During the deliberation of the national budget for the Financial Year 2017-2018 in the National Council, the representative from Trongsa, Tharchen raised the issue of the government’s irrational spending on the cost of transportation under the general public service of the government.
He said, “The government has allocated around 85 million for the helicopter service and from what we are being informed, the Ministry of Health pays to the helicopter company for the services related to health. The helicopter service is also availed by some of our ministers but I’ve noticed that the service for the purpose of tourism is minimally utilized.” He expressed that although the helicopter service is adding a lot of value to the difference in the time when the Prime Minister and ministers avail such service, he said it is at the same time incurring extra government expenditure.
“It is high time the helicopter company earns profits from their own services and my doubt is on the government’s plan to ensure future sustainability of the company,” said Tharchen.
The representative from Samdrup Jongkhar raised the issue concerning the government’s decision to provide salary by the government to all the registered konyers or caretakers under the Zhung Dratshang.
He said, “Although it is a welcome news, it has been specifically mentioned that only konyers under Zhung Dratshang will be provided with such benefit. But from what I know myself, almost more half of the total number of Lhakhangs are not under Zhung Dratshang. So it is important for the government to also include the caretakers of those Lhakhangs under the same scheme which are not registered with the Zhung Dratshang.”
Remarking on the same end, the representative from the Sarpang said that the Hindu Community would also be grateful if the government can include the caretakers of Hindu temples.
With such initiative, the government expects to contribute towards the promotion of spiritual wellbeing and social harmony in the rural areas and the caretakers will be start receiving salary from this financial year.
The proposed budget of Nu.25 million to initiate the construction of cinema theaters in 5 dzongkhags and Nu.7.5 million for construction of film studio in Thimphu was also raised during the session. MP Tharchen suggested that instead of spending huge amounts for construction of new theaters, he said it would be wise if the government roll out plans to improve the halls in the schools with proper infrastructure so that the film makers can utilize the same hall.