The government would share with the media the discussions on the austerity measures and the outcome, said the Prime minister Dr Lotay Tshering during Friday Meet on February 1.

Ministry of Finance recently issued a circular to the ministries, dzongkhags and government agencies to come up with proposals on saving costs as part of a new austerity drive.

Prime minister said that there was not much input from the government. The measures have been accumulated mainly from the reports of Royal Audit Authority, Anti-Corruption Commission and the recommendations of the interim government.

Austerity measures, he said, was something that was needed. “The cabinet had two rounds of discussions on how the cabinet members should take our part in contributing to the austerity measures.”

Some media managers raised their concern that e-procurement system would kill media houses because the majority of advertisement came from the government.

Acknowledging the concern, prime minister asked if advertisement to the media houses was the only way the government could support media growth. “There are many ways of giving financial support. Now, even money to the gewogs will go in the form of block grants. Based on the capability of different media houses, we can design something like that.”

Prime minister said it was not a serious issue. “If we feel that media houses need support, which I feel you all need, we can sit down and discuss some other ways of doing it.”

He added that blocking the e-procurement system to support the media houses was not fair.

Dechen Tshomo