Supplementary budget to address unemployment
Opposition Leader Dr. Pema Gyamtsho expressed his support for the supplementary budget the government has allocated to address unemployment in the ongoing National Assembly session.
However, he said that the bill needed to be more explicit on why the supplementary budget was needed how it would be utilized, and what the achievements of the bill would be.
The government introduced the Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2016 and 2017 to address the deepening unemployment situation in the country.
Finance Minister Namgay Dorji presented the bill to the house on 14 November.
Lyonpo Namgay Dorji said that since unemployment was becoming a challenge to the government, the government had been working to address it through many strategies.
The supplementary budget has been sourced from the interest received from the financial institutions on account of the subordinated debt instruments under the Economic Stimulus Plan which amount to Nu. 262.808 million.
The Labor and Human Resource Minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said the government and the parents were deeply worried about the unemployed.
A number of employment opportunities have been generated through various government programs and the supplementary budget will fund ongoing government employment programs which expect to benefit around 5,780 youth.
With the introduction of the budget, it expects to help about 1,210 employees through Direct Employment Scheme, about 1,600 employees through Direct Employment Scheme (cost sharing) and about 1,329 employees through Overseas Employment Scheme at the cost of Nu. 117.957 m, Nu.43.450 m and Nu.101.401 m respectively.
However, Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi said that the nation still clearly remembers the present government’s promises to achieve full employment. “Youth unemployment is still on the rise,” he said, “It is highly alarming and unemployment situation is reaching a crisis level.”
Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay said the bill will greatly benefit the national economy. He also said that an increasing number of Bhutanese youth was impressively working in various sec- tors including construction and abroad.
The overseas employment program, MP Dorji Wangdi said, was plagued by numerous problems. “The performance on employment creation outside the country has been alarming,” he said. However, he said he fully supported the supplementary budget bill.
Lyonchen said the overseas employment opportunities exposed the Bhutanese youth to good experiences in welldeveloped economies. He said the youth employed overseas were competing with thousands of workers. “They are really working hard with pride and gaining good experiences,” he said, adding that they will come back home to serve the country with a good experience.
Lyonchen also said that tabling the Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill in the winter session of Parliament for the first time was a historic move and will strengthen the system.
The bill has been endorsed to be deliberated through a show of hands by the members and it has been referred to the Finance Committee for review which will present a report to the house on 28 November.