Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Establishing an office to carry out its functions and responsibilities in accordance with the Act was among a dozen issues raised in the 6th annual meeting of the chairman of the choetshog (religious organisations) held in Mongar on March 6.

The Religious Organisations Act of Bhutan  (ROAB) was passed in 2007 and the first commission meeting was held in 2009.

“We understand the Covid-19 situation, and it maybe not possible instantly but it is high time we had a functional office and a separate office for three kutshabs from Nyingma, Hindu, and Anim,” a member said.

Home Minister Sherub Gyeltshen, the chairperson of the Choedey Lhentshog, who is in his constituency visit, chaired the first regional meeting participated by 24 heads of the ROs from Mongar, Lhuentse and Trashiyangtse.

Lyonpo said a separate capital budget through a letter of credit (LC) account was received and the rest would follow gradually.

On manpower requirement, he said, would have to be followed up with RCSC.

The Act mandates the choetshog’s office be supported by administrative machinery staffed by civil servants as per Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

The office was set up in 2009 with only a head and an assistant and it’s been run by a chief programme officer, program officer and administrative assistant since 2018 in its office attached with National Library building.

Secretariat office officials reminded the organisations to submit annual report and asset declaration on time.

The secretariat’s chief programme officer, Sangay Dendup, said Covid-19 protocol allowed only 25 participants this time and decided to conduct the meetings regionally beginning from Mongar this year.

There are 139 religious organizations registered with the Choedey Lhentshog.