Rinzin Wangchuk 

His Majesty The King graced the opening ceremony of the third session of the third Parliament at the Gyalyong Tshogkhang yesterday.

National Assembly Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel on behalf of the members of the Parliament expressed their deepest gratitude to Their Majesties for strengthening Bhutan’s bilateral ties with the two countries of Japan and the United States of America during a royal visit last year. Their Majesties also granted audiences to Bhutanese people, particularly youth studying and working overseas, and imparted words of wisdom and guidance.

“Such noble initiatives from Their Majesties inculcated a sense of belonging to our nation,” the Speaker said.

The Speaker said that during the 112th National Day celebration, His Majesty The  Druk Gyalpo in his Royal address to the nation focused on three broad areas to guide the nation: the need to chart a clear economic roadmap for 21st century Bhutan; the need for creating a smooth and convenient working environment that would maximise output;  and the importance of youth as an asset and equivalent to a country’s health. 

Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel said that His Majesty shared what other countries take years could be a matter of months for Bhutan to accomplish and commanded that the roadmap should come up within one or two years.

He urged all the people of Bhutan, civil servants, public servants, private sector and the military officials to respond to the call with a deep sense of duty and dedication.

He said that under the visionary guidance of His Majesty, the Desuung programme was rolled out for the security of the nation. It has immensely benefited the country and the people to a greater extent.

Now, His Majesty has announced the Gyalsung programme to enhance the skills and to strengthen the capacity for our youths. “Therefore, the Parliament would like to offer gratitude and prayers for the successful achievement of the Gyalsung programme as per the royal aspirations of His Majesty The Druk Gyalpo,” Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel said.

The Speaker said that the joyous announcement of the birth of a royal child to in the Iron Male Rat Year has brought immeasurable joy and sense of pride to the Bhutanese people.

“It is indeed a symbol of eternal continuity of the glorious Wangchuck Dynasty and therefore, we the people would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to His Majesty The Druk Gyalpo and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen,” he said.

The Parliament also offered sincere gratitude to His Majesty for conferring the recognition of selfless service to the nation with national merit of Druk Wangyal, Druk Thuksey and gold medals to venerable Dorji Lopon and other officials.

Tshogpon Wangchuk Namgyel also expressed gratitude to His Majesty for showing love and compassion to the Bhutanese people all the time.

In October 2019, His Majesty The Druk Gyalpo granted land holding certificate to 4,532 households in Paro, and 131,801 households in other 18 dzongkhags, amounting to a total of 137,745 acres.

Under the patronage of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, Bhutan Red Cross Society was established, and the subsequent Act passed by the Parliament. Bhutan’s membership to the recent International Red Cross Society would ensure that the nation will be able to garner aids and assistance during the times of emergency. “Hence, the Parliament would like to offer deep thankfulness to Her Majesty,” the Speaker said.

The Speaker also thanked His Holiness the Je Khenpo and other religious masters for performing numerous kurims (prayers) for the wellbeing and prosperity of the people and the country.

Considered as one of the longest winter sessions, the Parliament will deliberate on new bills, Income Tax Amendment Bill and other tax bills, and ratification of international conventions, agreements, and protocols.

There will also be deliberation on three committee reports on Sustainable Development Goals. The Public Accounts Committee will also present three reports on audits and audit bill will be deliberated in the Joint Sitting of the Parliament.

The winter session will conclude on March 6.