Seven gewogs were unable to bring issues from the field to the DT

 LG: Seven of its eight gewogs were unable to table their issues at Lhuentse’s seventh dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) because of a change in schedule.

Except for Jarey gewog, whose gup is also the DT chairman, the other gewogs had no agenda for discussion when the DT was held on April 3.  The DT however discussed issues from the dzongkhag and endorsed the annual budget for 2015-16.

Local leaders blamed the dzongda and the DT chairperson Kuenzang Jurme for changing the schedule from April 6 to April 3 and creating the confusion.

Tsaenkhar gup Tsheten Wangdi said, based on the DT chairperson’s information of holding the DT on April 6 and 7, the gups had decided to organise the gewog tshogde before the DT.

But the dzongkhag administration later informed him that the session would be held on April 3. “That’s why we didn’t get time to organise the gewog tshogde and get issues from the people,” gup Tsheten Wangdi said.

Minjey gewog gup Jigme Tshewang said that it seemed the dzongda and the chairperson weren’t on good terms. “Local leaders are confused as we receive orders from both of them,” he said.

Gangzur gewog gup Karma also said that the DT was an important forum to discuss issues from the people. “If we can’t raise the issues people face, then what’s the point of attending the session?” he said.

The gups said that, as per DT rules, the authority should give time to the gewogs to hold gewog tshogde and a preliminary discussion before holding the DT session.

During the session, Lhuentse dzongda, Sonam Wangyel, said that he was surprised to know that the DT was scheduled for April 6 and 7, while the planning officer had informed him that the DT should endorse the annual budget by April 5.

“The reason for conducting the session on April 3 was to endorse the budget,” the dzongda said. “This was also discussed with the DT chairman and the same was conveyed to the thuemis.”

DT chairman and Jarey gup, Kinzang Minjur, said that before attending the annual budget meeting in Thimphu, a meeting was held with all the gups in presence of the dzongrab, where it was agreed that the chairperson would set the dates.

After the annual budget meeting, he informed the DT secretary Tashi Gyeltshen to consult the zakar and also inform the dzongda.  However, the DT secretary was unable to do so, due to some personal problems at home.

He said he then checked the zakar himself and informed the DT secretary that the session would be held on April 6 and 7, and that the agenda from all gewogs should reach them by April 3.  The preliminary session was scheduled for April 4.

The DT secretary then informed the schedule to the dzongda. “As the chairman, I performed my duty by confirming the date,” Kinzang Minjur said, while the DT secretary Tashi Gyeltshen said he did his part by listening to the dzongkhag administration, the dzongda and the chairman.

By Tashi Phuntsho, Lhuentse