Na­tional coun­cil dis­cusses the pre­lim­i­nary rec­om­men­da­tions on Bills for 14th Ses­sion

Bhutan Times - - Home - Ugyen Cho­den

The Chair­per­son of­fi­cially an­nounced the com­mence­ment date for the 14th ses­sion of the Na­tional Coun­cil as 12 Novem­ber 2014 dur­ing the Coun­cil’s 18th ple­nary ses­sion which was con­ducted on 28thand 29th Au­gust. He said that the ses­sion will be very in­ten­sive and will re­quire at least a month for de­lib­er­a­tions on dif­fer­ent Bills and Pol­icy Is­sues. The ses­sion is ex­pected to con­clude be­fore the Na­tional Day cel­e­bra­tions.

The 18th ple­nary meet­ing was con­ducted for two days to dis­cuss var­i­ous is­sues in prepa­ra­tion for the 14th ses­sion. Chair­per­sons of dif­fer­ent com­mit­tees made pre­sen­ta­tions on bills and pol­icy is­sues which their com­mit­tees were al­lo­cated dur­ing the 13th ses­sion. The Bills are: i) Nar­cotic Drugs, Psy­chotropic Sub­stance and Sub­stance Abuse Bill, ii) Bio-Safety Bill, iii) Ten­ancy Bill, iv) Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment En­ti­tle­ment Bill and v) Par­lia­men­tary En­ti­tle­ment Bill, which were all passed by the Na­tional Assem­bly last sum­mer dur­ing their 3rd ses­sion. The Eco­nomic Af­fairs Com­mit­tee, which was asked to re­view the Spe­cial Au­dit Re­port on Na­tional Debt pro­posed the con­duct of thor­ough re­view of the Econ­omy that also in­clude re­view of the coun­try’s debt is­sue.

The Chair­per­sons shared the ex­tent and fre­quency of con­sul­ta­tions held with dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers. For ex­am­ple, the Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee has al­ready con­ducted seven meet­ings with dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers, and a few more are planned for the fol­low­ing month. The Chair­per­sons also high­lighted crit­i­cal is­sues in dif­fer­ent Bills, amend­ments made by the Na­tional Assem­bly and po­si­tion of NC Com­mit­tees on th­ese amend­ments. Mem­bers sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion and pro­vided feed­back on the pre­sen­ta­tions.

The NC Sec­re­tariat was asked to pre­pare leg­isla­tive briefs on th­ese Bills, based on the pre­sen­ta­tions, so that mem­bers can share them with the peo­ple dur­ing the con­stituency vis­its and seek feed­back. Dur­ing this ple­nary meet­ing, an Ad-hoc Com­mit­tee was also con­sti­tuted to re­view hy­dro power poli­cies and its de­vel­op­ment is­sues, which will be de­lib­er­ated ei­ther dur­ing the 15th or 16th ses­sion of the Na­tional Coun­cil.

The meet­ing iden­ti­fied is­sues for dis­cus­sion for the next ple­nary which would be held to­wards the end of Septem­ber. Mean­while, com­mit­tees would con­tinue to hold fur­ther stake­hold­ers con­sul­ta­tion and re­port again to the ple­nary meet­ing the amend­ments made by NA that could be ei­ther ac­cepted or re­jected as well as ad­di­tional amend­ments that NC may pro­pose.

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