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News and Press Release from Ministry of Finance

Press Release on FRR 2016

PRESS RELEASE

The Financial Rules & Regulations (FRR 2001) which was implemented with effect from July 2001 has now been revised and will be termed as Financial Rules & Regulations 2016 (FRR 2016). The FRR 2016 has been launched by the Hon’ble Finance Secretary on 27th December 2016 during the Annual Financial Workshop which was themed as “Towards Achieving Excellence in Financial Management”.

The FRR has been revised in accordance to the Public Finance Act; the web based Budgeting and Accounting Systems (MYRB & PEMS) and various circulars and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance. In the revised
manual, the accounting, budgeting and reporting systems have been simplified and redundancies have been removed making it more dynamic and user friendly.

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Induction Programs for new officers and Inspectors (6-Jan-2017)

Induction Programs for new officers (Graduate officers -PGDFM) and Revenue/Customs Inspectors

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) organised Induction Program for University Graduate Officers (PGDFM) who got their placement in the MOF on 5th January 2017 in the Ministry of Finance, Thimphu. The Officers have been selected through Bhutan Civil Service Examination, completed one year PGDFM course at Royal Institute of Management (RIM) and have been placed in the Ministry of Finance at various positions effective from 1st January 2017.

The Hon’ble Finance Secretary congratulated each of them for successfully completing their course at the RIM and having got their placements in the MOF. The graduates were made familiar with the core mandates of MOF and its importance in nation building through dynamic fiscal policies and sound financial management through maximization of resource generation, efficient allocation and prudent expenditure. Moreover, Dasho urged them to uphold high level of integrity in terms of complying with the various provisions of the Rules and maintain clean track records since they are the key officials to manage the financial resources and their positions fall under vulnerable category. With the right attitude and ability to deliver effectively, he informed the new officers that their prospects in the MOF in terms of career progression and the HR related opportunities are enormous.

A total of 23 PGDFM graduates comprising of 11 Assistant Customs/Revenue/Tax/Sales Tax Officers, 6 Assistant Accounts Officers, 4 Assistant Procurement Officers, 1 Assistant Internal Audit Officer and 1 Assistant Budget Officer attended the above Session. Further, these new Officers will be attached with the respective Departments/Sectors for another two to three weeks to familiarise with the work and organisational culture before they join their new place of postings. The Hon’ble Finance Secretary also briefed the newly recruited 33 Revenue/Customs/Sales Inspectors on 6 January 2017

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Ministry of Finance celebrates the 2016 Dedicated Civil Service Awards

The Ministry of Finance organised the award ceremony of the “2016 Dedicated Civil Service Awards” on 16th December 2016. Addressing the Award Ceremony by the Hon’ble Finance Secretary, he stated today’s civil service awards which was initiated by the government at the command of His Majesty the King reflects the recognition for distinguished contribution and hard work of all the recipients. He congratulated all of them

The Hon’ble Finance Secretary stated that it was an excellent opportunity of all the award recipients and the employee of MoF to pay tribute and rededicate our commitment and loyalty to Tsa-Wa-Sum. There were 170 recipients in MoF which includes (1) Lifetime (superannuated employee) – 25; (2) 30 years and above (Gold Medal) – 28; (3) 20 years and above (Silver Medal) – 29; (4) 10 years and above (Bronze Medal) – 88.

Lifetime Award Recipients with Finance Secretary

Lifetime Award Recipients with Finance Secretary

30 Year and above Award Recipients with Finance Secretary

30 Year and above Award Recipients with Finance Secretary

20 Year and above Award Recipients with Finance Secretary

20 Year and above Award Recipients with Finance Secretary

10 Year and above Award Recipients with Finance Secretary

10 Year and above Award Recipients with Finance Secretary

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2016 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (12-Oct-2016)

PRESS RELEASE

The 2016 Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) was held in Washington, D.C. from 7-9 October 2016. Hon’ble Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Dorji, in the capacity of the Board of Governors to the WBG led the RGoB delegation.

The Board of Governors of the WBG and the Board of Governors of the IMF meet once a year to discuss the work of their respective institutions. The Annual Meetings bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. The meeting also features seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial system.

On the sideline of Annual Meetings, the RGoB delegation also held bilateral meetings with various donor agencies and senior management of the World Bank Group and IMF and discussed issues of mutual interest. Hon’ble Finance Minister also had courtesy meeting with Indian Finance Minister H.E. Mr. Arun Jaitley.

En-route to Bhutan, Hon’ble Finance Minister attended the launch of Foreign Currency Account Facility for Non-resident Bhutanese in New York.

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Lyonpo Namgay Dorji with Indian Finance Minister H.E. Mr. Arun Jaitley on the sidelines of 2016 Annual Meetings of WBG/IMF

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Launch of Foreign Currency Account Facility for Non-resident Bhutanese in New York, USA (11-Oct-2016)

PRESS RELEASE

The Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Bhutan and the Bhutan National Bank launched the Foreign Currency Account Facility for the Non-resident Bhutanese on 9th October 2016 in New York, USA. The launch was graced by Hon’ble Finance Minister, Lyonpo Namgay Dorji.

The scheme is being introduced in recognition of the significant role that inward foreign currency remittances can play in boosting the country’s foreign exchange reserves and in promoting personal savings. The facility is being made available exclusively to the Non-resident Bhutanese who live, work or study overseas, to enable them to remit their earnings and savings to their personal foreign currency accounts or to their family members in Bhutan.

The RMA has developed a safe and secure web-based online system called RemitBhutan (www.remitbhutan.bt) to facilitate Non-resident Bhutanese to conveniently and safely apply for and open non-face-to-face foreign currency account online.

Speaking to about more than 200 Non-resident Bhutanese in New York, Lyonpo Namgay Dorji highlighted the importance of foreign currency remittances in boosting the country’s foreign exchange reserves and in inculcating savings culture. Lyonpo Namgay Dorji also handed over the International Debit Cards to those Non-resident Bhutanese who have already applied online and opened the Foreign Currency Account.

The facility comes with different schemes and has various attractive incentives, such as preferential interest on deposits, full repatriation of the principal amount and these accounts can act as security deposit to avail Ngultrum loan. Furthermore, the account holder can open the account with zero balance and will be provided with International Debit Cards and access to the Internet and Mobile banking facilities. The banks will maintain strict confidentiality of account holders and be able to enjoy other exclusive incentives on these accounts from time to time.

The event was facilitated by Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Bhutan in New York.
The RemitBhutan was officially launched by His Excellency Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay on 21st September 2016 in Thimphu.

For more information and updates, please visit www.rma.org.bt and/or www.remitbhutan.bt.

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The delegation led by Lyonpo Namgay Dorji during the interactive session with the Non-resident Bhutanese in New York

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The Non-resident Bhutanese attending the RemitBhutan launch in New York

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Inauguration of Department of Macroeconomic Affairs, Ministry of Finance (26-Sept-2016)

DMEA

The Department of Macroeconomic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance was formally inaugurated by the Hon’ble Finance Minister, Lyonpo Namgay Dorji on 26th September, 2016. The inaugural ceremony was attended by officials from the Ministry of Finance and RCSC.

The new Department will be the main coordinating agency which is responsible for formulating and monitoring macroeconomic policies and programs. The Department shall advise the Government on macroeconomic and public finance management. The Department will support MoF to fulfill its mandates with regard to macroeconomic coordination and facilitation as enshrined in the Public Finance Act.

  • Objectives & Structure of Department of Macroeconomic Affairs download
  • Public Notification download

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Launch of the Public Debt Policy 2016 (7-Sept-2016)

Press Release

PublicDebtPolicy7092016
1. The Ministry of Finance has officially launched the Public Debt Policy 2016 on 7th September, 2016 at Tashichhodzong, Thimphu.

2. The Government has recognized the need for a comprehensive public debt policy to proactively guide its investment and ensure that financing decisions are prudent and public debt is maintained at a sustainable level. Following the directives from 40th Lhengye Zhungtshog Session held on June 24, 2014, the Policy was drafted by a Committee comprising of representatives from Ministry of Finance, Royal Monetary Authority, Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat, National Statistics Bureau and Department of Hydropower and Power Systems.

3. The Policy is governed by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Public Finance Act of Bhutan 2007, the Audit Act of Bhutan 2006 and the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan Act 2010, and amendments thereof.

4. This Policy extends to all Public and Publicly Guaranteed External and Domestic Debt of Bhutan. However, given the nascent stage of development of domestic debt market, the thresholds in this Policy shall apply only to External Debt, until such time the thresholds for domestic debt can be determined to compliment this Policy. The broad guiding principles for raising debt are categorized by type of liability (direct or contingent) and by sector of borrower (General Government, Public Corporations and RMA).

5. Given the unique nature of Bhutan’s debt dynamics, which is primarily driven by investments in the development of hydropower, the thresholds set out in this Policy have been framed in a manner to allow Bhutan to continue to pursue and optimize its hydropower resources. As such, the draft policy provides debt thresholds for two categories of debt viz., (i) Non-hydropower debt (ii) Hydropower debt.

6. The threshold for Non-hydro External Debt, inter alia, shall not exceed thirty-five percent (35%) of GDP during a five- year period. Similarly, for Hydropower External Debt, inter alia, the ratio of hydropower debt service to hydropower export revenue shall be maintained within forty percent (40%), in any given year. The overall threshold for Total External Debt however is, provided in terms of Debt Service Ratio (ratio of annual debt service obligation to exports of goods and services) which shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%).

7. The thresholds are proposed to reduce the undue debt burden that might arise from indiscriminate borrowing for social projects which do not necessarily generate financial returns. Other considerations are aimed at to ensure fiscal discipline and avoid ad-hoc, short-term borrowing which are generally costly.

8. The Policy was formally approved by Lhengye Zhungtshog during the 109th Session held on 2nd August 2016.

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Eight SAARC Finance Ministers/Secretaries’ Meetings (7-Sept-2016)

Press Release

At the invitation of the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Royal Government of Bhutan participated in the Eight Meetings of the SAARC Finance Ministers and Secretaries in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Finance Ministers’ Meeting was held on 26th August 2016 preceded by the Finance Secretaries’ Meeting on 25th August 2016.
The main objective of the SAARC Finance Ministers was to review the processes towards establishment of the South Asian Economic Union (SAEU).

In this regards, the Islamabad Meeting reviewed the status on economic and financial cooperation including investment, progress in customs cooperation, regional economic integration and SAARCFINANCE. The Meeting also assessed the overall performance economic outlook of each Member State and discussed opportunities/challenges for South Asia.

As the SAARC Finance Ministers in their capacity as the Governing Council of SDF, discussed measures to strengthen SDF and expedite the operationalization of Economic and Infrastructure Windows.
SAARC Finance Ministers normally meet once a year. The Ministers also meet in informal settings on the sidelines of annual meetings of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Bi-lateral Meetings between Member States are also organized, when requested.
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His Excellency Lyonpo Namgay Dorji, Finance Minister led the Bhutanese delegation to the Eight Meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers. The delegation comprised of senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The next SAARC Finance Ministers’ Meeting is scheduled in Afghanistan.

FS_Meeting7092016_01

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Signing of Departments and Secretariat Annual Performance Agreement (APA) for FY 2016-17

The signing of the Departments and the Secretariat APA for FY 2016-17 took place on 4th August, 2016 at the Ministry’s Conference Hall in the Tashichhodzong. The meeting was chaired by the Hon’ble Lyonpo which was attended by Dasho Secretary, Director General, Directors, chiefs and other officials of the Ministry.
The Hon’ble Lyonpo reminded everyone in the meeting about the significance of APA in increasing the performance of the Ministry while delivering its services. The Hon’ble Lyonpo commended the hard work done by the Departments and Divisions in the Ministry in the past and such hard work should be continued further in achieving the targets in the new FY 2016-17.

The APAs were signed between Dasho Secretary and Heads of the Department and Chiefs of Divisions under the Secretariat in presence of the Hon’ble Lyonpo.

Signing of the Ministry's APA for FY 2016-17 between Hon'ble Lyonpo and Dasho Secretary

Signing of the Ministry’s APA for FY 2016-17 between Hon’ble Lyonpo and Dasho Secretary

Signing of Department of National Properties APA for FY 2016-17 between Dasho Secretary and Director General Nima Wangdi

Signing of Department of National Properties APA for FY 2016-17 between Dasho Secretary and Director General Nima Wangdi

Signing of Department of Revenue and Customs APA for FY 2016-17 between Dasho Secretary and Director Yonten Namgyel

Signing of Department of Revenue and Customs APA for FY 2016-17 between Dasho Secretary and Director Yonten Namgyel

Signing of Department of National Budget APA for FY 2016-17 between Dasho Secretary and Director Lekzang Dorji

Signing of Department of National Budget APA for FY 2016-17 between Dasho Secretary and Director Lekzang Dorji

Signing of Secretariat APA for FY 2016-17 between Dasho Secretary and Chiefs

Signing of Secretariat APA for FY 2016-17 between Dasho Secretary and Chiefs

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New Finance Secretary appointed

FS7 Dasho Nim Dorji was appointed by His Majesty the King as the new Finance Secretary on 14th July, 2016.
Prior to his appointment, Dasho served as Director General of Department of Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. He also served as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.
Dasho started his career in 1989 as trainee officer in the Ministry of Finance. He became the Director of Department of Public Accounts in 2007 and the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance in 2012.
He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Canberra, Australia.

Dasho Nim Dorji (second from the right) with other Secretaries appointed by His Majesty the King.

Dasho Nim Dorji (second from the right) with other Secretaries appointed by His Majesty the King.

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Signing of Excise Duty Refund for the Year 2015 (30-June-2016)

PRESS RELEASE

A delegation led by Mr. Mahender Singh, Director General of Directorate General of Performance Management, (Customs and Central Excise), Government of India (GoI) visited Bhutan for verification and quantification of the Excise Duty Refund claim of RGoB for the year 2015 from 19th to 30th June 2016. The meeting between the delegates of RGoB and GoI was held on 29th June 2016 to discuss and finalize the Excise Duty Refund. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Mr. Yonten Namgyel, Director, Department of Revenue and Customs. The total excise duty refund agreed for the year 2015 is Nu. 2,916,923,214 (Two Thousand Nine Hundred Sixteen Million, Nine Hundred Twenty Thousand, Two Hundred Fourteen) only.
EDR2005
The refund amount of excise duty for the year 2015 has increased by Nu. 973 million as compared to Excise Duty Refund for 2014. The increase is attributed to the improved recording system of the Department of Revenue and Customs and due to maintenance of documents in a manner desired by the GoI delegates. The increase in the excise duty refund is due to the increase in the import of HSD and MS petrol. The import of HSD and MS Petrol from India has increased by 4551.6 KL and 2364.40 KL respectively. The Excise duty has increased by 534.3 million as compared to 2014 ED claim.
Further the import of vehicles has increased by 4156 vehicles as compared to imports for 2014 from 2919 to 7075 in 2015. The increase in import has attributed to the increase of Excise duty by 348.8 million from 112 million in 2014 to 460.8 million in 2015.

Although most of the commodities are subject to levy of excise duty in India, there are specific exemptions issued by way of notifications by GoI on goods of special interests (petroleum products, metallic waste products, food items, tools, spares and accessories, medicine and medical equipments) etc. Furthermore, since imports made by Hydro Power Projects in Bhutan are exempted from excise duty at source, no excise duty refund claims are made for imports made by these projects.

Apart from the above issue, other issues of mutual interests were also discussed. The GoI delegation called on the Hon’ble Prime Minister and Hon’ble Finance Minister on 27th June 2016.

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ADB 49th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors

His Excellency Namgay Dorji, the Hon’ble Finance Minister & Governor for Bhutan in Asian Development Bank (ADB) attended the Annual Meeting of ADB Board of Governors at Frankfurt, Germany from May 2-5, 2016. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Cooperating for Sustainability”. His Excellency attended the Governors seminar and roundtable meeting and attended the Main Business Sessions. His Excellency presented his Governors Statement in the Second Business Session.

His Excellency and delegation also attended the Tenth Informal Meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers which was held on May 3, 2016 on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting. The theme of this year’s Informal Meeting was “Financing Development of Economic Corridors in the SAARC Region”.

His Excellency also held bilateral meetings with the ADB President Takehiko Nakao and the Indian Finance Minister Shri. Arun Jaitley. He also held other meetings with Multilateral Development partners on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting.

Over 3000 senior government officials from ADB Developing Member Countries, business leaders, journalists, academics, and representatives from civil society and development organizations and ADB senior management and staff attended this year’s Annual Meeting.

Hon'ble Lyonpo with the ADB President Mr.Takehiko Nakao at the Annual Meeting

Hon’ble Lyonpo with the ADB President Mr.Takehiko Nakao at the Annual Meeting

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