Patang, a sym­bol of re­spon­si­bil­ity

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

His Majesty the King granted patang to the chair­per­sons of the Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) on the Na­tional Day at Trongsa Choekhor Rab­tentse Dzong.

The patang was awarded in re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the im­por­tant role they play in the lo­cal government.

The chair­per­sons are to­day more ed­u­cated, which is im­por­tant to the func­tion of the lo­cal gov­ern­ments as the Con­sti­tu­tion gives lo­cal lead­ers sig­nif­i­cant pow­ers to im­ple­ment plans for so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

A for­mer civil ser­vant, Tsh­er­ing Nedup, 46, Bongo gup, is the chair­per­son of Chukha DT.

“It was con­sid­ered as a sym­bol of power for some­one in the past,” he said, “It was awarded in recog­ni­tion of the im­por­tant role that we play in achiev­ing the devel­op­ment goals of our na­tion.”

The lo­cal lead­ers play an im­por­tant role in achiev­ing the devel­op­ment goals of the coun­try and in fur­ther­ing the process of de­cen­tral­iza­tion.

Award­ing the patang, His Majesty told the gups that con­trary to what is of­ten per­ceived, lo­cal government is the near­est and clos­est to the peo­ple.

Tsh­er­ing Nedup said, “We need to play a vi­tal role as a clos­est and near­est government to our peo­ple.”

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments are in­dis­pens­able av­enues through which the ru­ral pop­u­la­tion can par­tic­i­pate in democ­racy and devel­op­ment process, and the suc­cess of democ­racy in the long run would be de­ter­mined, to a large ex­tent, on the suc­cess of lo­cal government.

Patang as a re­spon­si­bil­ity at work can be an ef­fec­tive way to progress and it is also im­por­tant to com­pen­sate for the ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity they carry.

“I was con­fi­dent to serve my peo­ple as a gup till His Majesty granted patang to me,” said the Thrizin of Chukha Dzongkhag, “But now, I feel my re­spon­si­bil­ity as a lo­cal leader has be­come heav­ier.”

As this was the his­toric event on which His Majesty granted patang to the DT Thrizins, the Thrizins ex­pect to re-ded­i­cate their best pos­si­ble ser­vice to the na­tion. “I will put my heart and soul into de­liv­er­ing my duty to the peo­ple un­der my dzongkhag,” said Thrizin Tsh­er­ing Nedup.

Ge­wog ad­min­is­tra­tions for­mu­late five-year devel­op­ment plans, man­age their own bud­get, and raise their own la­bor for pub­lic projects.

The Lo­cal Government Act of Bhutan 2009 is the lat­est leg­is­la­tion on lo­cal gov­ern­ments, es­tab­lish­ing Ge­wogs as the di­vi­sions of Dzongkhags, them­selves with lo­cally-gov­ern­ing coun­sels.

Ar­ti­cle three of the DT Chatrim 2002 states that the Chair­per­son of the DT shall be elected through se­cret bal­lot from amongst the vot­ing mem­bers for ten­ure of three years.

All lo­cal gov­ern­ments are ad­min­is­tra­tive di­vi­sions and are pro­hib­ited to make laws, how­ever they are em­pow­ered to make rules and reg­u­la­tions con­sis­tent with law es­tab­lished by Par­lia­ment.

DT as the high­est fo­rum for lo­cal pol­icy and de­ci­sions-mak­ing on mat­ters of pub­lic in­ter­est in the dzongkhag pro­motes aware­ness and dis­sem­i­na­tion of na­tional ob­jec­tives and pro­motes bal­anced eco­nomic devel­op­ment in the ge­wogs.

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