The National Assembly adopted the budget bill and the supplementary budget bill for the FY 2023-24. With all 43 members present and all voting in favour.
The Chairperson of Economic and Finance Committee (EFC), Kinga Penjor presented the committee’s review report on the National Budget. He submitted that the committee focused more on macro and micro financial aspects of the post Covid economy.
The Chairperson presented three observations and recommendations to the House. The observations and recommendations were on State Owned Enterprises (SOE), development of the tourism industry and easy access to credit.
The House also saw issues raised on the easy access to credit, possibility of increasing consumer loan limit, and incentives for more tourism. The House directed the government to submit the follow up report on the recommendations within a month to the National Assembly.
The Chairperson also submitted that the committee acknowledges that the Budget for the FY 2023-24 as proposed by the government is well justified as it would ensure macro-economic stability, smooth transition, and revival of economic growth.
The budget appropriation bill for FY 2023-24 amounts to Nu.85,522.536 million (mn) which comprises of current expenditure Nu.45,545.947 mn, capital expenditure Nu.29,315.668 mn, repayments of Nu.9152.11 mn including external and internal and on lending Nu.1,509.810 mn
The supplementary budget for 2022-23 amounting to supplementary appropriation of Nu.2,317.377 mn and the revised budget after supplementary appropriation amounting to Nu.84.144.688 mn was adopted.
This planned budget will be the first budget that aims to bridge the GDP dip which happens during the transitioning period from the old government to the new government. The government formulated the budget for the whole fiscal year to ensure economic recovery and to avoid a GDP downturn during the transition period.
According to the Opposition Leader, the Budget is in keeping with the past traditions.
“The Budget is largely in order in keeping with the past alteration of the budget. It is in with the past traditions of a last term of a government. We have included three categories of budget in the last financial year which includes spillover activities, critical activities and mandatory activities which are externally funded. They have not included any new programmes which fall outside these categories, that’s why I say I stand by my same stance, keeping with what we wanted and what we did in the past.”
He also added that he believes it won’t solve the dipping issue as budget allocation will remain similar, as it starts out slow, with major activities and budget spent during the 3rd and 4th year of a government. “The resources mobilized for the 12th five year plan will get exhausted and we have not started dialogues with international agencies for 13th five year plan. Majority of our budget is from India, and for our internal resources, we don’t have much flexibility to maneuver.”