His Majesty graces the closing session of the National Assembly

TASHI LHAMO

Thimphu

His Majesty the King graced the closing ceremony of the first session of the fourth Parliament on 06 July. Distinguished government officials, retired executives, foreign dignitaries and senior civil servants, and the public also attended the event.

NA Speaker Lungten Dorji welcomed and expressed profound gratitude to His Majesty the King for gracing the closing ceremony and for His Majesty’s unwavering support and guidance to the Parliament.

The Speaker also recognized the King’s visionary leadership, which has been instrumental in the country’s development, and highlighted the honorary doctorate degrees conferred on His Majesty by prestigious universities in countries such as India, Japan, Canada, and Thailand, acknowledging his exceptional dedication to sovereignty and national service.

The Speaker further offered Trashi Delek to His Majesty the King on the acceptance of the seven honorary doctorate degrees from seven reputed Thai universities recently at Pangbisa Dungkar Dzong. This act reflects Bhutan’s cultural tradition and symbolizes the seven precious Royal Emblems, highlighting His Majesty’s profound contributions to the country’s reform, innovation, and development. 

The Speaker also expressed gratitude to the Universities of Thailand for bestowing the honor. He said the recognition underscores His Majesty’s extraordinary leadership and commitment to the Bhutanese people’s well-being and global contributions, further enhancing relations between Bhutan and Thailand and deepening ties between the Royal Families.

The Speaker said that coinciding with the auspicious first day of the male wood dragon year, His Royal Highness Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck received the Royal Charter from the sacred Machen Lhakhang in Punakha Dzong in a special ceremony for the establishment of Gelephu Mindfulness City.

“The ceremony showcased His Royal Highness’s natural inborn qualities as a destined prince, as he performed prayers and offering of Marchhang with remarkable ease and confidence.”

He added that such remarkable qualities of HRH are a very positive indication of the success of His Majesty’s precious Gelephu Mindfulness City project and augur good fortune for the people of Bhutan under His Royal Highness’s reign in the future.

The Speaker expressed his gratitude to His Majesty and the Royal Government for the historic appointment of Bhutan’s first ambassador to Mongolia. This significant step plays a crucial role in strengthening bilateral relations and promoting cultural exchange between the two countries.

Citing the recent visit to Thailand by Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay, along with a high-level delegation, June 25 to June 28, on the invitation of the Prime Minister of Thailand, the speaker said that it provided an opportunity to further strengthen the close relationship and partnership between the two countries after 11 years.

“We are pleased to learn that among the important discussions, the meetings focused on matters of mutual interests, including the development of tourism, trade enhancement, sports cooperation, and ongoing Free Trade Negotiations between the two nations.”

The speaker commended the meeting on the discussed opportunities for significant investments for Gelephu Mindfulness City and congratulated Lyonchhen and the delegation for a fruitful visit.

Additionally, the Speaker presented a report on the deliberations of the First Session of the Fourth Parliament, including the approval of the 13th Five-Year Plan outlay, national budget for FY 2024-25 and other parliamentary activities.

The Speaker said the Marriage (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan, The National Assembly (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan, and the Air Services Agreement between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the State of Kuwait has been were deliberated, endorsed and submitted to the National Council as per the rules of procedure.

“During the joint session of the Parliament, there were extensive deliberations on the Public Accounts Committee’s review of the Annual Audit Reports for 2022-2023 and the Public Accounts Committee’s review of the Annual Audit Reports from FY 2010- 2022 and the recommendations put forth by the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).” said the speaker. 

The joint session endorsement of the recommendations will be submitted to the Government for follow-up actions, which will be reported in the next session of Parliament.

The   Speaker added that as per Article 10 (10) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay presented the First Annual Report on the State of the Nation, including legislative plans, annual plans, and government priorities, to the Joint Sitting of Parliament.

The report was structured into five chapters, covering the current state of the country, challenges faced by the state, strategies to address these challenges, government plans and priorities for 2024-2025, and government legislative plans for 2024-2025.

Finally, the speaker extended gratitude to various leaders and members for their cooperation in conducting the session successfully. The ceremony concluded with prayers for the country’s continued sovereignty, security, and the well-being of the King, the Royal Family, and the Bhutanese people, led by Zhung Dratshang.

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