Achieving self reliance by 2020: PM
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.