Phub Dem 

At a time when Bhutanese are debating whether overseas employment could have been exploited by some individuals and agents to traffic young Bhutanese women to the Middle Eastern countries, the national council (NC) is set to deliberate on legislation and strategies to address human trafficking.

The chairperson of social and culture affair committee of NC, Kesang Chuki Dorjee, said that the issue was of great concern to the nation.

She said that the committee had extensive consultation with the relevant stakeholders and conducted a thorough review. The committee will deliberate the issue and submit the recommendations to the national assembly. Others include review reports on policy issues such as the program initiative towards improving the quality of education, RNR marketing policy review and policies related to vehicle import.

The NC’s economic affairs committee will deliberate on vehicle import issues. The committee’s chairperson, Ugyen Tshering, said that the congestion of vehicles, especially in the urban hubs, was a matter of serious concern.

The import of vehicles increased significantly from 11,990 in 1990 to 150,509 last year.

Ugyen Tshering, however, clarified that the discussion would be carried out based on the congestion in urban hubs such as Thimphu, Phuentsholing, and Paro. 

“The policy recommendation of the vehicle import will not affect the rural communities.”

Speaking at the pre-session in Thimphu yesterday, Jigme Wangchuk, deputy chairperson of NC, said: “After much delay, the session would be caring out numerous deliberations on legislative and policy issues, joint sitting and deliberation on money bills.”

Civil and Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2019, the Penal Code of Bhutan 2011 (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2019 which was passed by NA in the last session and sent to the NC, will be re-deliberated. Minister and Minister Equivalent Post Holder’s Entitlement Bill 2019 and Impeachment Procedural Bill of Bhutan 2019 that was deliberated in the 23rd session of the National Council will be re-deliberated as well.

Jigme Wangchuk said that the House would also introduce the review report on the Entitlement and Service Conditions Act for the Holder’s Members and Commissioners of Constitutional Offices of Bhutan and the Lhengye Zhungtshog Bill of Bhutan 2019.

Kesang Chuki Dorjee said that some provision of Lhengye Zhungtshog act 1999 was found redundant. Social and Cultural committee will also deliberate on the Lhengye Zhungtsho  bill in this session of parliament.

Although NC has no authority over the money bills, the house will deliberate on the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2020, the Tax (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan, the Tourism Levy Exemption (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2020, the Fiscal Incentives (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2020, the Goods and Services Bill of Bhutan 2020, Property Tax Bill of Bhutan 2020, Pay Revision (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2020, and the Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year of 2019-2020.

The 24th Session of the National Council of Bhutan will commence today and will conclude on March 5, 2020.