Country’s debt rises again

The country’s outstanding external debt increased to a record high of 138.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the end of the fiscal year 2020-21 from the previous high of 121 percent.

The external debt in the convertible currency (CC) and the Indian Rupees (INR) combined stands at Nu 238.143 billion (B), according to the monthly statistical bulletin of the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan for March 2022.

While Nu 68.596B (USD 922.7M) of the debt was is in convertible currency, Nu 169.546B was in INR.

Of the total INR debt, Nu 148B is of the four hydro projects of Punatsangchhu I and II, Mangdechhu and Nikachhu.

The country could face difficulties to repay if the loans continue to pile up given the limited sources of the convertible currency. Over reliance on hydropower project could be economic blunder. 

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