Patang, a symbol of responsibility
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.