South Asia

Sum of Measures 1—5 (Total Package)

Total Package in USD Million: 430.59
% of GDP (2019): 17.94%
% of Regional Total Package: 0.10%
Package Per Capita in USD: 564.27
Note: Measures 9 and 10 are added to the sum of Measures 1-5.
Measure Amount (Local) Amount (USD) Details Update Source
01 - Liquidity Support info_outline
01A - Short-term lending info_outline
01B - Support policies for short-term lending info_outline

No amount/estimate: (i) April 2020, Provision of working capital at 5% interest for wholesale distributors authorized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) for a period of 3 months, extendable by 3 months to enable them to procure adequate stocks and ensure uninterrupted supply of essential items at reasonable price; (ii) 8 February 2021, The Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) has revised the Single minimum liquidity ratio (MLR) from 6.86 percent (as of June 2020) to 6.85 percent in December 2020. The revised MLR shall remain effective for the next six months commencing March 2021 until August 2021. All the financial institutions (including the banks and non-bank financial institutions) are expected to revise their final lending rates of various loan products latest by February 28, 2021 using the above revised Single MLR.

01C - Forex operations info_outline
02 - Credit creation info_outline
02A - Financial sector lending/funding info_outline
02B - Support policies for long-term lending info_outline
02B1 - Interest rate adjustments
02B2 - Other policies to support long-term lending
02C - Loan guarantees
03 - Direct long-term lending info_outline
03A - Long-term lending info_outline

No amount/estimate: April 2020, Loans to cottage and small industries through the National Cottage and Small Industries (CSI) Development Bank (microloans at 2% concessional interest for agriculture and rural activities and working capital loans at 4% concessional interest rate for 3 months). On 26 June 2020, the government announced that the CSI loan will be extended for another 12 months.

03B - Forbearance

No amount/estimate: April 2020, Deferment of loans for 3 months (April–June 2020) (i) for all borrowers who had maintained their loan accounts in good standing, i.e., loans that were not non-performing loans (NPL) as of 29 February 2020; (ii) May 2020, The RMA announced that the interest waiver facility would also be extended to non-performing loan accounts. The government will finance 50% of the total interest payment and the financial institutions offered to support the other 50%. On 26 June 2020, the government announced to further extend interest waiver for another nine months for loans availed as of 10 April 2020 (see Measure 5B); (iii) 26 June 2020, the government announced a new monetary measure, i.e., deferment of loans for one year without penal interest. For borrowers willing and able to service their loans during this period, financial institutions offered to reduce the interest rate by one percentage point as an added incentive.

04 - Equity support info_outline
05 - Health and income support BTN/INR32,000,000,000 USD430,592,553
05A - Health support BTN/INR2,000,000,000 USD26,912,035

(i) April 2020, An additional resource of BTN2 billion will be provided to the Ministry of Health to meet health-related spending; (ii) No amount/estimate: 20 July 2020, The government announced the exemption of COVID19 testing fees for the following categories of travellers: (a) undergraduate students and (b) referred patients and patient attendants approved by the referral committee; (iii) No amount/estimate: 23 March 2021, The Ministry of Health started the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to various districts; (iv) No amount/estimate: 13 July 2021, The government has announced that Bhutan will be receiving vaccines from the following sources: (a) USA through COVAX facility 500,000 doses of Moderna, (b) Denmark 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca, (c) Croatia, Bulgaria and a few other countries over 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca, (d) COVAX facility 5,850 doses of Pfizer, (e) People’s Republic of China – 50,000 doses of Sinopharm, and (f) Government purchase of 200,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine.

05B - Income support BTN/INR30,000,000,000 USD403,680,518
05B1 - Tax and contribution deferrals and policy changes

No amount/estimate: April 2020, (i) Business Income Tax (BIT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) filing and tax payment for the Income Year 2019 will be deferred until 30 June 2020. 26 June 2020, targeted tax deferments will be provided over the next six to 12 months. On 17 February 2021, the government announced that the submission of tax returns for Income Year 2020 has been extended for (a) Personal Income Tax (PIT) - due on 31 March 2021 and (b) BIT and CIT - due on 30 April 2021; (ii) Deferred payment of sales tax and customs duty on essential items (March–June 2020); (iii) Waiver of payment of rent and other charges (April–June 2020) by tourism-related business entities leasing government properties.

05B2 - Tax and contribution rates reduction

No amount/estimate: 25 May 2020, The government will be refunding the 5% sales tax collected on telecom services collected on or after 16 January 2020.

05B3 - Subsidies to individuals and households
05B4 - Subsidies to businesses

No amount/estimate: 26 June 2020, rental waivers will be provided over the next six to 12 months.

05B5 - Indirect income support
05B6 - No breakdown (income support) BTN/INR30,000,000,000 USD403,680,518

April 2020, The National Resilience Fund has been approved and established. With a fund size amounting to about BTN30 billion, the resources will support the implementation of the following activities: (i) Grant of the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu to people who have been laid off or placed on reduced salaries to provide them immediate financial support. 30 April 2020, The Druk Gyalpo's Relief Kidu has granted BTN150 million as the first disbursement of the Relief Kidu to 13,006 people. On June 26, the government announced that the Druk Gyalpo Relief Kidu will continue from July to September 2020, however, with revision in amounts. The Relief Kidu has granted about BTN700 million between April and June 2020 to over 23,000 affected people; (ii) Interest waiver (50% of cost) - effective May 1, the Royal Monetary Authority announced that the interest waiver would also be extended to non-performing loan accounts for a period of three months (April–June 2020). The government will finance 50% of the total interest payment and the financial institutions offered to support the other 50%. On 11 June 2020, The government handed over the e-fund payment to financial service providers for loan interest waiver for the month of April. The government is financing 50% of the interest waiver amounting to BTN625.96 million (Total amount of the interest waiver for April 2020 stands at BTN1.2 billion). 26 June 2020, The government announced to further extend interest waiver for another nine months for loans availed as of 10 April 2020. Full interest waiver will be granted from July to September 2020, followed by a partial interest waiver (50%) from October 2020 to March 2021. The cost of interest payment for the nine months is estimated at BTN7.5 billion and will be fully granted from the National Resilience Fund; (iii) Fast-track the implementation of the 12th Five Year Plan and wherever possible frontload the investments. 26 June 2020, In order to support front-loading of capital investments, procurement guidelines will be simplified including preferential treatment for local goods.

05C - No breakdown (health and income support)
06 - Budget reallocation info_outline BTN/INR1,300,000,000 USD17,492,822

April 2020, A budget of BTN1.3 billion has been re-appropriated for health, essential food and fuel, quarantine and related initiatives.

07 - Central bank financing government
07A - Direct lending and reserve drawdown
07B - Secondary purchase: government securities
08 - International Assistance Received BTN/INR6,243,675,101 USD84,015,000
08A - Swaps info_outline
08B - International loans/grants BTN/INR6,243,675,101 USD84,015,000
08B1 - Asian Development Bank BTN/INR1,776,157,054 USD23,900,000

(i) April 2020, Country Support under TA 9950-REG: Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of COVID-19 and Potential Outbreaks of Other Communicable Diseases (USD1.35 million); (ii) 7 April 2020, Regional Project Development Support for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan, 2016–2025 (USD0.05 million); (iii) 4 May 2020, COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program (USD20 million); (iv) 20 May 2020, Support to address Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Strengthen Health Systems Preparedness for Communicable Diseases in South Asia (USD0.10 million); (v) 16 July 2020, COVID-19 Emergency Response (USD2 million); (vi) 24 July 2020, Due Diligence and Capacity Development of Trade Finance Program Banks (Subproject 3) (USD0.21 million); (vii) 4 September 2020, Enhancing Gender Quality Results of South Asia COVID-19 Response (USD0.13 million); (viii) 22 September 2021, Fostering Regional Cooperation and Integration through Knowledge and Capacity Building of Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program Banks (USD 0.06 million) [update].

08B2 - Other BTN/INR4,467,518,047 USD60,115,000

(i) April 2020, World Food Program donated two mobile storage units to help authorities preposition food to meet the needs of half the population for three months. The storage units has a capacity of 500 metric ton each and worth a total of USD45,000 (grant); (ii) 27 April 2020, the government and the World Bank signed a fast-track USD5 million COVID-19 project to help Bhutan prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness (loan); (iii) 20 May 2020, The Government of Bhutan and the World Bank signed a USD14.8 million Development Policy Financing with Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) to help Bhutan undertake a comprehensive set of reforms to manage climate and disasters risks, including disease outbreaks (loan); (iv) May 2020, USAID provided USD1 million in total assistance for COVID-19 response, of which (a) USD500,000 in ESF to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to generate income for those affected by COVID-19; (b) USD500,000 in health assistance to strengthen diagnostic laboratory capabilities and clinical case-management, provide virtual training for health care providers and lab personnel, and design and produce risk-communications materials (grant); (v) 28 May 2020, United Nations (UN) COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a UN inter-agency fund mechanism established by the UN Secretary-General to help support low and middle income program countries to respond to the pandemic and its impacts including an unprecedented socioeconomic shock, has allocated USD300,000 to Bhutan (grant); (vi) June 15, UN in Bhutan committed USD1.17 million to support the Government of Bhutan in addressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A part of the commitment comes from the Secretary General’s UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, with the aim to support responses to COVID-19 (see item v) and part of it is from the Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund, which will cover activities that will accelerate progress toward achieving the SDGs; (vii) 23 June 2020, The Government of Japan will provide a grant of JPY300 million (around USD2.8 million) to procure medical equipment to strengthen public health and medical systems in Bhutan; (viii) 23 June 2021, The World Bank approved a USD35 million Development Policy Credit to support Bhutan's efforts to alleviate the health, social and economic impact of COVID-19, and sustainable and inclusive growth in the aftermath of the pandemic.

09 - International Assistance Provided
09A - Swaps info_outline
09B - International loans/grants
10 - No breakdown
11 - Other Economic Measures

(i) Office of Consumer Protection has published market price information of essential commodities as of 11 March 2020, to monitor and keep track of price movement in the market and provide information to consumers for informed purchase decision; (ii) 24 March 2020, A ban on select food product (e.g., betel leaf, betel nut) import from India has been imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19; (iii) 29 June 2020, Import of luxury motor vehicles and bikes have been suspended; (iv) 4 September 2020, The Royal Monetary Authority announced the issuance of a 3-year government bond of BTN3,000 million with an annual coupon rate of 6.5% to promote capital market development amid the pandemic.

12 - Non-Economic Measures
12A - Measures affecting travel and transport (local and international)

(i) 6 March 2020, Restriction of entry of foreign tourists initially for two weeks but extended afterwards; (ii) 22 March 2020, Bhutan sealed off its land borders as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For non-Bhutanese, exits are allowed. Incoming non-Bhutanese are scrutinized and quarantined where applicable; (iii) 10 September 2020, The Government released new guidelines on the movement of individuals throughout the country; (iv) 10 November 2020, The Government of Bhutan launched a system based "fit to fly certificate" in place of handwritten certificates to all Bhutanese travelling abroad; (v) 14 December 2020, All incoming passengers to Bhutan are requested to mandatorily declare their health status through an online platform; (vi) 8 January 2021, A revised protocol for stranded individuals has been released, i.e., (a) 3 days of mandatory facility quarantine at the place of origin for emergency travels from Thimphu and Paro to other dzongkhags, (b) 7 days of mandatory facility quarantine at the place of origin for other stranded individuals who need to return to their place of residence, (c) a negative antigen test for travelers from high-risk areas; (vii) 8 July 2021, The National COVID-19 Task Force revises quarantine duration for high risk to low risk travel. The quarantine duration has been revised to 14 days for those travelling from red zone and 10 days for those coming from yellow zones.

12B - Measures affecting business and workplace

(i) 27 March 2020, Containment measures were imposed on business and entertainment, games and sports and civil service, corporate, private, and other agencies. The quarantine period has been extended to 21 April 2020; (ii) 19 June 2020, Easing of restrictions, which will be done in phases, in low risk businesses; (iii) 19 June 2020, All government, corporate, and allied agencies are called to discontinue "work from home" starting 22 June 2020; (iv) 10 January 2021, Shops opened on 24 December 2020 in various zones within Thromde were advised to close by 12 January 2021 and allow the other shops in those zones to open, giving them the fair chance to clear their stocks before the expiry dates; (v) 27 January 2021, Shops and business entities have been allowed to reopen; (vi) 30 April 2021, The National COVID-19 Task Force released an instruction urging government agencies to resort to online meetings and communication, and if unavoidable, only essential meetings with minimum participants can be organized at a physical venue.

12C - Others

(i) 6 March 2020, School closure in three cities; (ii) 27 March 2020, More containment measures were imposed on public gatherings, travel (within and outside Bhutan). The quarantine period has been extended to 21 April 2020; (iii) May 2020, Healthcare measures include setting up dedicated hospitals and quarantine centers; (iv) 19 June 2020, Easing of restrictions, which will be done in phases, in schools, institutes, and colleges, except pre-primary levels, sports, trainings and workshops, religious and social functions, parks and public spaces, and public transport; (v) 11 August 2020, Government announces nationwide lockdown. 1 September 2020, The government announced a phased easing of lockdown restrictions between 1 and 10 September 2020; (vi) 23 December 2020, A nationwide lockdown has been enforced for seven days ; (vii) 29 December 2020, The government announced an extension of the nationwide lockdown until further notice; (viii) 4 January 2021, The government has decided to roll out the measures to ease nationwide lockdown starting 6 January 2021; (ix) 15 January 2021, Government announced lifting of restrictions in 18 Dzongkhags; (x) 1 February 2021, Lockdown has been lifted and various activities are already allowed, including inter-dzongkhag movement and re-opening of schools; (xi) 16 April 2021, All the thromdes and satellite towns in the southern border dzongkhags will be under lockdown for further epidemiological assessment. No movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed in those areas; (xii) 8 July 2021, The government announced a complete lockdown in Mega-zones 1, 2, and 3 in Phuentsholing for two weeks from 9 July 2021.