15th Ses­sion of the Na­tional Coun­cil be­gan from last Thurs­day

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

Af­ter the com­ple­tion of joint sit­ting of Na­tional As­sem­bly, the 15th Ses­sion of the Na­tional Coun­cil be­gan last Thurs­day.

In the open­ing ses­sion, the Chair­per­son of Na­tional Coun­cil ad­dress on be­half of the Na­tional Coun­cil ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Their Majesties for their valu­able guid­ance and coun­sel at all times.

He also paid trib­ute to His Majesty the King for his com­pas­sion­ate and ex­em­plary deeds for His sub­jects, pay­ing con­do­lences to the late Prime Min­is­ter Lee Kuan Yew of Sin­ga­pore with his per­sonal pres­ence, and grant­ing timely as­sis­tance to Nepal in their dire need for help that fur­ther strength­ened and re-af­firmed the age-old re­la­tion­ship that ex­isted be­tween the two coun­tries. He fur­ther ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to His Ho­li­ness the Je Khenpo, Ven­er­a­ble Rim­poches, Tulkus, monks, nuns and Pan­dit of Hindu com­mu­nity for per­form­ing rit­u­als and Ku-rim for the well­be­ing of our peo­ple and all sen­tient be­ings.

The Chair­per­son fur­ther re­ported on the work­ing sta­tus of the com­mit­tees of the Na­tional Coun­cil since the con­clu­sion of the 14th ses­sion. He said that in ful­fill­ing the man­dates of the Na­tional Coun­cil, the com­mit­tees of the Na­tional Coun­cil had con­ducted 80 meet­ings in­clud­ing stake­holder con­sul­ta­tions and 12 ple­nary ses­sions to re­view var­i­ous is­sues. He said that dur­ing the 15th Ses­sion, the Na­tional Coun­cil would look at four is­sues, which in­clude de­lib­er­a­tions on two leg­is­la­tions, re­view re­port on four pol­icy is­sues, rat­ify two in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions and con­duct ques­tion hour ses­sions.

In his con­clud­ing re­marks, the Chair­per­son thanked the com­mit­tees for their fruit­ful works and the sec­re­tariat staff for their un­stint­ing sup­port to the com­mit­tees in suc­cess­fully car­ry­ing out their man­dates.

Fol­low­ing the open­ing Ses­sion, the House re­viewed the fol­low- up re­port on the res­o­lu­tions of the 14th Ses­sion of the Na­tional Coun­cil wherein the mem­bers sub­mit­ted their views and con­cerns.

The House con­sti­tuted a Spe­cial Com­mit­tee to fol­low up on the res­o­lu­tions re­gard­ing the per­for­mance Au­dit Re­port on Tax of Min­ing and Quar­ry­ing sec­tor and is­sues on estab­lish­ment of Busi­ness Op­por­tu­nity and In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter (BOiC). The Spe­cial Com­mit­tee was di­rected by the House to meet with the con­cerned mem­bers to work on the rec­om­men­da­tions pro­vided and present a re­port to the House on com­ing Thurs­day for fi­nal de­lib­er­a­tion.

The House also took stock of the is­sues re­ceived from the Dzongkhags and ways and means to deal with them.

Mean­while, last Thurs­day the House has de­lib­er­ated on the En­ti­tle­ment and Ser­vice Con­di­tions Act for the Hold­ers, Mem­bers and Com­mis­sion­ers of the Con­sti­tu­tional Of­fices of Bhutan (Amend­ment) Bill 2014 and last Fri­day, Min­is­ter for Fi­nance, Ly­onpo Nam­gay Dorji pre­sented the in­tro­duc­tion of the En­ti­tle­ment and Ser­vice con­di­tions (Amend­ment) Bill for Hold­ers, Mem­bers & Com­mis­sion­ers of the Con­sti­tu­tional Of­fices to the house.

Dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, the Min­is­ter out­lined the back­ground and the ob­jec­tive to amend the Bill. He ex­pressed that the pre­vail­ing Act need to ad­dress the is­sues re­gard­ing the res­ig­na­tion of the Mem­bers and Com­mis­sion­ers of the con­sti­tu­tional of­fice, which de­prived qual­i­fied and ex­pe­ri­ence in­di­vid­ual to serve the na­tions as they are to re­sign be­fore the nor­mal age of re­tire­ment. Fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion, the mem­bers raised ques­tions as to whether public con­sul­ta­tions were con­ducted be­fore amend­ing the act, is­sues re­lated to res­ig­na­tion and ap­point­ment of the mem­bers & Com­mis­sion­ers, and se­lec­tion of the mem­bers and com­mis­sion­ers in­clud­ing their tenures and salaries.

The House will de­lib­er­ate on the Com­mit­tee Re­port on elec­tion re­lated is­sues by the Leg­isla­tive Com­mit­tee and ra­tio­nal­iza­tion of Gewogs by the Nat­u­ral Re­sources & En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee to­mor­row.

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