layed, but still then the gov­ern­ment is putting the best ef­fort to com­plete the work, Ly­onch­hen as­sured.

The gov­ern­ment has lim­ited bud­get but sel­f­re­liance is very im­por­tant and the al­lo­cated bud­get for 11th five year plan is Nu 213bn and it has in­creased by 46 per­cent as com­pared to 10th five year plan, out of which Nu 121bn is for re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­ture and Nu 92bn is for the cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture.

The Prime Min­is­ter fur­ther said that from Nu 92bn, gov­ern­ment is spend­ing 10 per­cent from the in­ter­nal rev­enue. He said that the ex­ter­nal grant re­quired was only Nu. 58bn dur­ing the plan but still the donors promised to give a grant of Nu. 68bn and the max­i­mum grant was from Gov­ern­ment of In­dia.

Dur­ing the year 20132014 and 2014-2015, our tar­get for in­ter­nal rev­enue was to make Nu.46bn but we could make Nu. 49.3bn. That way the gov­ern­ment was able to spend for the re­cur­rent and cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture from the in­ter­nal rev­enue.

For in­stance, the he­li­copters can only be pur­chased due to the in­crease in the in­ter­nal rev­enue, said the Ly­onch­hen.

He also added that dur­ing the 11th FYP, gov­ern­ment had to do many cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture which in­cludes widen­ing of roads, black­top­ping of roads to Ge­wogs, main­tain­ing of farm roads, ren­o­va­tion of the schools and cen­tral schools are be­ing con­struct­ing, con­struct­ing of new hos­pi­tal and for ex­ist­ing he says that it is be­ing ex­pand­ing it.

“If we want self-reliance by 2020, then we have to stay with­out tak­ing fund from the other coun­tries and that can be done be­cause there will be more in­flow of rev­enue from the hy­dropower” said Ly­onch­hen.

Ly­onch­hen said that for the 12th five year plan , the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia will pro­vide grant and it will be upto the us to re­ceive or not and we will have to look into it

Ly­onch­hen said that as of now our coun­try is con­sid­ered as Least De­vel­oped Coun­try (LDC) but by 2021 our coun­try will be con­sid­ered as de­vel­oped coun­try as per the UNO. To get the self-reliance sta­tus all the in­di­vid­u­als has to work to­gether.

In ad­di­tion to that, Ly­onpo Dam­cho Dorji, the Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs said that the he­li­copter was not meant for profit. He fur­ther said that the main pur­pose was to use dur­ing emer­gency and dur­ing the dis­as­ter time.

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