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Final Question Hour of 17th Session

Posted on :23 June 2016

Yesterday afternoon, the National Council had its' final question hour sessions with both the Hon'ble Health and Information and Communication Ministers.

Hon’ble Member Tharchen (Trongsa) asked three questions to the Hon’ble Minister Tandin Wangchuk, Ministry of Health on the state of herbal medicine production in the country.

Firstly, how is the government ensuring the sustainability of herbal plants given the increasing rate of extraction and collection?

Secondly, what is the government doing to encourage farmers in the collection and manufacturing of traditional medicine?

Thirdly, what is the government's long term plan for the future of traditional medicine and herbal treatment in the country?

The Hon'ble Minister informed the members of the difficulties in collecting the herbal plants from the high land area which is the main source of these herbal plants. He said that the government is ensuring the sustainability of the herbal plant species by reducing wastage of the medical plants, providing training to collectors and instituting drying centers at the source.

Lyonpo also reported that the government is in the process of planning strategies to encourage interested farmers who are engaged in collection and manufacturing of traditional medicines for the future of medicine and herbal treatment in the country.

In the second question hour session, Hon’ble Member Phuntsho Rabten, asked the Hon’ble Minister Lyonpo D.N. Dhungyel, Ministry of Information and Communication to respond why the government was repeatedly allowing Tashi Air to not adhere to its terms of agreement.

Responding to the questions, the Minister said the domestic air service was unprofitable at this juncture, even with a single airline operating at this time. Furthermore, in light of the continued monetary loss Tashi Air is bearing, the Government has given them till 2019 to resume domestic air services and in the meantime will also allow them to fly to two additional international destinations.

Right to Information Bill

Hon’ble Sangay Khandu (Gasa) asked whether the government would re-table the Right to Information Bill in the near future.

The Minister informed the House that the Right to Information Bill was introduced, discussed and passed in the National Assembly few years ago. However, the National Council could not discuss the bill as the due process and prerequisites for deliberations were deemed not fulfilled. It then referred the Bill back to the National Assembly for withdrawal.

And with no directive from the Hon'ble Speaker, the Ministry is not in the position to move forward with the Bill.

Nevertheless, the Minister assured the House he would discuss the matter personally with the Speaker.



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