Chimi Dema 

With 22 members present and voting, the National Council unanimously adopted the Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill 2019-20 on February 18. 

The House accepted all the recommendations of the National Assembly (NA) except for the proposed supplementary appropriation of Nu 5 million (M) for the Parliamentary committees and Secretariat services.

The House recommended the NA to withdraw the proposed supplementary appropriation of Nu 5M. 

Presenting the Committee’s submission on the Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill to the House, the chairperson of the Economic Affairs Committee, Ugyen Tshering said that the Parliament cannot grant the supplementary budget directly.

Going by the established procedures, the supplementary appropriation should come to the Parliament through finance ministry after the concerned agency submits proposal to the ministry, he said. “The Parliament can then approve.”

During deliberations on the Bill in the House earlier, most members shared concerns of breaching of established procedures and conflict of interest associated with such proposal.

 While they acknowledged the need for adequate budgetary support for the effective functioning of the NA, members shared that bringing their need in the forefront and passing the Bill would set a wrong precedent as well as violate existing financial norms and principles. 

 Meanwhile, the Bill along with the recommendation would be forwarded to the National Assembly for re-deliberation. 

 The NA adopted supplementary appropriation for a sum not exceeding Nu 903.277M on February 11.

Besides Nu 5M, the appropriation of Nu 898.277M is to cover the expenditure incurred by the salary revision and allowances of the Royal Bhutan Police, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, and JSW School of Law, and revision of stipend and subsidy to State-owned Enterprises.