Asia and Pacific > Bhutan

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Sriram Balasubramanian and Mr. Paul Cashin
This paper examines the origins and use of the concept of Gross National Happiness (or subjective well-being) in the Kingdom of Bhutan, and the relationship between measured well-being and macroeconomic indicators. While there are only a few national surveys of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan, the concept has been used to guide public policymaking for the country’s various Five-Year Plans. Consistent with the Easterlin Paradox, available evidence indicates that Bhutan’s rapid increase in national income is only weakly associated with increases in measured levels of well-being. It will be important for Bhutan to undertake more frequent Gross National Happiness surveys and evaluations, to better build evidence for comovement of well-being and macroeconomic concepts such as real national income.
International Monetary Fund
The review of PRGT-eligibility, conducted biennially, is guided by a transparent, rules-based, and parsimonious framework. The framework determines which IMF members can access concessional resources based on an assessment of their level of income per capita, market access, and serious short-term vulnerabilities. Application of the framework should be consistent with the self-sustainability of the PRGT’s lending capacity over time. This paper concludes that the existing framework remains generally appropriate. The PRGT-eligibility framework is broadly aligned with the World Bank’s International Development Association practices, with minor differences between the lists of eligible countries explained by differences in the mandates of the two institutions and the timing of their respective review cycles. None of the countries that have graduated from the PRGT-eligibility list are at immediate risk of re-entering it. No country is proposed for graduation from or entry onto the PRGT-eligibility list. While thirteen countries meet either the income or market access graduation criterion, all are assessed to be facing serious short-term vulnerabilities and thus none are proposed for graduation. No non-PRGT-eligible country meets the criteria for entry onto the PRGT-eligibility list. The proposal to keep the list of PRGT-eligible countries unchanged is consistent with the self-sustained capacity of the PRGT.
International Monetary Fund
The overarching objective of Bhutan’s Tenth Five-Year Plan (10FYP)—which is also the Royal Government of Bhutan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)—is to sustain this trajectory and reduce poverty further. Political stability, prudent economic management, and development of the hydropower sector delivered robust economic growth during the 9FYP. Favorable economic performance was underpinned by sound macroeconomic policies. The 10FYP forecasts an average fiscal deficit of about 3 percent of GDP, the same as in the 9FYP and in line with the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB)'s strategic fiscal policy goals.
International Monetary Fund
Bhutan has evolved from a closed economy to a trading nation that exhibits a high degree of dependence on trade. Exports have grown rapidly but overall the country’s trade deficit continues to widen owing to an even faster growth in the value of imports. The manufacturing and industry sector is constrained by various factors that impede its further development. FDI and joint ventures are some of the mechanisms that must be actively promoted to help jump start the process.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
La edición en Internet del Boletín del FMI, que se actualiza varias veces a la semana, contiene numerosos artículos sobre temas de actualidad en el ámbito de las políticas y la economía. Consulte las últimas investigaciones del FMI, lea entrevistas y escuche podcasts de los principales economistas del FMI sobre importantes temas relacionados con la economía mundial. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
L’édition web du Bulletin du FMI est mise à jour plusieurs fois par semaine et contient de nombreux articles sur des questions de politique générale et de politique économique d'actualité. Accédez aux dernières recherches du FMI, lisez des interviews et écoutez des podcasts proposés par les principaux économistes du FMI sur des questions importantes de l'économie mondiale. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund
This Joint Staff Advisory Note focuses on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) Progress Report for Bhutan. Bhutan’s PRSP aims to galvanize the poverty reduction efforts of the Royal Government of Bhutan, building on past achievements. It targets an average growth rate of 8¼ percent during 2004/05–2006/07, which is about 1¾ percentage points above that experienced during the Eighth Plan and the first two years of the Ninth Plan. Pushing the economy to this higher growth trajectory will be a challenge; however, some increase in the growth rate can be expected over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses Bhutan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The Royal Government of Bhutan has initiated the PRSP process as part of broader ongoing efforts to combat poverty. The main objective of the PRSP process is to strengthen the strategic framework for poverty reduction, improve donor coordination, and build support for new initiatives in public expenditure management and poverty monitoring and evaluation. The envisaged process builds directly on the Ninth Five-Year Plan (Ninth Plan).