Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Bhutan ; National Budget 2008-2009 presented

June 24: The Finance Minister Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu presented the National Budget report for 2008-2009 Financial Year in the National Assembly yesterday.

The total expenditure for the 2008-2009 financial year is estimated at Nu. 23,072 million. Of that Nu. 11,500 million is the current expenditure. The capital expenditure is estimated at Nu. 11,571 million.

The social service sector comprising of health and education sectors has been allocated 24 percent of the total outlay.

Presenting the budget, the finance minister Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu said being the first year of the 10th five year plan and the resource picture not being very clear, the budget estimates has been drawn up giving priority to complete the spill over activities of 9th plan and including mainly those activities for which donor funding has been secured.

He said there has not been much time for the new government to prepare the budget in a more comprehensive manner taking into account all the pledges of the new government.

He said no estimate has been included for the Government of India grants since the break-up of the government of India assistance of 100 billion Ngultrums announced for the 10th plan has not been finalized.

Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu said the budget estimates will be updated as and when the actual figures are finalized.

A budget of around Nu. 5,500 million, which is around 25 percent of the total outlay, is projected for implementation by the dzongkhags and geogs.

The Finance Minister also presented the Budget and Appropriation Bill for Financial Year 2008-2009. It is in accordance with the Public Finance Act, 2007. The National Assembly members then began discussions on the bill and the budget report with the Opposition Leader saying that it would not be appropriate to enact the bill without finalizing the 10th Five Year Plan.

The house will continue discussion on the bill today.

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