At the question hour session on June 26, the government was questioned on starting corporations and institutions, which were related to business, financing and retailing.
Nubi Tangsibji MP Nidup Dorji asked the government about involving in businesses such as the state mining corporation, livestock development corporation, agriculture machinery corporation and banking and retailing, areas that were handled by the private sector.
He said the private sector would not be able to compete with the government in doing business. “The government doing business would involve losses with minimal gains. This is also against the national policy of providing opportunities to the private sector,” he said.
The government, he said, also intervened in banking and took the responsibility of giving loans, which he claimed was not in line with enhancing private sector development.
Economic affairs minister Lekey Dorji said the government’s aim of starting various corporations were not to impede private sector development.
“The government has started about nine corporations in 11 FYP and those institutions like livestock development corporations were beyond the potential of private sector to start. Before the start of Farm Machinery Centre, the seeds and technology required for farmers could not be reached to rural areas,” the minister said.
He said that the government has prioritised private sector development in their tenure and the economy.
“The GDP growth rate has increased from 2.06 percent in 2013 to about 8 percent today. The government focused on private sector and observed the growth and development in the economy,” he said.
He claimed that the government’s investment on the construction of the east-west highway, gewog center road, central schools, private industries, increasing the number of licenses issued for Cottage and small Industries from 13,000 in 2013 to 20,000 within five years, has helped in economic growth.
Economic development, Lyonpo said, at this rate was not a natural process. It involved government’s effort of developing new policies and amending the existing policies to favour economic growth.
“Although a major factor contributing to economic growth was hydropower, the government focused on private sector development, which was important for economic growth,” lyonpo said. “The government made available those loans, which were stopped in 2013 with low-interest rates and providing fiscal incentives has helped in economic growth.”