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14th Sitting: Follow-up on Cultural Issues and Any Other Businesses

Posted on :04 December 2017

The members of the Social & Cultural Affairs Committee presented the follow-up report received from the concern ministries and agencies on the resolution passed by the House in the last session on the cultural issues. The House also passed two motion on issues pertaining to leave encashment to LG members; and omission of budget allocated for black-topping of Chuzomsa-Baylandra road in Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag. 
A total of twenty-six recommendations were passed by the House in the 19th Session on cultural heritage issues which focused on four areas comprising of traditional architecture, performing arts, vernacular languages and Driglam Namzha & western uniform. 
After presenting the detailed responses received by the Committee members, some of the members expressed a general view, while others shared specific concern on the responses received. Members pointed out the non-responses of the resolution from the Government and sought provision for further responses on clarification. 
The Deputy Chairperson, who presided over the House today,said that since the session is going to be last for this tenure, the secretariat was asked to keep note of the date line and other issues raised by the members for the next members of National Council to follow-up on the issue. 
Resuming after the break, the House adopted the proposal on the motion proposed for deliberation in Any Other Business (AOB)session. 
Hon. Nima presented the background on the issues pertaining to the ambiguity on the directive from the Department of Local Government and the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs concerning the payment of leave encashment to LG members. He said that the Royal Government, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and Ministry of Finance must uphold the rule of law and implement the provisions of the LG Members’ Entitlement Act 2015. With reference to their entitlements, the concerned ministry should provide clear directives to the LG officials at the earliest about their entitlements instead of waiting for the endorsement of the rules and regulation, which according to the Ministry reported to be in a draft stage. 
Supporting the motion proposed by the members, the members provided additional information to be incorporated in the report and sought clarification on the issues related to endorsement of the rules & regulations and other entitlement besides encashment for LG. 
The House unanimously adopted the motion calling up on the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and Ministry of Finance to uphold the rule of law and implement the provisions of the LG Members’ Entitlement Act 2015 at the earliest. 
Similarly, presenting a brief background on the omission of budget approved for Black-topping of Chuzomsa-Baylandra road under Wangdue Dzongkhag in the 9th session of the Parliament, Hon. Member Tashi Dorji stated that budget was listed under the activities of road sector to be funded by the Government of India. Most members expressed dismay at the fact that the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) deemed this to be a mistake and reported that there is no budget allocated for the construction of this road eventhough the budget has been passed by the Parliament. It resolves that the Government, and the MoWHS in particular, must honor the decision of the Parliament expressed through the approval of the budget and accordingly, ensure funding as well as the implementation of this activity.
Most of members expressed the importance of passing the budget bill in the Parliament with extensive deliberation and the Government’s need to ensure its implementation. The Hon. Tharchen submitted that members must be provided with detail background report on the budget bill while submitting to the Parliament in future to avoid such mistake. The House unanimously adopted the motion as per the proposal of the Hon. Member Tashi Dorji in addition to the need for the government to examine the budget making process to ensure such mistake does not happen in future.
The sitting concluded with the Deputy Chairperson Tshering Dorji appreciating and putting on record the successful deliberation of National Council is due to team work motivated by the highest regard to the issue of public concern and national interes in the service of the King, People and the country. 
He expressed his gratitude to His Majesty the King for the guidance and prayed for the wellbeing of His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Gyalsey and Royal Family. He also dedicated the merit from the work done by the NC in the last five years to the everlasting peace and prosperity of people of Bhutan.



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