Why the government may be lazy

We should be concerned that the government has been slow to implement the 7 billion Small Development Projects grant provided by the Indian government. The SDP grant is part of the 10th Five Year Plan and is for:

implementing smaller, short-gestation and community-oriented projects in vital sectors of health, education, rural infrastructure (conference hall, farm roads, small bridges, etc), water supply, irrigation channels, Renewable Natural Resource (RNR) centres etc. It is expected that over 2000 such projects will be implemented all across 20 districts of Bhutan in five-years time.

Two years of the 10th Plan is already over. And yesterday, the finance minister told the National Assembly that, so far, the government has used only Nu 195 million of the SDP funds. That works out to about 2.3% of Nu 7 billion grant.

Almost 50% of the 10th Plan is over, and the government has implemented barely 2.3% of the total grant. So yes, we should be concerned – deeply concerned – at the government’s inability to deliver.

But we should be even more concerned at the government’s tardiness. Two years of the 10th Plan are over. And for the third year, the government is targeting only Nu 1,643 million of the SDP grant. So most of the SDP grant will be available for the final two years of the 10th Five Year Plan. And, most of that period will conveniently correspond to the eighteen months leading up to the 2013 general elections.


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  1. I think the main problem of not able to spend development grant areis

  2. I think the main problems of not able to spend development grant are:
    1. we lack technical and implementation capacities
    2. Government red-tap hinders quicker processing of development request
    3. Unnecessary hassel in fund release
    4. lack of will power of some government agencies
    5. may be saving money at the last moment.


  3. Bullchakpa says

    Let it be! It serves your interest if the government is not performing because you then have a better chance of winning next time round. However, the reality is that implementers like local governments are not even able to spend what has been provided to them and not because there was shortage of funds. And sadly for you, people around the country, apart from few in Thimphu, know that the government is doing very well. And by the way, do not pretend that you are not aware of the real reason behind the delay in accessing SDP grant.

  4. Looks like Bullchakpa is another brainwashed DPT fan.

    The only thing DPT has achieved is introducing numerous tax on the poor Bhutanese folks.

    They then trick the civil servants before the election by saying we are going to give you 35% salary raise.

    But what sheeps like bullchakpa does not realise is you might get 35% raise, but they are going to take back more than that in all new taxes.

    Tha salary raise also benefits the landlords, which we all know belongs mostly to DPT clan and rich people. In other words, they are giving you raise so they can benefit.

    If DPT cares about middle class, they would introduce landlord tenant act, to protect tenants. But that would not be beneficial to DPT and their chamchas, so they will just let it go.

    In the next election, people should make, Landlord tenant issue an election platform.

  5. I think the policy of good governance is not working well: the ministers think their policies and plans are right and most suited, the bureaucrats or secretaries or directors think also they have their right too. I feel there is lack of collaboration and team work. The differences between these people must be put in aside. The only one to be affected are the people of Bhutan. Let’s work hand-in-hand, free of corruption.

  6. What has happened to the Civil Service Bill?

  7. Bullchakpa says

    Please wake up to the truth! You want development to take place at any cost and you don’t want to make any contribution. Time to grow up and acknowledge that we cannot forever depend on the tax payers of other countries to pay for our cars, our homes, our TV, our health and our childern’s education. Bhutan is still one of the least taxed country in the world and unless we change our mentality and learn to accept tax as an integral part of our economic growth, we will never achieve self-reliance.

  8. Dear TT, Spending is directly correlated to absorptive and distributive capacities of the existing delivery systems/mechanisms. Perhaps it would be prudent to look into such process level indicators and accelerate the burn rate in the next 2 years. If there are major gaps, the Government should find ways and means, through Technical Assistance, to improve and bridge potential gaps in the delivery mechanisms. Take care… best wishes for your early recovery!

    • Dear Honda: Correct, we need to see where the system is failing. And yes, it could be lack of absorptive and distributive capacities at the local levels, cause by, among other things, insufficient people and frustrating procedure. And, of course, we need to look into this. tshering

  9. Truth …you seem to me like a frustrated fool with unrealistic quantity of negativity, not understanding the real truth but pretending to know a lot. Like Bullchakpa advised you,it is time you grow up.

  10. Bullchakpa and normal,
    Why don’t you two tell me where I am wrong?
    Isn’t the goverment trying so many new taxes, increase on sales tax on cars, increase of electricity tariff, recent increase in fuel prices( although, I cannot argue against this, because Bhutan government cannot control what Indian Goverment does), and we all know, rents and food prices always increase substantially whenever there is a rumour for salary increase.
    Now tell me where I am wrong in all these statements.
    Also tell me, did the government even bother to pass a tenant, landlord law, that will offer protection to tenants.

    I am too lazy to find out, but there was an article in some newspaper last year, that showed, most of high ranking goverment officials and their spouses were increasing their rents during last salary revision.
    Atleast the civil servants won’t suffer because their salary increase negates the rent increase , but what about the private sector employees? They suffer the most because their salary increase does not depend on civil servants salary increase.

    Then I might grow up. Tell me I am wrong in all above statement and then I might grow up.
    You guys cannot face the truth. It is okay for you two to blindly acceopt whatever DPT is doing but I just cannot stay silent and let you two spread false information.

  11. Excellent Tshering! I wish you good luck in taking forward the deliberations at the Parliament. Empirical evidence in South Asia reveals that when existing systems and processes are not able to deliver, Governments have resorted to outsourcing implementation of imperative activities to Management Agencies. I understand that you would disagree with me in light of several procedural hassles surrounding the selection and appointment these management agencies. It may sound like economic hit-man scenario, but I suggest that we should speak with the Government of India to reach a potentially feasible solution in this regard. GoI may already have some reputed/readily available companies to undertake such activities. The rationale behind this is to expedite the implementation of activities and avoid accumulation of funds without accruing any tangible benefits. Even if the current Government is able to utilize 70% of the existing budgets, it is a good progress by 2012. Funding? Good question! Simply use the grant funds after a good negotiation.

    Restructuring delivery systems and mechanism at the local governance platform is a long-term effort and it will take some time to be functionally made operational.

  12. Bullchakpa says

    Truth, please list which groups and who will be affected by the nex taxes. They are definitely not going to hit the “nyamchung’ lot and I do not believe that you are speaking for them. If you know those government officials and their spouses have flouted the house rent laws, fix them – take them to court and do something proactive and result orientated rather than just complain.

  13. I don’t think the government was lazy, is lazy and will be lazy. His Majesty the 4th King while addressing the Public of Monggar last years affirmed that DPT government is doing extremely well. He even went to the extent of saying that what the previous government took 10 years is undertaken in 2 years by the DPT government. So, when there is a great regard and appreciation from the highest authority of the land and a genius Monarch himself, I think what OL calims here is just a rhetoric and a political statement.

    It may be true that the government has implemented less than 10% of the 10th FYP, but the results in rural areas is astounding. Farm roads are being constructed everywhere, the supply of electricity if going full swing and almost all the 205 gewogs are now connected by mobile services. I think this is a very serious achievement, one that can’t be undermine by any political statement or rhetoric.

    As far as I know, there are reasons why government is behind schedule in the implementation of the 10th FYP: 1. The first one year was consumed in the undertaking preparatory works for the 2 most significant activities in the history of Bhutan: i. Coronation of the 5th Druk Gyalpo and ii. the Centenary celebration of the Wangchuk Dynasty. I think these 2 events were successful mainly because the government undertook flawless preparatory works till the eventual execution.

    2. OL pretends to be unaware of the status of the SDP and the complications surrounding it. OL knows that the money for the SDP is not with the Ministry of Finance. I am told that there are lot of difficulties involved in getting the money from the Indian government.So, the implementation of developmental activities under the SDP is not being delayed by the government. On the contrary, the government, I believe, is engaged in constant dialogue and negotiation with the Indian government, so that the money is released on time.

    So, these are the facts and realities surrounding the delay in implementing some of the activities of the 10th FYP.

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