… it is temporary and until the adoption of Pay Structure Reform Bill 

Thukten Zangpo 

National Council yesterday suspended Member of Parliament from Gasa Dorji Khandu following his removal from the session yesterday morning.

The executive order signed by the NC Chairperson Tashi Dorji stated that the MP would be temporarily suspended until the adoption of the Bill today.

NC Chairperson Tashi Dorji ordered MP Dorji Khandu to leave the hall while deliberating on the Pay Structure Reform Bill 2022.

When the House was deliberating on the recommendations of the Good Governance Committee on the sections of the Bill, the MP was called to speak on Section 16 which is on communication allowance. He tried to talk about the house rent allowance, which was already passed, and relate it to the section.

When the Chairperson asked the MP to stick to the Section or take a seat, the MP refused to sit and argued that he had to raise his concerns. The chairperson then dismissed him from the hall.

Chairperson of the NC, Tashi Dorji said that it is sad that the public had to witness such a situation. “I have no choice as I have to abide by the code of conduct and maintain order in the House as a Chair presiding the session.”

He added that when a member moves a motion and proposes, another member should second it.

“No one seconded his proposal on the house rent,” the chairperson said, adding that Section 14 on house rent allowance got passed as proposed by the NC’s Good Governance Committee.

He added that when the opportunity was given to the MP to speak on Section 16 which is on communication allowance, he was raising the issue on the previous Section 14.

Tashi Dorji also said that he felt the NC member was trying to criticise the other NC members for not supporting his submission on Section 14.

“There should be decorum in the House, we cannot complete the discussion as per the agenda as we have to go by every Section, which has more than 100 Sections,” he said.

MP Dorji Khandu said that he was asked to leave the session, when he was trying to argue that the NC’s committee has proposed to retain communication allowance for higher officials which contradict the giving additional house rent allowance for the lower civil servants on Section 16. He added that he does not support the Section on communication allowance. 

MP Dorji Khandu proposed the house rent allowance for the positions S3 and below from Nu 3,500 per month to Nu 5,500 per month or make it as percentage-wise as entitled to other higher officials.

As per Section 42 under the chairperson’s power and duties of the Rules of Procedure of the National Council of Bhutan 2016, the chairperson shall preserve the dignity and decorum in the National Council Hall and maintain discipline among members.

Section 43 of the Act also states, “When the Chairperson is of opinion that a member is deliberately contravening the provisions of these rules, or that a member is in contempt of or is disregarding the authority of the Chairperson or that a member’s conduct is gross disorderly, the member shall be made to leave the National Council Hall immediately.”