…to finalise the 12th Plan and mobilise resources

The government will propose an additional sitting of the Parliament in May or June next year before its term expires in August 2018.

The Prime Minister said the current government wants to finalise the 12th Plan and allocate budget for the first fiscal year of the Plan. While it is up to the next government to consider implementing the Plan that is already there or change it, budget for the first fiscal year of the Plan would not be passed without a Parliament proceeding.

“We don’t want to hand over a mess to the next government,” Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said. “We want to ensure that the next government, whoever it may be, will have a good plan to consider and will have all the resources mobilised.”

As for the 11th Plan, he said government was formed towards end of July during which period the 11th Plan was supposed to be finanlised. He said the Plan was not put in effect and resources had not been mobilised.

He added that the government received commitment from Government of India three months later. “We started late and there were delays. But we have overcome all that and 11th Plan is not only well on track, but we have overachieved the targets,” Lyonchhen said.

Although the next government will possibly take over by October or November 2018, Prime Minister said that the next government can actually hit the ground running instantly. “Its our responsibility to pass the 12th Plan and budget of the first fiscal year of the Plan.”  

If one sitting of the house is not proposed, he said the budget for first fiscal year will not be passed.

“That is up to the members of Parliament and the Speaker to consider,” he said.

As per the Constitution, if the budget is not approved by the National Assembly before the beginning of the fiscal year, the preceding budget on current expenses shall be applied until the new one is sanctioned. Revenues shall be collected and disbursements made in accordance with the law in force at the end of the preceding year. But capital expenditure has to get approval from the house.

The Constitution also states that the National Assembly shall convene twice a year.

Ideally, in five-year tenure of the government, there will be 10 sittings.

The National Assembly Act also states that the Speaker shall convene an extraordinary sitting of the National Assembly on the Command of the Druk Gyalpo if the exigencies of the situation demand. However, during an extraordinary session, the National Assembly may consider only those matters for which it has been convened.

The National Assembly shall continue for five years from the date of the first sitting. However, premature dissolution of the National Assembly may take place on the recommendation of the Prime Minister to the Druk Gyalpo or in the event of a motion of no confidence vote against the Government.

Tshering Dorji