Govt. to have new vision for economic self-reliance

Nu 15bn allocated for flagship programs in 12th Plan

In the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP), a total budget of Nu 15bn is allocated for flagship programs from the capital outlay, according to the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) Annual Report 2018-19.

Flagship program is one of the new features in the 12th FYP. Flagship programs are aimed at addressing national level issues requiring multi-sectoral intervention. Blueprints with detailed interventions are being prepared in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

The flagship program guidelines and blueprints will guide the implementation of the programs. So far, the government has approved five flagship programs for implementation within the 12th FYP.

The report states that the flagship program includes 24×7 safe drinking and irrigation water for which Nu 3bn is allocated, Nu 2.55bn for digital drukyul, Nu 1.2bn for start-up and cottage and small industry, Nu 1.56bn for tourism development and Nu 1bn for organic Bhutan.

The report states that the work plan and blue print for approved flagship programs are finalized.

The implementation of the approved five flagship programs will start with proposed outlay of Nu 1.8bn from the fiscal year 2019-20.

The GNHC Secretariat also carried out donor resource mapping as per the outlay of the 12th FYP.

Bilateral consultation on Government of India’s (GoI) assistance for the 12th FYP was held on December 12, 2018 in New Delhi. The first round of Bhutan-India Development Cooperation Talks for the 12th FYP was held on April 26, 2019 on Thimphu and first Bhutan-India Small Development Committee (SDPC) meeting was held on April 29, 2019 in Thimphu.

The report states that outcomes of the plan talk includes GoI committing Nu 45bn for 12th FYP. Additionally, 51 PTA projects amounting to Nu 19.75bn were endorsed which includes 31 new projects and 20 multi-plan or recurring projects initiated in the 11th FYP and 148 Small Development Projects worth Nu 1.9bn were approved as the first batch of SDPs under the 12th FYP.

The other donor support includes Coordinated Green Climate Fund (GCF) Mission to conduct National Structured Dialogue between ROGB and GCF from August 26 to September 1, 2018.

UNSDPF 2019-23, a formal document endorsing government of Bhutan-UN partnership, was also finalized and signed

Other bilateral and multi-lateral agencies have committed about Nu 18.5bn for the 12th FYP.

The report also states that the assignment and division of expenditure responsibilities or functions between central agencies and Local Governments (LGs), and between levels of LGs in the 12th FYP has been revised. Further, the resource allocation formula (RAF) for dzongkhags and gewogs has been revised, and RAF for four thromdes has been introduced in the 12th FYP.

The RAF in the 12th FYP are incorporated with improved, inclusive and comprehensive criteria reflecting ground reality in terms of socio-economic or environmental development issues and needs at the local level.

Some of the new criteria include GNH Index, economy, farming, health, education, culture, environment and safety.

The total outlay for the 12th FYP is Nu 310bn of which Nu 116bn is capital outlay and Nu 194bn is current outlay. It is an increase of 38% over 11th FYP outlay of Nu 224bn.

The increase in plan budget is mainly on account of 68% increase in current budget, largely contributed by provision kept for proposed pay revision for civil servants, higher cost of maintenance of infrastructure, and debt service obligations. The capital budget for the 12th FYP is about six percent increase over the 11th plan budget of Nu 109bn.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu