Joint sit­ting Par­lia­ment passes Ten­ancy Bill of Bhutan 2014

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Chimmi Rinzin

The joint sit­ting of Par­lia­ment passed the Ten­ancy Bill of Bhutan 2014. The Bill got 60 votes in favour to be passed while two mem­bers voted ‘No’ and four mem­bers ab­stained from vot­ing. There were a to­tal of 66 Mem­bers present.

The Chair­per­son of the joint com­mit­tee on the Bill, Karma Ten­zin of Wam­rong Con­stituency pre­sented the rec­om­men­da­tions of the joint com­mit­tee on 12 clauses. The Chair­per­son pre­sented each clause in de­tail and in­formed that the rec­om­men­da­tions were made with the aim to ben­e­fit both the ten­ants and the prop­erty own­ers.

De­lib­er­a­tions were how­ever seen on sec­tion 9.1.3 per­tain­ing to the pe­nal in­ter­est of 24% per an­num to be levied if the ten­ant fails to pay the rent on time. The Na­tional Coun­cil mem­ber from Da­gana Dzongkhag, Sonam Dorji sub­mit­ted that the pe­nal in­ter­est of 24% was felt

high for the ten­ants to pay and sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion on why the joint com­mit­tee fixed the pe­nal in­ter­est rate at 24%. Ex­press­ing sim­i­lar views, he was sup­ple­mented by Na­tional Coun­cil mem­ber from Chumed-Ura Con­stituency and Paro Dzongkhag.

Re­spond­ing to the query, the chair­per­son of the joint com­mit­tee sub­mit­ted that the is­sue of in­ter­est rate was ex­ten­sively dis­cussed in the com­mit­tee. He said that the 24% pe­nal in­ter­est rate was also ap­pli­ca­ble as per the cir­cu­lar is­sued by the Min­istry of Fi­nance for taxes which were over due to the gov­ern­ment in­clud­ing au­dit ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. Fur­ther­more, he added that if the in­ter­est rate was to be fixed too low, some peo­ple may take ad­van­tage of the pro­vi­sion and not pay on time.

Con­se­quently, the clause was re­solved based on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the joint com­mit­tee which reads as ‘In the event the ten­ant fails to pay the rent on time, he/ she shall pay the amount with in­ter­est at the rate of 24% per an­num on the amount due’.

Upon pass­ing of the Bill, the Min­is­ter for Works & Hu­man Set­tle­ment thanked the Hon Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and all other stake­hold­ers for their sup­port.

As per sec­tion 11 of ar­ti­cle 13 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the Bill will be sub­mit­ted to His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo for Royal As­sent.

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