NC com­mit­tees re­view­ing 12 ma­jor leg­isla­tive and pol­icy is­sues

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The seven com­mit­tees of the Na­tional Coun­cil (NC) of Bhutan are cur­rently re­view­ing the 12 rel­e­vant ma­jor leg­isla­tive and pol­icy is­sues.

A press con­fer­ence held by the Deputy Chair­per­son and spokesper­son of NC, Tsh­er­ing Dorji on 10 Au­gust 2016 pro­vided an up­date on the sta­tus of com­mit­tee works.

The joint com­mit­tees are es­tab­lished by an Act of Par­lia­ment or by con­cur­rent res­o­lu­tion of the Na­tional Coun­cil and the Na­tional As­sem­bly com­pris­ing both the houses for the work to be done ex­pe­di­tiously and with rea­son­able care.

Ac­cord­ingly, a spe­cial com­mit­tee has been con­sti­tuted to re­view is­sues re­lated to the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion while the Eco­nomic Af­fairs Com­mit­tee has been con­sti­tuted to re­view the re­main­ing pe­riod of the 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP) which has been re­viewed by gov­ern­ment. It will also help im­ple­ment the 12th FYP based on past ex­pe­ri­ences.

The Leg­isla­tive Com­mit­tee has been con­sti­tuted to re­view cus­toms bill of the King­dom of Bhutan 2015 and mo­tor ve­hi­cle agree­ment of the pas­sen­gers, cargo and ve­hic­u­lar agree­ment be­tween the Bangladesh, King­dom of Bhutan, In­dia and Nepal (BBIN) to fa­cil­i­tate and reg­u­late the cross-bor­der move­ment of ve­hi­cles.

The Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tees were formed to re­view agri­cul­tural-re­lated is­sues and the So­cial and Cul­tural Af­fairs Com­mit­tee was formed to study so­cio-cul­tural is­sues.

The For­eign Re­la­tions com­mit­tee has been formed to re­view civil avi­a­tion bill 2015 and the Good Gov­er­nance Com­mit­tee has been con­sti­tuted to re­view the per­for­mance au­dit re­port of Gewog De­vel­op­ment Grant, is­sues re­lated to pol­icy for­mu­la­tion pro­to­col, fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity of Anti-cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion, and Pub­lic pro­cure­ment sys­tem.

Be­sides, the NC is re­view­ing is­sues re­lated to con­sol­i­da­tion and har­mo­niza­tion of law records of im­ple­men­ta­tion of Acts, teenage preg­nancy and sex­ual ha­rass­ment, and pe­nal code pro­vi­sion re­lated to consensual sex and statu­tory rape among other re­lated is­sues.

Tsh­er­ing Dorji said the rel­e­vant com­mit­tee meet­ings and fort­nightly ple­nary ses­sions will con­tinue to hold con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings and field vis­its with rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers on the is­sues that have been as- signed to them.

The fi­nal re­view re­ports of var­i­ous com­mit­tees will be de­lib­er­ated in the 18th ses­sion and an­other press con­fer­ence will be held prior to the forth­com­ing win­ter ses­sion.

Dur­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the 17th ses­sion, all the com­mit­tees were del­e­gated to un­der­take var­i­ous is­sues for re­view. “Since then, the com­mit­tees have been con­duct­ing se­ries of meet­ings with min­is­ters con­cerned, agen­cies and stake­hold­ers to have a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the is­sues at hand,” he said.

The com­mit­tees of the Na­tional Coun­cil have been ex­haus­tively pre­par­ing to present the is­sues to the House in the 18th ses­sion.

The for­mal ses­sion of the Par­lia­ment con­cluded months ago. How­ever, he said the NC is al­ways in ses­sion as par­lia­ment in gen­eral and it con­ducts most of its busi­ness through the com­mit­tees.

The spokesper­son said that the com­mit­tees have been pe­ri­od­i­cally re­port­ing on the sta­tus and progress of their works to the House. Chaired by Chair­per­son of the Na­tional Coun­cil, the ple­nary con­venes at least twice a month.

Some Com­mit­tees have moved a mo­tion for amend­ment of some laws and drawn at­ten­tion of the house on cer­tain is­sue that have im­pacted the pub­lic, other sought fur­ther di­rec­tives and guid­ance on their on­go­ing as­sign­ments from ple­nary.

The Deputy Chair­per­son re­ported that three ple­nary meet­ings and 48 com­mit­tee meet­ings have been con­ducted with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers since the con­clu­sion of the for­mal sit­ting of the 17th ses­sion of the NC.

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