MB Subba 

The government is optimistic that the economy will see significant improvement and rebound strongly after the completion of the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has projected GDP growth of 3.3 percent for the next fiscal year. But the finance minister said that the projected growth was the minimum and that it could touch 6 percent in the best-case scenario where the situation both within the country and in India and Bangladesh improves significantly after the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

Lyonpo Namgay Tshering reasoned that given its trading-based nature, the economy would recovery swiftly once export and import activities regain momentum.

“We are hoping that the domestic economy will improve significantly once the Covid-19 vaccination drive is completed, unexpectedly in April,” he said, adding that the Indian economy was expected to recover in the near future.

The government is also pinning its hopes on the agriculture and industries (construction and manufacturing) sectors to off set the impact of the Covid-19 as well as for rvival of the economy.

“The agriculture sector is doing better although its share of contribution in GDP has been 10 to 11 percent only. Industries and construction sectors have already started doing better despite the challenges,” he said.

The Cabinet recently endorsed a total outlay of Nu 73.588 billion (B) for the fiscal year 2021-22. This is slightly less than the current fiscal year’s total outlay, which is Nu 73.989B.

Of the total budget for the new fiscal year, Nu 38.946B, which is 33 percent of the 12th Plan budget capital, has been provisioned for capital expenditure. Accordingly, the estimated current budget is 34.641B.

The domestic revenue has been estimated at Nu 34.641B for the fiscal year 2021-22 compared to Nu 33.189B for the ongoing fiscal year. According to Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, domestic revenue for the ongoing fiscal year would not see much impact as most economic activities except the retail continued despite the lockdown.

“Most industries worked in a containment mode. Activities like the export of buolders and oranges continued despide the lockdown,” he said.