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Second parliament discussions to be more than just about BBIN

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Bill 2017, Bhutan Information, Communication and Media Bill 2016, Marriage Bill of Bhutan and Report of the Anti-Corruption Commission will be deliberated during the ninth session of second parliament, which began on May 3 in Thimphu.

The session will also deliberate on the Report of the Third Pay Commission, Adoption of National Budget for the Financial Year 2017-18 and performance Audit Report of the Royal Audit Authority.

The prime minister will present the Annual Report on the State of the Nation, including Legislative Plans and Annual Plans and Priorities of the Government in this session.

Another points on the discussion agenda include five Dispute clauses of the Customs Bill of Bhutan in the Joint Sitting and 15 disputed clauses on the Motor Vehicle Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personnel, and Cargo Vehicular Traffic between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) submitted by the National Council.

There will be deliberations on a Multilateral Agreement for the establishment of an International Think Tank for Landlocked Countries and on the implementation of past resolutions. Motions from the members will also be deliberated in the session as well.

The National Assembly will also discuss several petitions received from three dzongkhags. These petitions were extensively deliberated in the Preliminary Meeting on April 21 and forwarded to the relevant ministries for appropriate actions.

In his address at the opening session of parliament on May 3, National Assembly speaker Jigme Zangpo, on behalf of parliament, expressed the deepest gratitude to His Majesty The King who personally visited affected places during times of natural disasters in the country. His Majesty has recently visited windstorm affected areas in Punakha and granted invaluable guidance of consolation and support to the victims.

He also thanked His Holiness the Je Khenpo, five Venerable Lopens and the Central Monastic Body for their continued prayers and ceremonies for the well being of the country.

The speaker also expressed gratitude to Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen who, as patron of the Ability Bhutan Society (ABS), graced the inauguration of the International Conference on Autism and Neuro-developmental Disorders in Thimphu last month.

The Parliament also expressed their gratitude to Their Majesties the Queen Mothers, Royal Highnesses and other Members of the Royal Family for taking various initiatives for the welfare of the people.

The speaker said that the recent state visit of Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, to Bhutan was highly significant and reinforced the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and had strengthened the friendship between the two countries. A total area of 1.5 acres of land was gifted for the construction of the Bangladesh Embassy in Thimphu.

The Parliament also thanked all the donor countries, agencies and financial institutions for their commitment of continued support to Bhutan that was expressed during the 13th Round Table Meeting, held from 15-16 April 2017.

The parliament also thanked the three armed forces of the nation who have been shouldering the responsibility for the security of the people and the country round the clock. They also thanked Dessups for voluntarily rendering their service in times of public gatherings and disaster.

The national assembly speaker said that as proposed by member countries Bhutan will host the next meeting of the Social and Culture committee of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly at the end of August this year.

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