Staff reporter

Parliament will kick off its much-delayed fourth session on November 26, the National Assembly secretariat notified yesterday.

The National Assembly has notified ministries and agencies to submit issues of national importance latest by November 6 to the secretary of the House for deliberation and selection in the preliminary.

The House would not accept any issues if agencies fail to submit them within the given time, it added.

“It is an auspicious day to begin the upcoming session,” Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel stated.

The National Assembly, however, did not reveal the closing date. Officials said that the closing date would depend on the agenda that would be finalised by a preliminary that will be held at a later date.

The budget session was held from June 1 to 17. The National Assembly had officially said that the budget session was a continuation of the third session.

Officials said that the agenda for the upcoming session will be decided later. But the two of the items in the agenda are the Civil and Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2019 (CCPC) and the Bhutan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2019 (PCB).

Joint committees on the two disputed bills are holding discussions on the disputed clauses of the Bills, which will be deliberated and put to vote in a joint session.

The delayed session comes at a time when crucial bills and issues are awaiting Parliament approval.

For instance, the National Council (NC) would have completed discussions on the Mines and Minerals Bill 2020, which was passed by the NA in January this year. In the absence of a new Mines and Minerals Bill, a debate has been raging over whether the state or the private sector should operate the mines and minerals businesses.

Similarly, the NA would have concluded deliberations on the Lhengye Zhungtshog Bill and Entitlement and Service Conditions (amendment) Bill for the Holders, Members and Commissioners of Constitutional Offices, which were passed by NC in the last winter session.