…. few major capital works spanning over that period will be identified and rolled out so that the month-on budget expenditure remains the same
By Sangay Dorji
By November, 2023 the ruling government will formally end its span of Government and the Interim government will be appointed as a caretaker of the government. The Interim Government will function in the same framework as the government but with the limited powers as prescribed by the Constitution.
The interim government will ensure the continuance of all the routine functions of government in a seamless manner until the next elected government takes up office formally.
The Article 19, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan mandates that, “Whenever the National Assembly is dissolved, the Druk Gyalpo shall appoint an Interim Government to function for a period, which shall not exceed ninety days, to enable the Election Commission to hold free and fair elections.”
However, interim government is confined on budgetary rights so, to have a stable economy during election and interim government stint the current government will identify major capital works for spending to prevent slow economy growth.
The state of nation report states, “It is our concern that during the election period, when the interim government takes charge, the economy could slow down until the next government settles in.”
The report further states that, “To prevent this, a few major capital works spanning over that period will be identified and rolled out so that the month-on budget expenditure remains the same”.
According to Economic Minister Loknath Sharma the trend seen during the election period is, there is usually a dip in economy as the ruling government is allowed to allocate the budgets until end of their term but not until formation of new elected government. So, as to have a stable economy and to avert any potential dip in the economy during the interim government, the current government will identify major capital works to prevent slow or economy dip. The government will allocate budgets for financial year 2023-2024 until the next government takes over to prevent slow economic growth and to have smooth transition for newly elected government.
He said, ‘‘During the election period there is usually dip in economy for example, during the first election there was economy dip by 2% (percent) and 3% in the second. Learning the lesson from the two election periods the government will allocate budgets that will at least cover up till the formation of new government.”
He further said that at least one financial year is hampered due to election and until the next government passes the budgets after they are elected. So in between, as there is no economic activities and investments, economy is adversely affected in absence of government spending.
He said, “The government will complete the term but they don’t want to leave things at that, June budgets will at least cover up till July and months on, to avoid economy dip until then”. The budget will be allocated in summer session of parliament next year. “Investment will happen, government spending will happen so, economy doesn’t slow down”, he added.
The pandemic had brought the global economy to a standstill and with pandemic coming to an end, the global economic is in the sprint for faster recovery. Any, ramifications from the stalling of economy recovery could have damaging impact on the country’s economy and falter further the growth and could take much longer time for recovery.