The first step towards the creation of Ministry of Finance took place during the 16th session of the National Assembly held on the 9th July 1961. In pursuance of the earlier resolutions and decision, it was decided during this Assembly to establish an Accounts and Audit Committee called the Gyaltse Kha Lowa.
The Gyaltse Kha Lowa comprised of four members, one representative of His Majesty the King and one representative each from the Cabinet, Public and the Monk Body. The Committee was responsible for the proper maintenance of revenue and government properties. A prior written assent of the His Majesty the King was made necessary for any government expenditure, which was to be jointly maintained by the four committee members. Annual Accounts were to be submitted to His Majesty the King. His Majesty the King determined the budget for different Dzongkhags.
With the increase in the developmental activities, two new ministers were appointed in 1968. One of the new ministers, Dasho Chogyal, was appointed as the Tsilon (Finance Minister) during the 28th session of the National Assembly, on 20th May 1968.
With the appointment of a Finance Minister, the Ministry of Finance took over the roles and responsibilities of the Gyaltse Kha Lowa. In addition, after the 30th session of the National Assembly, the Ministry of Finance was directed to expand its responsibilities beginning with studies on introduction and implementation of various kinds of taxes. Further, in the 33rd session of the National Assembly, the Ministry of Finance was also given the task of developing a proper budgeting system.
Following these developments, the Finance Ministry submitted the first formal statement of Income and Expenditure of the civilian budgetary plan for the calendar year 1971 to the 34th Session of the National Assembly (29thApril –21st May, 1971), which was verified and approved by the Assembly.
Prior to 1980, MoF dealt only with the so-called civil budget. The Planning Commission handled the plan or development budget or the budget financed from external aid.
In 1971, a Customs Department was formally established and in1978, Customs checkposts opened at Phuentsholing, Chengmari, Samtse, Sipsoo, Sarpang, Kalikhola, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar.
Earlier motor vehicle, excise and revenue were separate divisions/ departments. In 1982 excise, motor vehicle and revenue were merged as revenue division. Prior to 1986 customs and revenue were two different division/department.
In 1986 the two were merged to form the Department of Revenue & Customs.
In 2004, Department of Lottery was established, prior to that, it was a Directorate under the Department of Revenue and Customs.
In 1980, the development budget was transferred to the MoF, where a Budget Bureau was created. In 1985, the Budget Bureau was merged with the Central Accounts Division, and renamed as the Department of National Budget and Accounts.
In 1992, the function of aid coordination was transferred from the Planning Commission to the DNBA in the MOF. DNBA was renamed as the National Budget and Aid Coordination Division.
In 2000, as part of the overall government restructuring, the NBACD was bifurcated into two separate departments – the Department of Budget and Accounts and the Department of Aid and Debt Management.
In 2003, as per government orders, the Planning Commission was dissolved and the Secretariat was transferred to the MoF, and renamed as the Department of Planning.
Apart from the above departments, the MoF also looks after the Department of Revenue and Customs and the Department of National Properties.
The Representative Of His Majesty
During the 36th Session of the National Assembly, His Majesty appointed HRH Ashi Sonam Chhoden Wangchuck as Representative of His Majesty in the Ministry of Finance. During HRH tenure as the Representative of His Majesty in the Ministry of Finance, HRH implemented a number of welfare schemes in the area of taxes, particularly in the interest of the poor people. In the end of the year 1991, HRH went on from Finance to be the Representative of His Majesty the King in the Ministry of Agriculture.
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