MB Subba

As talk about a possible extraordinary session of Parliament in the wake of the transformation initiatives is doing the round, Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel said that has been confirmed as yet.

The Speaker said that having an extended winter session would suffice. He said that the chances of having an extraordinary session were less.

“We can have a longer session to discuss the Bills related to the transformation initiatives,” he said.

The winter session is expected to be called early if Bills related to the transformation initiatives are submitted to Parliament.

However, Opposition Leader Dorji Wangdi said that an extraordinary session would be required to complete the transformation initiatives without a delay.

“I’m for having an extraordinary session because we cannot keep the transformation initiatives waiting for the work to be completed on part of Parliament,” he said.

If the Bills are introduced in an extraordinary session, they must be passed in the same session as per the parliamentary procedures.

However, if the Bills are tabled in a normal session, they would have to go through the normal procedure, which would take at least two sessions or a year to be passed.

There are concerns that a prolonged period of the transformation could create uncertainties in the system and fatigue among civil servants involved in the initiatives.

The opposition leader said that the extraordinary session should be long enough for the Houses to discuss the Bills thoroughly; they should not be rushed through Parliament.

However, some sources said that it was too early to say what Bills are being proposed.

The proposed clean wage system that will replace the current pay and allowances system for civil servants and the issues arising from the proposed merger of agencies, among other issues, is expected to be deliberated.

The Constitution mandates the formation of a Pay Commission to recommend to the government revisions in the structure of the salary, allowances, benefits, and other emoluments of the Royal Civil Service, the judiciary, the members of Parliament and local governments, the holders and the members of constitutional offices and all other public servants with due regard to the economy and other provisions of the Constitution.

The recommendations of the Pay Commission shall be implemented only on the approval of the Lhengye Zhungtshog and subject to such conditions and modifications as may be made by Parliament.

The Speaker and the Chairperson shall convene an extraordinary sitting of Parliament on the command of the Druk Gyalpo if the situation demands.