The National Law Review Task Force is looking at various laws that need to be amended

Parliament: Important deliberations will take place in the upcoming winter session of National Assembly. The session will begin on November 10.

The House will amend the Income Tax Act. It would be a money bill over which National Council will have little say. The House will also see the introduction of Information, Communication and Media Bill 2016.

The Assembly will also amend the Marriage Act.

Chairman of the Legislative Committee, MP Ritu Raj Chhetri, said that besides what have been brought in the Parliament, the National Law Review Task Force (NLRTF) is also looking at various laws that need to be amended.

As for the bills that will be tabled this winter session, he said that three different committees have taken the charge. “They are coming up with amendments.”

He added that he hopes the Parliament will be able to table Right to Information Bill (RTI) in the future although the government could not go as per its plan with the RTI bill. “Even for India, it took a long time to enact their RTI Act.”

The House will deliberate and vote on Paris Agreement on Environmental Protection and Conservation including issues related to climate change, and the international recognition of Bhutan’s progressive policies on environment. The House will look at the overview of Trade, Commerce and Transit Agreement between Bhutan and India.

There will be a motion for leave to introduce a Bill titled Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2016-2017 by Finance Minister Namgay Dorji. This is also a money bill.

The general merits and principles of the Bill will be discussed. Thereafter, the Bill will be referred to the committee concerned.

The government is also expected to push for the six-month maternity leave in the corporate and private sectors. According to the agenda, labour and human resources ministry will continue to work on increasing maternity leave/supplements/incentives for working mothers outside the scope of the civil service.

The House will deliberate on the establishment of a division under the Department of National Properties to manage seized goods and properties by the law enforcement agencies and carry out comprehensive study in consultation with the agencies who will submit a report to the House.

There will be deliberations on the need to amend relevant laws to define “fronting” as a criminal offence. The Ministry of Economic Affairs in consultation with the relevant agencies and committees will carry out extensive study and submit a report to the House.

The House will also deliberate on the Public Accounts Committee Report on the Annual Audit Report 2015.

MB Subba