Finance Minister Namgay Tshering

Foreign currency account liberalization will be done

During the 50th Meet-the-Press, the Finance Minister Namgay Tshering was questioned on the outflow of convertible currencies and on the liberalization of Foreign Currency Account (FCA).

According to the Finance Minister, the depletion of foreign reserve is due to high imports.

The Constitution mandates to have a minimum foreign currency reserve that is adequate to meet the cost of not less than one year’s essential imports.

“Due to the sheer amount of imports, even with a reserve that will last up to 36 months, it will be hard to say that we are comfortable with the reserves,” admitted the Finance Minister. He also added it is a fundamental issue which requires long-term measure like structural reforms to address the issue.

With regards to outflow of remittance, Lyonpo shared that outward remittances are monitored consistently and vigilantly.

He also added that a government should create a conducive avenue and environment for Bhutanese diaspora to invest in the country.

The remittance incentives have been increased from 2 percent to 10 percent. During the National Assembly session, the Lyonpo informed that after the incentive, the country received almost AUD 5 million in 10 days.

He also shared about issuing small-scale hydropower’s green bonds subscription for the Bhutanese diaspora soon.

The Lyonpo also mentioned FCA was introduced to inculcate the habit of savings and thrift among non-resident Bhutanese, such as foreign workers, student working abroad, and businessmen.

Lyonpo said, “We have indicated to RMA we will be liberalizing FCA. How much ever you’re depositing in your FC account, you have the equal right to make use of that. Liberalising of the FC account will be done.”

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