Seventh session of the second Parliament concludes

His Majesty The King addressed the closing session yesterday

Parliament: Endorsement of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) transport agreement, and the controversial Paro thromde boundary were the highlights of the seventh session of the second Parliament that concluded yesterday.

His Majesty The King addressed the closing of the Parliament yesterday. Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen and members of the Royal Family also graced the closing session.

The joint sitting of the Parliament deferred deliberations on the ratification of the framework agreement between the European Investment Bank and Bhutan. The joint committee comprising seven members from the Assembly and five from the Council proposed for deferment as the committee could not resolve the 13 recommendations that the Council had provided on the agreement.

The BBIN was endorsed despite stiff resistance from the opposition. The transport agreement is now with the National Council to be ratified in its upcoming session. The joint sitting also endorsed the Paro thromde boundary with the Parliament sticking to the earlier boundary map.

Over the past six weeks, the National Assembly also passed the Customs bill and the Civil Aviation bill besides deliberating on the Income Tax (amendment) bill and the Red Cross Society bill, among others.

At the National Council, some of the bills that members deliberated were the Jabmi (amendment) bill, Companies bill and the Red Cross Society bill. The Council also deliberated at length on the interim review on agriculture policies, issues related to illegal immigration and ownership of undisclosed assets and accounts abroad by Bhutanese, among others. The Council’s recommendations for the tax reform bill failed to muster adequate support in the Assembly.

Meanwhile, members of parliament from the ruling and opposition parties and the National Council expressed their appreciation to His Majesty The King for the guidance and support rendered to the people through various initiatives and kidu.

Home minister Dawa Gyaltshen on behalf of the government moved the motion of thanks to His Majesty The King followed by Tsirang’s Council representative Kamal Bahadur Gurung and opposition member from Khar-Yurung constituency Zangley Dukpa.

They thanked His Majesty for the various kidu programmes to support and help the  people and other noble initiatives for the benefit of the country. They also thanked His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen for travelling all the way to the east with HRH The Gyalsey, and for granting kidu and audiences to the people who were lucky to catch a glimpse of HRH The Gyalsey.

They also highlighted the significance of the various Royal visits to Bhutan this year and this year being the birth year of Guru Rinpoche, 400 years of Zhabdrung’s arrival in Bhutan and the Birth of HRH Gyalsey.

Lyonpo Dawa Gyaltshen thanked His Majesty The King for taking the time to grace the opening and closing of the Parliament besides also providing the guidance and support to the Parliament members in serving the Tsawa-sum.

“Democracy is a gift from His Majesty The Fourth King to the people that is well appreciated and known globally,” he said. “Since Bhutan became a democratic state, it has progressed well and the foundation of democracy has further strengthened given His Majesty The King’s guidance.”

Speaker Jigme Zangpo, in his closing address, also expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Parliament to His Majesty The King for gracing the occasion. He also informed the gathering that the seventh session of the second Parliament was successful with the grace of the triple gem and the benevolent guidance of His Majesty The King besides support from agencies such as the local government, dzongkhags, ministries, constitutional bodies and other institutions.

Kinga Dema

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