Nu 8.6bn mobilized for flagship programs

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The government has allocated Nu 15bn for the nine flagship programs in the flagship resources outlay for a year of which Nu 8.6bn has been mobilized and Nu 6.4bn is the resource gap till date.

The outlay was presented by the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) officials to the Prime Minister on Thursday.

A GNHC official updated that resources for the health and education flagship is fully mobilized of the nine flagship programs.

From Nu 8.6bn, Nu 3.2bn is mobilized for the program including health, education and water, said the official, adding that the Royal Government of Bhutan is allocating an extra budget of Nu 4.4bn. “The flagship programs for which resources have been mobilized will be implemented phase-wise.”

The GNHC official said they are secure for the financial year 2021 the remaining Nu 6.4bn is earmarked and is under process of mobilization.

“From the nine flagship programs, water flagship program has the highest resource gap. In terms of percentage waste flagship program has the highest.”

Similarly, PM asked on the status and financial allocations of the flagship programs.

GNHC officials said that out of Nu 3bn water flagship program it has around Nu 1.9bn resource gap while Nu 1bn is mobilized.

The resource gap in waste flagship program is highest with 70%, out of Nu 1bn outlay, Nu 700mn resource gap and Nu 300mn mobilized till date.

Organic flagship program has Nu 600mn resource gap and Nu 300mn mobilized.

Meanwhile for Digital Drukyul, GNHC officials said that they are quite comfortable with Nu 2.1bn mobilized and Nu 400mn resource gap. 

Tourism flagship has Nu 800mn mobilized and Nu 700mn resource gap. As for startups and Cottage and Small Industries (CSI), there exists Nu 600mn resource gap and Nu 500mn is mobilized till date.

PM Dr Lotay Tshering said for the flagship program there should not be any financial year boundaries. “Our target of Nu 8.6bn will be used by January 2021, so that would be the best. It is not necessarily using the financial rules,” he said.

He added that the funds allocated for the flagship programs must be used optimally “in a flagship manner, not in a routine manner.” 

“Nu 15bn for nine flagships is bigger than Health, Education and Labor Ministries’ five year budget. The costs are high. So, with these flagships we are handling major activities,” he said.

The flagship programs are integrated water security with a budget allocation of Nu 3bn, building the capacity of teachers in the education sector, and diversifying CSI by providing lowering interest on loans.

There are also programs on taking healthcare to rural doorsteps, exporting organic produce to high-end hotels and markets, waste management, and building Digital Drukyul an online system that will contain critical data. A part of the flagship programs are already being implemented but the rest might carry onto and be integrated in the 12th Plan, said Lyonchhen.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu

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