His Majesty graces closing ceremony of Parliament

His Majesty the King accompanied by Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen graced the closing ceremony of the fifth session of the third Parliament on 30 June at the Gyalyong Tshogkhang

Speaker expresses deep gratitude to His Majesty for providing extraordinary leadership and vision in these hard times

Tshering Yangki

His Majesty the King accompanied by Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen graced the closing ceremony of the fifth session of the third Parliament on 30 June at the Gyalyong Tshogkhang.

Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel, on behalf of the Members of Parliament, thanked His Majesty the King for the sacrifice of extraordinary leadership and vision in these hard times of the coronavirus pandemic.

“His Majesty the King has tirelessly travelled across the country, making great sacrifices for the safety and security of our country, and for the peace and harmony of our people,” he said.

Speakers said that His Majesty had travelled far and wide across the nation and to risk areas from Merak to Jomotshangkha in the east and then to Phuentsholing and Samtse in the west.

“Throughout the journeys, it has been through heavy monsoon rain and hard marshes, amid mosquitoes and leeches, carrying basic necessities and meals unto his back without designated place and time for meals and sacrificing rest and spending sleepless nights in the forests,” he added.

The Speaker said that His Majesty traveled extensively looking after the concerns and difficulties of the people and monitoring the Covid-19 situation in the country. “The Parliament would like to offer our deepest gratitude to His Majesty the King for the care and deep concern,” he added.

“Such extraordinary leadership shown by His Majesty the King has been portrayed as an exemplary quality, a true selfless leadership to the other leaders of the world,” said the Speaker.

Expressing deep sympathy to the families of the 10 victims in the recent landslides at Ri-Druzhi in Laya, he thanked His Majesty for granting Kidu to the affected families during the incident.

Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel also thanked the rabdey, dratshang, and Gasa dzongkhag administration for providing necessary support and aid during the incident upon the directives from the government.

In addition, the Speaker also expressed Parliament’s deep gratitude to the ZhungDratshang for conducting numerous prayers across Rabdeys in the country for the lives of the departed souls during the calamities.

Besides, he also thanked the Indian government for a Buddha Statue that was gifted recently, saying the “Parliament has noted the goodwill gesture with admiration”.

Outcomes of the session

Besides normal legislative and parliamentary functions, the Parliament had forwarded a few recommendations of the Anti-Corruption Commission Report 2019 to the executive body for necessary actions.

The House deliberated the Royal Bhutan Police (Amendment) Bill 2021, Biodiversity Bill of Bhutan 2021 and forwarded to the National Assembly’s relevant committee for review while the Third Reading of the Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2019 has been forwarded to the National Council of Bhutan.

Other deliberations include Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2021, adaptation of two Customs (amendment) Bills of Bhutan 2021 that was kept ready for the submission for the Royal Assent.

The Parliament also passed the supplementary Budget of over Nu 2-billion for the FY 2020-21 and adopted over Nu 80-billion – recurrent expenditure of over Nu 35-billion and capital expenditure of over Nu 44-billion and submitted for the Royal Assent.

Tobacco Control (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021 which was submitted as an urgent bill has been deliberated and passed along with the Tax Bill of Bhutan between the two Houses and submitted for the Royal Assent.

Besides, it also ratified the Preferential Trade Agreement between Bhutan and Bangladesh, and United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) that were forwarded to the National Council.

In addition, the Joint Sitting of the Parliament submitted recommendations to the government for necessary actions following deliberation of the five Performance Audit Reports of the Royal Audit Authority and reviewed by the Committee.

The Parliament also deliberated on the disputed clauses between the two Houses on the Mines and Minerals Bill of Bhutan 2020 and deferred the Bill considering the need for more time and further public consultations.

And also deliberated the disputed clauses between the two Houses on the LhengyeZhungtshog Bill of Bhutan 2020 and kept ready for the submission to the Royal Assent.