Overview of the Sixth Session of the Second Parliament

The closing ceremony of the Sixth Session of the Second Parliament was graced by His Majesty the King on Wednesday. The members of the Royal Family, representatives of the Central Monastic Body, senior government officials and representatives of the international community were also present at the closing ceremony.
After expressing the deepest gratitude of the Parliament to His Majesty for gracing the closing ceremony, National Assembly Speaker, Jigme Zangpo, read out the important events that took place in the nation in 2015.
He highlighted celebrations held during the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on 11 November. He said it was a momentous occasion for the people to express their utmost respects and gratitude, and to receive an audience from the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
The Speaker said that His Majesty the King’s announcement of the birth of the Royal Heir has further strengthened an era of unprecedented development, continued peace and happiness in the country.
The Speaker spoke of the endorsement of the Dzongkhag Thromde and Yenlag Thromde for Pemagatshetal and a Yenlag Thromde for Paro. As per the provisions of the Constitution and Local Government Act, all 20 Dzongkhags now have a Dzongkhag Thromde and a Yenlag Thromde each.
The declaration of Thromdes was made possible, mainly because of the competency demonstrated by the Local Government in preparing the documents and due to the maps formulated by officials of the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement. Therefore, the Speaker thanked the LG and MoWHS officials.
“With this, it will greatly strengthen the Local Government and enable for a balanced regional and socio-economic development,” the Speaker said.
The Public Accounts Committee, after comprehensively reviewing the Annual Audit Report 2014, presented its recommendations to the Parliament. After extensive deliberations on the recommendations, the Parliament passed the resolutions for its implementation.
“With the passing of the resolution, it is imperative for the various government ministries, departments and agencies to work accordingly as per the resolution,” the Speaker added.
Likewise, the Social and Cultural Committee, Women, Children and Youth Committee, Human Rights Committee and the Finance Committee presented their reports on the implementation status of the resolutions of the House.
The Speaker pointed out that the reports have been deliberated upon by the House and to this effect, it is important for the relevant ministries, departments and agencies to render cooperation.
The UN Convention against Corruption has been ratified by both the Houses and has been submitted to His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo for the Royal Assent.
The National Assembly extensively re-deliberated on the Jabmi Amendment Bill, Companies Bill and the Framework Agreement with the European Investment Bank.  Since consensus could not be reached on some of the sections in the three agendas, submission has been made to His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo to deliberate on the matter in a Joint-Sitting of Parliament.
An important responsibility of the Members of Parliament is to reach a consensus in the House, amend laws and pass new laws. “For this very reason, it is very important to inform the people on the decisions of the legislature by Members of Parliament during their constituency visits,” said the Speaker.
The SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation, which was deliberated in the 5th Session, has been granted Royal Assent by His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo.
The Speaker also informed on the visit paid by the MPs of the National Assembly at Punatsangchu Hydroelectric Projects I and II on November 30, and it was noticed that works are progressing well despite challenges and risk at the projects sites.
Punatsangchu Hydroelectric Project I is being built at an estimated cost of Nu 93.75 bn and Nu 58.35 bn is spent as of now and is expected to complete by July 2019.
Similarly, it is estimated to cost Nu 74.29 bn to complete the Punatsangchu Hydroelectric Project II, and till date Nu 31.69 bn has been spent, and is expected to complete by September 2018.
The members of the National Assembly also visited the reconstruction of the Wangduephodarng Dzong on December 1. Besides His Majesty’s grant of Nu 230 mn for the reconstruction, the Royal Government has allocated Nu 1000 mn and Bhutan Broadcasting Service has raised Nu 65.500 mn and donations of Nu 28.328 mn was raised by the people through the Ministry of Finance. A total amount of Nu 1,323.828 mn has been collected for the dzong reconstruction.
The procurement committee formed by the Rabdey of Wangduephodrang collected a fund of Nu 59.600 mn from voluntary donations made by the devotees and has procured essential items such as statues and other religious items. MPs expressed their infinite gratitude to His Majesty, the devotees and the government of India for aiding the reconstruction works.
During the closing ceremony, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay also highlighted some of the important events. “Keeping in mind the valuable advice given by the His Majesty, we will always thrive to fulfill the principles of Gross National Happiness by finding new ideas and in making democracy vibrant,” the Prime Minister said.
MP from North Thimphu, on behalf of the Opposition Party, and the National Councillor of Chukha, on behalf of the National Council members, expressed their deep gratitude to His Majesty.
The Sixth Session of the Second Parliament concluded successfully with the blessings of Triple Gem, visionary guidance of His Majesty and collective merit of the Bhutanese people.
The Members of the Parliament offered Tashi Menlam prayers for the country’s peace and sovereignty, good health and long life of His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, members of Royal Family and His Holiness the Je Khenpo.

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