Dechen Dolkar 

The Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP), totaling Nu 15 billion, will not be included in the budget of the 13th Five Year Plan, as stated by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent state visit, he announced that the Government of India would provide support amounting to Nu 100 billion for the 13th Five Year Plan.

At the meet-the-press session yesterday, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that the Nu 100 billion was not initially promised by the Government of India; rather, it was provided after the government requested support for the 13th Plan.

The Prime Minister said that civil servants were anticipating only Nu 70 billion in support from the Government of India for the 13th Five Year Plan.

The Prime Minister also said that the government had requested support from the Government of India for the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP), amounting to Nu 15 billion.

“The Government of India was also very generous in supporting Nu 85 billion as capital expenditure for the 13th Five Year Plan, doubling the amount from the 12th plan. It is a significant sum, and indeed, we are very grateful to the Government of India,” Prime Minister said.

For the 12th Five Year Plan, the Government of India provided Nu 45 billion.

The foreign secretary of India, Vinay Mohan Kwatra, also announced during a recent press briefing that the Nu 15 billion is included in the Nu 100 billion support package.

 Prime Minister said that the Nu 15 billion allocated for the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) is not drawn from the 13th Five Year Plan budget. He personally requested the Government of India to support the ESP. The funding for the 13th plan budget from the Government of India will be disbursed after July, as per the agreement and government will receive Nu 15 billion first.

Furthermore, he said that the Nu 15 billion is exclusively for the ESP to bolster the country’s economy and is not earmarked for the 13th Five Year Plan. 

He highlighted that diverting the Nu 15 billion to the 13th plan would hinder economic growth and exacerbate the deficit.

Prime Minister said that the government has secured Nu 50 billion for the capital budget of the 13th plan, in addition to the Nu 85 billion grant from the Government of India.

Thus, the government has a total of Nu 135 billion for the capital budget.

The total budget outlay for the 13th Plan is estimated at Nu 512.48 billion, with Nu 250 billion allocated for capital expenditure and Nu 262.48 billion for current expenditure.

Sources of funding for the 13th Plan include domestic resources amounting to Nu 318.89 billion and grants totaling Nu 140 billion. 

These grants originate from various sources, including the Government of India (Nu 100 billion), the EU, Japan, and international organisations such as the UN. 

There is also an allocation of Nu 10 billion from green or climate financing, which includes contributions from the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation.