Except for the Tourism Exemption Levy Bill, National Council amended all the other bills
In the 20th session of National Council, except for the Tourism Exemption Levy Bill, Deputy Chairperson Tshering Dorji said that the council endorsed all the other bills with amendments.
The house endorsed the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Bill 2017, Information, Communication & Media Bill 2016, Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substance and substance Abuse Bill, and re-deliberated the Audit Bill of Bhutan 2017; and Tourism Exemption Levy Bill.
Deputy Chairperson said during the press conference last Thursday that the last session deliberated six legislative issues, four policy related issues and public accounts reports in the joint session.
Besides that, the house also adopted a set of recommendation on two policy issues that was prepared and presented to the house by the respective committees, added the deputy chairperson.
First, on the legal aid services and legal aid policy issue which was submitted by the Legislative Committee, the house adopted the following resolutions. For instance to formalize the provision of legal aid services and legal aid to indigent person in the country as top priority that to ensure the legal aid services is provided to both the civil and criminal cases; ensuring that in the case of civil matters, due caution be exercised right from the beginning to prioritize the nature of cases such as those concerning family (matrimonial), children, domestic violence, monetary matters, land/property issues and issues arising from infringement of constitutional rights for the purpose of providing legal, ensuring that the legal aid services and legal aid to indigent person is available from the time the accused is held in the custody to facilitate sufficient means to fairer judicial determinations;
The house also adopted considering annual income of a person to be eligible for legal aid as an indigent person unless a better alternative is found out that below Nu 39,000 in a year based on national minimum wage of Nu.125 per day (Nu.3, 250/month), or below Nu 69,648 in a year for urban areas and Nu 39,012 in a year for rural areas based on the mean monthly per capita household expenditure in 2012.
The deputy chairperson said that, the house had adopted legal aid services to ensure the provision of adequate budgetary support and creating options to receive donations, grants, subsidies, financial assistance from other legal sources and also considered drafting a separate legislation on legal aid, and, until such legislation is enacted, make appropriate arrangement to deliver legal aid services and legal aid to indigent person.
The house also deliberated on the review report on the Assessment of Access to and use of G2C services presented by the Special Committee and adopted some recommendations for consideration which includes initiate an annual awareness program on available G2C services with ministries concerned to educate public on the availability of services that are not commonly used; make use of radio, television, social media and other platforms to reach mass audience in rural and urban settings; conduct G2C online awareness programs at the Community Centers focusing on women and farmers in particular.
Besides that, the house deliberated on review the basis of TAT deter- mination in view of disparate time taken as opposed to the standard TAT for several services; address hindrances that prevent the G2C services to be delivered as per the Turn-Around-Time standard; equip community centers (CC) and inaccessible areas in remote communities with reliable infocom network connectivity and power supply; and provide community centers operators with periodical trainings by agencies concerned on available G2C services.
Meanwhile, the house also ratified the Multilateral Agreement for the Establishment of an International Think Tank for Landlocked Countries.
The House also passed two motions on issues pertaining to leave encashment to LG members; and omission of budget allocated for black-topping of Chuzomsa-Baylandra road in Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag.
The National Council endorsed the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Bill 2017, Information, Communication & Media Bill 2016, Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substance and substance Abuse Bill, and re-deliberated the Audit Bill of Bhutan 2017; and Tourism Exemption Levy Bill. Except for the Tourism Exemption Levy Bill, the National Council passed all the other bills with amendments.