National Assembly sets agenda for fifth session

The plenary decided to include those new Bills submitted by government in the agenda for the Fifth Session.

Yangchen Lhamo

The National Assembly conducted the plenary meeting to finalize the agenda for the upcoming Fifth Session on 13 April this week.

There were ten petitions received from the Dzongkhag Tshogdue of Mongar, Paro, Bumthang, Lhuntse, and Zhemgang.

The petitions ranged from problems faced by villagers in selling local agricultural products on highways, renovation of privately owned lhakhangs, appeal to exempt tax on the exchange of land and issues arising due to lack of proper dzongkhag border demarcations.

In addition, matters related to boarding schools, use of government distributed power tillers, the efficiency of fuel depots in the gewogs and the need for regulation of construction of residential quarters by the government were also tabled.

After extensive deliberation on each petition, the plenary decided to refer the issues to concerned ministries for necessary action and follow-up. It has also been decided that the concerned ministries will present the follow up on the petitions in the next plenary meeting.

The plenary decided to include those new Bills submitted by government in the agenda for the Fifth Session.

This includes Biodiversity Bill of Bhutan 2021; Royal Bhutan Police (Amendment) Bill 2021; Ratification of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the Royal Government of Bhutan and Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; The Custom (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021 and Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021.

It also includes United Nations Convention Against Corruption, proposed as Urgent Bill); Budget Appropriation Bill for FY 2021-2022 and Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill 2020-2021 and COVAX Agreement which was proposed as Urgent Bill.

Further, the follow up agenda from the resolution of the Fourth Session will also be included in the agenda which includes the Third Reading of the Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2020; Review presentation of the Annual Anti-Corruption Commission Report 2019; Review Report on Farm Shop; and Local Government (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021.

As usual, the Public Accounts Committee will present the Performance Audit Report to the Joint Sitting on Performance Audit Report on Food Self-sufficiency and Security; Performance Audit Report on Housing Development- Adequacy and Affordability; Performance Audit Report on Road Maintenance Works; Performance Audit Report on Urban Planning and Development in Thimphu; and Review of Judiciary Systems and Practices.

The House will also deliberate on the two disputed Bills in the Joint Sitting which includes the Mines and Minerals Bill of Bhutan 2020 and the Lhengye Zhungtshog Bill of Bhutan 2020.

The month-long Fifth Session of the Third Parliament is scheduled to commence from 27 May till 30 June.

Meanwhile, the session presided by the Speaker and was attended by the Opposition Leader, Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament. Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering and Members of Parliament who were unable to attend in person participated virtually via zoom.