Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Tshering

Nu 64.826 bn budget for 2019-20 aims for 7.2 percent GDP growth

Nu 4.530 bn allocated for revision of pay and allowance in 2019-20 budget

The 2019-20 budget has a total expenditure of Nu 61.197 bn and repayments to be made of Nu 3.306 bn bringing it to a total of a Nu 64.826 bn budget.

Of the Nu 61.197 expenditure the current expenditure which is salaries, TA/DA, operational, and maintenance is Nu 34.652 bn. This includes an additional Nu 4.530 bn for revision of pay, allowances and benefits of civil servants.

The capital budget for construction of new assets like roads, hospitals etc. is Nu 26.544 bn.

The Nu 61.197 bn expenditure is around a 31 percent increase from the revised 2018-19 budget.

Resources

The total resources available is Nu 54.619 bn of which the domestic revenue is Nu 43.299 bn and grants is Nu 10.934 bn and internal grants of Nu 385.81 mn.

Of the revenue Nu 10.677 bn is Corporate tax, Nu 1.824 bn is business tax and Nu 1.832 is personal income tax and nu 6.230 bn is from other taxes.

Indirect tax like sales tax and customs duty is giving around Nu 6.211 bn while non tax revenue like dividends and profit transfer is Nu 16.522 bn.

Comparatively, the resource available in 2018-19 was Nu 42.949 bn.

There is a Nu 6.578 bn resource shortfall or fiscal deficit which is 3.04 percent of GDP. This is expected to met with internal borrowings of Nu 3.008 bn mainly through Treasury Bills, Nu 1.474 bn through external borrowings and Nu 2.094 through net lending which is to be recovered from SOEs.

The fiscal deficit slightly exceeds the 3 percent of GDP target for the 12th plan set by the Macroeconomic Framework Coordination Committee.

Sector wise allocation

The education sector has got the largest allocation of Nu 10.532 bn, followed by the agriculture sector at Nu 6.319 bn. The health sector is getting a total allocation of Nu 5.730 bn.

Mining and manufacturing is getting N 1.776 bn mainly for industrial estates while tourism is getting nu 200 mn.

Vocational training and employment is getting Nu 1.118 bn. The roads sector is getting nu 2.271 bn while the communication sector is getting Nu 1.869 bn.

Thromdes and urban development is being given Nu 3.979 bn.

Religious and cultural services which mainly goes to Dzongs and Lhakhangs is Nu 2.025 bn while law and order is getting Nu 2.672 bn.

There is Nu 463.129 mn current budget and Nu 2.400 bn capital budget given to gewogs while Dzongkhags get Nu 8.335 bn in current budget and Nu 5.628 bn in capital budget.

DNT has also allocated budget for its flagship programs and these are Nu 500 mn for water to the NEC, Nu 200 mn for tourism, Nu 189 mn for national organic flagship program, Nu 235 mn for Cottage and Small Industries development and nu 453 mn for Digital Drukyul.

HRD development is getting nu 1.288 bn of which around half is going to the education sector. Nu 199.83 mn is being given for sports to the Bhutan Olympic Committee.

Debt and reserves

Public debt as of 31st march 2019 was Nu 182.236 bn which is about 94 percent of the GDP.

Of this external debt was Nu 174.627 bn of which hydro was 77 percent and non-hydro debt was 23 percent.

By 30th June 2019 the total external debt is estimated to be Nu 201.283 bn which is 104.4 percent of GDP.

By the end of 2019-20 financial year the total external debt will be Nu 217.790 bn of which hydro will be Nu 163.242 bn.

The forex reserves stood at USD 1.082 bn on 31st March 2019 enough to cover 13.7 months of imports and 23.7 months of essential imports. The reserve is expected to go up to USD 1.800 bn by 2020-2021.

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