At the Meet-the-Press held on Friday, the Prime Minister (PM) and the Finance Minister (FM) shared some current insights into the government’s budgeting plans which will be delivered with much more detail on Monday when the National Assembly resumes.
FM said the economic transformation was a hurdle that he and the government had hoped to turn around since day one in the office. He added that the current situation gives the government an opportunity to make reforms in the public resource management, financial management and the system.
Both the FM and PM stated that it was unusual that the capital expenditure or the capital budget allocation exceeding the recurring budget allocation. Despite all the set back, the PM said there is the constitutional mandate of generating the revenue for current expenditure by the finance ministry. He added that this is a great time to test the efficiency of services practically.
FM said that the financial year (FY) 20-21 has a theme of economic resilience and transformation, and therefore, there will certainly be a priority shift in the plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The matter is to be discussed in detail on Monday in the National Assembly.
“One of the key reform area of the upcoming budget for 20-21 is that we are going to start doing more with less,” the FM stated.
He said that the government aims to emphasise on optimizing the resource use, rationalization, consolidation works, and on these grounds, the divisions will be tasked accordingly.
He said that a formal review will be carried out every 6 months’ time, which is twice in a year, to evaluate and disseminate the efficiency of the works, and accordingly plans could be changed.
FM also said that the internal revenue has been affected by the current situation with tourism sector being impacted, which in turn, impacts a lot of other sectors as well.
He said that annual block grants have had good results in the gewogs that already received the grant, while the dzongkhags and thromdes are in the pipeline. He added that the ministry expects that the roles and responsibilities will be carried out responsibly with maximum efficiency.
PM added that there are other efforts being made in order to curb extended durations of economic fall due to COVID-19. He said that another thing to be considered is on how the economy can bounce back from its current state when the COVID-19 situation settles down.