Nima Wangdi 

“One minister should be reduced immediately,” says the opposition party, Druk Phunsum Tshogpa.

The party’s press release, which was issued yesterday, accused the government of being irresponsible by showing a blatant disregard for the law and taking an unduly long time to take the decision. “This is not only against the compelling objective and earnest spirit of the civil reform and Civil Service Reform Act 2022 but also in contravention to the Constitution.”

“Article 20(2) of the Constitution stipulates that the number of ministers shall be determined by the number of ministries, and that creation of an additional ministry or reduction of any ministry shall be approved by the Parliament,” the press release quoted.

The press release also stated that Parliament, with His Majesty the King granting the Royal Assent to the Civil Service Reform Bill 2022 on 15 December 2022, had approved the reduction of the number of ministries from ten to nine. “Accordingly, the new ministries and corresponding number of ministers should have legally come into effect from this date.”

The opposition party says that the country has 10 ministers even after the restructuring and reorganisation exercises. “We understand the lack of clarity on ministerial delegation is already hampering the functioning of some ministries and agencies.”

According to the opposition party, the inaction or delay is in complete contrast to the repeated commitments and assurances provided by the government to the public, in particular, to reduce the number of ministers on the very day the Act comes into force.

“The public deserves explanations from the government,” the party said. “There must be responsibility, accountability, and transparency in the conduct of government affairs…We urge the government to respect the law, put national interests over party interests, and in particular, reduce one minister immediately.”