As the economy recovers from the aftermath of the pandemic, Minister of Finance and Bardo-Trong MP, Lekey Dorji said that the government’s top priority would be to strengthen the fundamentals of the economy.
“We should be prepared to take some hard decisions in the short run to ensure that we do not compromise our long-term national goals,” he said.
The government is tasked to take the country forward to a high-income status.
The primary objective includes increasing the gross domestic product (GDP) from USD 2.5 billion to USD 5 billion by 2029 and reaching USD 10 billion by 2034. At the same time to boost GDP per capita from USD 3,833 to USD 4,256 by 2029 and USD 12,000 by 2034.
On the fiscal front, Lyonpo Lekey Dorji said that the internal resource mobilisation needs to be enhanced while ensuring prudent public investments. “I would personally monitor sources of funds and sinks for them.”
He added that the fiscal discipline would be followed, ensuring sustainable fiscal and financing policies adopted in keeping with Article 14 (5) of the Constitution.
Lyonpo also said that the public financial management needs to be strengthened to deliver financial services efficiently and effectively.
He assured that the ministry will work closely with the central bank, Royal Monetary Authority to ensure that the monetary and fiscal policies work in tandem to realise the country’s national goals.
“We have already started a modest beginning to improve our liquidity and will work for easy access to credit to all productive sectors of our economy,” Lyonpo said.
The Economic Development Board chaired by the Prime Minister is being formed and an Economic Stimulus Plan Committee has already started working on frameworks.
Lyonpo assured that the private sector would be taken on board as they have a huge role in the economy, as well as look at state-owned enterprises strategically.
“As the finance minister, I will work hard and pursue a consistent and predictable economic and fiscal policy to ensure growth and financial stability,” he said. “As we aspire to become a developed nation, the ministry’s focus will be to collaborate with all ministries and our development partners to strengthen the fundamental and structural issues of our economy.”
To achieve the common goals, Lyonpo said that his team in the ministry will not be myopic and he will always put national interests above all else.
Lyonpo Lekey Dorji, 54, is a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and he served as the MP and Minister of Economic Affairs between 2016 and 2018.
He also served as chairperson of the legislative committee of the National Assembly and a member of the National Judicial Commission while as MP.
He has a Masters in Operational Telecommunications management as an International Telecommunications Union fellow from Coventry University, United Kingdom. He also has B.Sc in Electrical Engineering from University of Kansas as Fulbright fellow from USA. He was a national topper in all board examinations in classes 5, 8, 10, and 12.
Lyonpo Lekey Dorji started his career as an engineer with Bhutan Telecom (then a government department) in 1995 where he served as Area Manager for Southern districts of Sarpang, Tsirang, and Dagana.
After resigning in 2004, he initiated a satellite-based internet company using the Ku-band for the first time in Bhutan and contributed to bringing down the prices of internet in Bhutan.
Lyonpo was a consultant for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Danish International Development Agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and set up Bhutan’s first private cellular company Tashi Cell as a consultant.
He also set up an IT firm, New Edges Technologies Pvt Limited which today is one of the private data centres and software firms in Bhutan. Lyonpo is also an author, a de-suup, and a Harvard Presidential fellowship recipient.