The new finance minister of Bhutan, Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, said that his top priority is tointroduce inclusive fiscal policies to gain self-sufficiency. “We plan to come up with inclusive fiscal policies with wide consultation with the public. As envisioned by His Majesty The King, we will be working towards promoting self-sufficiency. Our Domestic revenue should be able to meet the current expenditure of the country at all times, and at the same time, we want to ensure that in the long run, we reduce our dependency on donors,” said the finance minister.
He said Bhutanwill graduate from LDC to middle-income country in 2023, and therefore, works toward ensuring sustainability and improving the domestic revenue in the 12th FYP is crucial.
In order to boost the domestic revenue, the governmentplans to not only depend on the hydro projects, but also diversify the tourism sector in line with the tourism policy of low volume high impact. “There are innovative strategies that need to be place in order to boost the tourism sector, and we will work towards achieving that.”
In order to address the lack of coordination issues among the stakeholders, the finance minister said that the government plans to implement innovative measures to bridge that gap among the agencies concerned for a more productive outcome. “We should be united to deliver and serve the country, as one, irrespective of the agency one represents.”
“I cannot be significantly different from my predecessors or bring about drastic changes in the ministry; there are rules and procedures in place. However, one of the prominent strategies, I have in mind, is to connect well with my employees as their minister. I want to learn from my senior colleagues and all my employees in the ministry. I’ve come to realize that my most powerful asset in this position is that I have very competent and experienced officials in the ministry.”
The finance minister said that any decision taken at the ministerial level will be highly inclusive and no independent decision would be emerging from the ministry. With stack of books on the ministry and financial domain set aside on his desk, the minister said that he is well prepared for his weekend homework to position himself to take on the responsibilities.