What the Budget has for the economic sectors

With a total outlay of Nu 45.504 bn the 2015-2016 financial year annual budget is the best indicator of the government’s plants on the economy and its various sectors.

Of the Nu 45.504 bn the capital expenditure is Nu 23.476 bn which is 25 percent higher than in 2014-2015 annual budget. This shows that the government entering into its third year in power would like to finish a large portion of its developmental activities. With most of the activities related to construction like roads this will lead to a spurt in the Construction industry.

However, at the same time the budget has also made allotments for various economic sectors like trade and industry, tourism agriculture, energy, communication and employment.

Trade and Industry and Tourism

Nu.1.144 bn is allocated for the Trade and Industry and Tourism sectors. One of the strategies to develop trade and industry is through the development of (SEZs). During the FY, Nu.202.470 million is allocated for development of ancillary facilities for Special Economic Zones or Industrial Estates to be established at Jigmeling (Sarpang), Bondeyma (Mongar), Dhamdum (Samtse) and Motanga (Samdrup Jongkhar). Further, to promote trade facilitation, Nu.5.700 million is allocated for development of a mini dry port in Phuentsholing.

For marketing and promotion of exports through “Brand Bhutan”, Nu.3.480 million is allocated. Further, Nu.64.500 million is allocated for construction of business incubator, training of entrepreneurs for cottage and small industries and developing new financial package in collaboration with financial institutions.

In order to encourage growth in handicrafts, promote tourism and employment, a sum of Nu.64.800 million is allocated to Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts (APIC).

In the area of mineral and mines management, Nu.11.631 million is allocated for detailed study on surface geological exploration.

In order to improve regional and seasonal spread of tourism, a sum of Nu.4.680 million is allocated for carrying out studies in new areas of tourist attractions such as construction of bird watching campsite at Tamala in Zhemgang and 44 National Budget for the Financial Year 2015 -16 construction of Eco-Lodge at Thangkarmo in Lhuentse.

Efforts are also being made to diversify and promote products in international markets and Brand Bhutan for which a sum of Nu.29.650 million is allocated. To develop tourism services and infrastructures, Nu.17.300 million is allocated for construction of roadside amenities such as rest-rooms, cafeterias and market sheds along the major highways.

Also, a sum of Nu.4 million is allocated for development and maintenance of trails, campsites, trail bridges and rest-rooms, and Nu.2.500 million to conduct tourism and hospitality related trainings.

Employment

Nu.383.848 million is allocated to achieve full employment and improving the quality and relevance of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).

One of the major ongoing initiatives of the Government is Guaranteed Employment Programme for which Nu.192.550 million has been allocated to implement overseas employment, direct employment and youth employment schemes.

As of date, 718 job seekers have been sent abroad under the Overseas Employment Scheme, 1,222 job seekers are placed in various enterprises under Direct Employment Scheme, and has trained 240 youths under Youth Employment Scheme.

Under the Graduate Skills Programme, fresh graduates are provided with self-employment skills. As of date, a total of 69 graduates have completed and 158 are undergoing training. Nu 20 mn has been allocated here.

In order to provide appropriate skills to the job seekers, Nu.75.200 million is allocated for in-country training of youths on critical skills such as business leadership, business growth and diversification, product designing and development, business ethics, e-business for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and entrepreneurship.

Agriculture

Nu 5.747 bn has been allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Out of the allocation for the sector, Nu.2.155 bn is for the Dzongkhags and Gewogs.

Increasing overall cereal and vegetable production for both local consumption and export continues to be the priority. In this regard, Phuentshothang Agriculture Rehabilitation Programme is provided with a sum of Nu.36 mn to increase rice production. Similarly, Nu.17 million is allocated for construction and establishment of paddy and milled rice stores at Tsirang, Bajo and Phuentshothang and for commercialization of vegetable production Nu.30.975 million is allocated.

In addition, Nu.546.055 million is also earmarked for irrigation channels to be constructed and rehabilitated. To ensure adequate postharvest facilities are in place, a sum of Nu.27.610 million is allocated for construction of cold storage at Lingmethang and Nganglam. Further, a sum of Nu.937.603 million is allocated for farm roads construction and Nu.37 million for farm shop constructions and renovations.

On the livestock front, a sum of Nu.221.200 million is kept for increasing domestic production of livestock products. To strengthen livestock support services, a sum of Nu.32 million is allocated for construction of National Animal Hospital in Thimphu and Nu.32.470 million for veterinary medicines and vaccines for central farms, Dzongkhags and Gewog

The sector also aims to achieve the sustainable management of natural resources through concerted effort on afforestation and reforestation. For this, a sum of Nu.41.467 million is allocated for creation of plantations.

To address the Human Wildlife Conflict through institutionalization of community based crop and livestock insurance programmes, a sum of Nu.11.500 million is allocated as seed money for 17 newly identified Gewog Environment Conservation Committees (GECC).

To strengthen bio-security and food safety through construction of quarantine and bio-security offices, a sum of Nu.29.400 million is allocated.

Energy

The 10,000 MW projects are done outside the budget as it is not part of the five year plans but the government has allocated Nu 485.66 mn for the energy sector to accelerate hydropower development, promote alternate renewal energy and reduce risk associated with Glacier Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) and geo-hazards.

For developing hydropower projects, Nu.40 million is allocated to carry out detailed project report (DPR) of Dorjilung (Rotpashong) Hydropower Project, Nu.11.850 million for pre-feasibility study of Jomori Hydropower Project, reconnaissance studies of Kholongchhu (Trashiyangtze), Pachhu and Pipingchhu Hydropower Projects.

For construction of 132 KV Motanga-Phuentshothang transmission line (20km) and construction of Kanglung-Phuentshothang transmission line (58 km), Nu.33.500 million and Nu.49.850 million has been kept, respectively.

To diversify energy supply mix using renewable energy resources, a sum of Nu.36.160 million is allocated for Sustainable Rural Biomass Energy Project. Also a sum of Nu.13 million is allocated for procurement and replacement of solar home lightings under the Rural Renewable Energy Development Project. For enhancing real-time monitoring of weather and water conditions to reduce risks associated with GLOF and geo-hazards, a sum of Nu.128.225 million is allocated to install Automatic Weather Station (AWS) and Automatic Water Level Station (AWLS).

Nu.14.330 million has been allocated for installation of GLOF Early Warning Station in Mangdechhu and Chamkhar Valleys.

Communication

Nu.2.026 bn is allocated towards achieving improved access to reliable and affordable ICT services, enabling effective and efficient public service delivery, increasing safe, reliable and affordable air transport, enhancing access to safe, sustainable, green, affordable and inclusive surface transport and improving access to reliable and affordable media services.

To increase the internet connectivity facility, Nu.35 million is allocated to revamp Thimphu Wide Area Network and for extension of facilities to Gewogs and Dungkhags. To further enhance connectivity and broad band services, Nu.60 million is allocated.

For improving the public service delivery, use of G2G, G2B and G2C services will be enhanced through capacity development of local leaders and citizens and also by providing required equipment, for which, Nu.45.700 million is allocated.

In order to equip the airports in Paro, Gelephu, Bumthang and Yonphula with required facilities and infrastructure, Nu.291.549 million is allocated.

For supporting the professional development of media, media impact study and review of media policy, a sum of Nu.11.270 million is allocated.

Separately Nu.5.717 bn is allocated to Double lane the Northern East-West Highway, develop and maintain national highways, Dzongkhag roads, Hydropower Project roads, Gewog Center roads, Black top Gewog Centre and construct and maintain bridges in the country.

Election goodies

Apart from the main economic sectors the government has also budgeted money to fulfill some much talked about election pledges.

Nu.600 million has been allocated for establishment of helicopter service and procurement of helicopters to improve access to the remote areas, provide service during emergencies and promote tourism.

Nu 146.62 mn has been allocated for the purchase of utility vehicles for gewogs.  The budget says that the government has started distributing power tillers at the local government level and has also launched Gewog banks.

Nu 1.582 bn has been allocated to continue construction for 13 Gewog Center roads and blacktopping of 48 such roads.

In line with the Bhutan Education Blueprint (rethinking education), for improving equal access to quality education, school reform programme has been initiated with the establishment of 24 central schools starting from the academic year 2015 in 20 Dzongkhags.

For up scaling the initiative to fast track the improvement of overall education quality, 18 more central schools will be established from the academic year 2016. A sum of Nu.730.275 million is allocated for operational and Nu.1.048 bn for developing additional infrastructures and facilities for the central schools.

 

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