The 19th session of National Council begins today with deliberations on follow-up reports on the resolutions of the 18th session.

The session will deliberate on ratification of two international agreements – the Paris Agreement on Environment Protection and Conservation and the Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between Bhutan and India. The National Assembly passed both these agreements last session.

The Council will also deliberate on the Royal Audit Bill 2017 and the Budget and Appropriation Bill 2017-2018. While the Royal Audit Bill 2017 will be introduced in the National Council this time, it will be deliberated in the National Assembly only in the next session.

“The audit Bill will be forwarded to the National Assembly for deliberation next session,” NC Deputy Chairperson Tshering Dorji said. “We will also deliberate issues from constituencies, if any,” he said.

However, the Budget and Appropriation Bill 2017-2018 will have to be deliberated and passed in the same session as per the Constitution. The house of review will deliberate the Tax Audit of the Tour Operators, Cultural Heritage and Annual Anti-corruption Report 2016.

The house will also deliberate the third pay commission report that will be presented by Finance Minister Namgay Dorji. The pay commission was formed to look into salaries and other benefits of local leaders and diplomats for a possible revision.

MB Subba