2018-19 budget also being prepared for 1st session of the Third Parliament
The new cabinet is in a very busy mode, working overtime attending a week long National Assembly orientation session, getting briefed at their respective ministries and also attending detailed sessions with the GNHC to incorporate the ruling party’s pledges in the 12th plan.
Foreign Minister and government spokesperson Lyonpo (Dr) Tandin Dorji said that the 12th plan should be ready with the the next 10 days to two weeks as the GNHC and the cabinet has made lots of progress in incorporating DNT’s pledges into the plan.
The GNHC, after the primary round, had already done exercises to come up with two versions of the 12th plan after studying and tailoring the pledges of DNT and DPT to the 12th plan.
With the DNT in government, the GNHC presented the DNT pledges aligned draft 12th plan to the new cabinet. The cabinet is ensuring that additional pledges are being incorporated.
The GNHC and the cabinet are also working on aligning the 25 pledges of DNT to be carried out in 120 days in the 12th plan.
The government already has a committee of its ministers and MPs looking at the 25 pledges within 120 days.
Lyonpo (Dr) Tandin said that most of the pledges have already been incorporated and a broad framework of the plan is already done and there is also fast progress on sectoral issues.
The GNHC has been taking and incorporating the comments of the cabinet into the 12th plan.
The Prime Minister in his first meeting with the press on November 7, said that he would also look at incorporating the good pledges of the BKP, DPT and PDP into the 12th plan.
He said that a there are already a lot of PDP pledges in the draft 12th plan and his government would support them while in the case of DPT there are 17 of them in the house and he would work with them. Lyonchhen also said that there are a few good pledges of BKP that they are looking at.
Lyonchhen (Dr) Lotay Tshering said that he would be meeting all the other parties and he would even be willing to sacrifice a few of DNT’s pledges if it is not very important.
He said that based on the funds and time available he would meet the leaders of the other parties and try to incorporate their pledges.
The government is expected to call a meeting with other party leaders to incorporate some of their pledges in the final stage before finalizing the draft 12th plan.
Unlike the budget, which is a money bill, the cabinet by itself can finalize and adopt the 12th plan. It will present the 12th plan to the house for information.
After finalizing the 12th plan, another major order of business for the government will be to come up with its first budget for the remaining financial year of 2018-19.
In June 2018 the national assembly had only passed around six months’ worth of capital budget till December 2018, and that too only for mainly ongoing and priority activities.
The new government will have to come up with a budget that would the first complete budget of the first year of the 12th plan.
The focus will mainly be on the capital budget though the government has the flexibility to also change and modify the current budget.
The government, in consultation with the National Assembly, is looking for an appropriate date for the first sitting of the Parliament where the 12th plan and annual budget will be presented.