English | Dzongkha Friday, June 18, 2021

Nu 336 M recurrent expenditure for school stationery for the financial year 2021-2022


Jun 10, 2021

The National Budget for the financial year 2021-2022 has allocated a separate budget of Nu 336 M recurrent expenditure for school stationery. To that, the Economic and Finance Committee of the National Assembly recommended the government to dedicate the recurrent budget as a capital budget and be regulated strictly for the said purpose only. The recommendation however was not very well received by most members of the parliament (MP).

Most of the MPs said the schools should have the authority to use the budget allocated for stationery as per their need.

“Not every student require stationery from schools. It should be given just to students whose parents are not at all able to afford it. Government should identify those students. One area where the government can use this fund is in rural schools where teachers are not enough. There are no proper facilities for teachers in the rural area and for them to have passion, they could be given laptops and projector from this fund,” said Dorjee Wangmo, the Sombaykha MP.

“In Lhaling Primary School, students do not even have shoes to wear. Last time I helped them a little and this time allocation of the huge amount is good news for us. However, the power to use the fund should be given to the school. It will be easy for the school to decide what is really necessary to them,” said¬†Jurmi Wangchuk, the Drukjeygang Tseza MP.

“The education ministry has come up with a new curriculum for the theme new normal amid the pandemic. The education minister also said that coding has already started in two schools and other schools are included too. So with this, TV sets and IT equipment are required. The budget should be kept as recurrent and the flexibility to use as per the need of the curriculum should be given to schools and dzongkhags,” added Tshewang Lhamo, the Bongo Chapchha MP.

The Finance Minister said that the committee’s recommendation to convert the recurrent to capital is against the constitution.

“It is against the law. When the Finance Ministry give block grant to dzongkhags and Thromdes, we also send them object code. They can’t use it as per their need. Our deliberation here is making it seem like we can’t trust the principal of the school, the Dzongdas and the Dzongkhag Administration, and Thromde Administration,” said Finance Minister Namgay Tshering.

The Committee in the end asked if the government could at least notify dzongkhags and gewogs to use the budget allocated solely for the said purpose.

“We respect that the recurrent budget can’t be changed into capital. But the committee still has a concern about it. It is not that we can’t trust people in gewogs and schools. But when the fund reaches Dzongkhags, there are so many activities in Dzongkhag and there are chances they might use it from this fund. So the education ministry could send out a separate circular to all that the Nu 336 M be used solely for stationery.” said Kinley Wangchuk, the Chairperson of the Economic and Finance Committee.

All the MPs agreed to this. The National budget for the financial year 2021-2022 however will be adopted tomorrow and will be referred to the National Council for deliberation.

Meanwhile, the house also discussed the Budget Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2021-2022 which will be adopted tomorrow as well.

Samten Dolkar

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