MB Subba

The first Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) sitting of the third local governments (LG) will be held on January 22, according to the Department of Local Governance (DLG).

The dhar awarding ceremony for the 205 gups-elect is scheduled for January 19 in Thimphu.

Salaries, allowances and other entitlements will be effective from the date of the first sitting, which also marks the beginning of the term, clarified the DLG.

The DLG has asked all 20 dzongkhags to call their first DT sessions on the same day to make coordination cost effective at the national level.

The agenda of the first sessions is normally limited to elections of DT chairpersons and deputy chairpersons.

However, DLG has directed Samdrupjongkhar thromde to conduct its first tshogde session prior to the DT. This is to enable the deputy chairperson of the thromde tshogde to attend the DT.

The respective dzongkhag administrations have been directed to conduct orientation programmes for the LG members.

However, the newly elected members said they are looking forward to receiving capacity development training programmes besides the orientation to enable them to render services effectively.

DLG Director Kado Zangpo said that options are being explored for training programmes for LG members. He said in the past, training was provided for LG members.

Officials said that no budget has been allocated for LG capacity development in the ongoing fiscal year, due to Covid-19 priorities.

Newly elected LG members said that a proper work plan for capacity development of LG must be put in place in the beginning of the term, in view of the increasing importance of local governments.

The gup-elect of Norbugang gewog in Pemagstahel, Kinley Dorji, who will begin his first term, said that he is looking forward to capacity development programmes.

“Gups are the executives at the gewog level and I think that it’s important for us to increase our capacity,” he said.

Another gup-elect also said that it was crucial for the government and the DLG to provide basic training programmes. He said that LG members, especially gups, should have basic management skills.

Another gup-elect said that the training programnmes should be prioritised for those who have been elected for the first time.

He said that LG members needed specialised training programmes. “It will not make sense to provide training programmes towards the end of the term.”

The first and the second LG elections were held in 2011 and 2016, respectively.