PM sticks by stand on blaming former government’s policies for poor GDP rate in 2013

During the question-hour session of the National Assembly on 2nd December, Nganglam constituency MP Choida Jamtsho said that the Prime Minister has mentioned in his last meet the press that the drop in GDP growth rate to 2.05% in 2013 is the result of mismanagement of the past government. He said, “However, we know that GDP growth rate in 2017-2018 will be over 15% due to commissioning of the projects like PHPA-I and II, Mangdechhu and Dungsam cement Corp Ltd.”

He questioned Prime Minister, whether or not, the present government was going to give credit to the former government if the GDP growth rate increases in future upon the commissioning of various projects which were started by the previous government.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that the GDP drop to 2.05% in 2013 was due to poor economy policy and monetary policy of the past which lead to rupee shortage and debt problem in the country affecting private businesses and the construction of hydropower.

“It is not only the responsibility of the government to improve the GDP growth rate but civil servants, people and government must work together; further we should keep good relations with other countries and we also need good policy,” PM Tshering Tobgay said.

The PM said, “If GDP growth rate increases in future, the credit should not go to any government but to Their Majesties the Kings.” The PM added that Bhutan was benefiting from hydro-power mainly because of Their Majesties’ noble initiatives and wisdom.

PM also said that in order to successfully complete the hydro power projects, the present government must work hard. He cited the example that 2012 and 2013, PHPA I, II and Mangdechu had been delayed due to financial problem but today the money was coming in on time.

The PM said that 180MW Bunakha, 770 MW Chamkarchu and 570 MW Wangchu could be started soon once the agreement is finalized between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Government of India.

North-Thimphu MP Kinga Tshering asked where the economy went wrong. In his response, the PM said that the government has form a task force to study the reason for the decline in the GDP growth rate and after studying it the committee will submit the report to government and accordingly government will work on it. The PM said, “When we cannot recognize the mistake of past, we won’t be able to work in future.”

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