15th Session of the National Council began from last Thursday
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.