The 21st National Council (NC) session will not see introduction of new bills, according to the final agenda of the house.

Speaking at the pre-session press conference yesterday, Deputy Chairperson Jigme Wangchuk said that the session would last for only about two weeks as the government’s term is coming to an end.

The house of review calls a press conference at the beginning and conclusion of every session.  It was the first press conference for Jigme Wangchuk, who as per tradition became the house’s spokesperson on his election as the deputy chairperson.

Jigme Wangchuk said that the session will deliberate follow-up reports on the resolutions of the 20th session including legal aid to indigent persons, G2C (government to citizens) services, local government members’ leave entitlement and allocation of budget for black-topping of Chuzomsa-Baylandra road in Wangdue.

“We carried out a research on the implementation of G2C services and gave recommendations to the government,” he said. “The house would review G2C services and their implementation.”

The spokesperson also said that issues regarding implementation of local government members’ leave entitlement had arisen and that the house made some recommendations. The house will review whether or not the issue has been resolved.

Last December, the house had found that the government had not allocated budget for blacktopping of the Chuzomsa-Baylandra road although the budget report showed that the money had been allocated.

“We will have a question and answer session only with the agriculture minister this time,” he said.

Eminent member Kesang Chuki Dorjee and member from Thimphu, Tshewang Rinzin also attended the press conference.

The house will deliberate the Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion between Bhutan and Bangladesh for ratification. The National Assembly has passed the agreement.

The National Council will see the deliberation on Annual Anti-Corruption Report 2017 and introduction of the Budget and Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2018-2019.

The spokesperson said that the opening ceremony of session woukd be held at 2pm in the NC hall today.

In the morning, NC members will attend the opening ceremony of both the houses of Parliament in the National Assembly hall. While it is the 21st session for the NC, it is the 11th for the National Assembly.

The joint sitting, where members of both the houses of Parliament attend, will see deliberation on disputed clauses of the Audit Bill 2017, review of financial audit report and the implementation status of 10th session’s resolutions.

The prime minister will present the annual state of the nation report in a joint sitting. The parliament session will end on June 29.

MB Subba