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Agriculture ministry faces resource gap of Nu 2B

Sep 10, 2015

MOAFThe Ministry of Agriculture and Forests is facing a resource gap of close to Nu 2B for the next three years of the 11th Five Year Plan. This was raised during the mid term review of the agriculture ministry held in the capital, yesterday.

The agriculture ministry has a total budget outlay of Nu 13B of which Nu 4.8B is capital budget and Nu 8.8B recurrent. However, due to additional requirements, with the ministry taking up new projects, the capital budget was revised to Nu 6.7B, leading to a resource gap of Nu 1.9B.

The additional requirement was on account of the ministry taking up new irrigations and electric fencing projects.

Finance Minister, Namgay Dorji, said sources were limited when it came to getting the additional financial requirement. The minister said the economy was already facing huge shortages in terms of current account deficit.

Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay said justifications should be provided on why the additional funds are required.

Agriculture secretary, Tenzin Dhendup said, as the 11th Five Year Plan progresses, there would be savings from other projects, which can be utilized for the additional requirement.

During the review, several questions were also raised on the low budget utilization of the ministry due to delay in the release of funds. Officials discussed on the possibility of pre-financing some of the projects to reduce incidences of inefficient use utilization of budget.

“We can set aside a small portion from our consolidated fund, which can be used to pre finance other projects under project tied assistance. It will not be a problem if we use the money meant for PTA to finance other PTA projects,” said the Prime Minister.

Pre-financing of 11th Five Year Plan projects has been recognized as one leading cause of the shortage of rupee.

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