MP’s Entitlement Urgency

In his inaugural address, the speaker  announced that the Parliamentary Entitlement Act would be introduced for amendment during this session.

Now here, we run into trouble, both by law and by principle.

Section 30 of the Parliamentary Entitlement Act states that, “A member of Parliament upon retirement on completion of his term of five years shall be entitled to such amount of gratuity as may be provided for under this Act.”  And according to Section 31, “No gratuity shall be payable if a member retires before the completion of his term or if his services are terminated.”

If the National Assembly is dissolved before the completion of its term, we, MPs, will not have completed our term of five years, and, as such, will not be entitled to collect gratuity. Hence, the urgency to revise the Parliamentary Entitlement Act.

Amending the Parliamentary Entitlement Act just to benefit ourselves is questionable, on principle. But it is also questionable, again on principle, because the National Assembly  rejected the Parliamentary Entitlement (Amendment) Bill which was passed by the National Council less than a year ago, in the last session of the Parliament.

And that’s where amending the Parliamentary Entitlement Act in this session could run into trouble with the law.

According to Section 193 of the National Assembly Act, “When a Bill has been passed or has been rejected during a session in any year, no Bill of the same substance may be introduced in the Assembly in that year except by leave of the Assembly.” The Parliamentary Entitlement (Amendment) Act was rejected in the 9th Session, so we should not be allowed to discuss it in the 10th Session. Unless, that is, the Assembly considers this a serious enough matter to merit discussion even though a year has not passed since rejecting the Bill.

But even if the National Assembly goes ahead and amends the Parliamentary Entitlement Act in this session, the amended bill can only be considered by the National Council in the next session of the Parliament. That won’t be possible, as this session is the last session of this Parliament.

If any amendment to the Parliamentary Entitlement Act is to be passed in this session itself, the amendment bill must be introduced as an “urgent bill”. But for that, the question we will need to ask ourselves is this: does the entitlement of members of Parliament amount to a national urgency?


The writer is the Opposition Leader(Tshering Tobgay)

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  1. At this juncture, pushing agenda for entitlement for parliamentarians will be critically viewed by the voters and so careful.

  2. I will vote for any political party who will pledge that after winning the election will refarain from talking about entittlement for parliamentarians!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I will vote for party who will genuinely work towards solving census issues within the next 5 years.

  4. Let them vote-in their entitlement, we shall vote-them-OUT.

  5. I think we Bhutanese are by nature jealous and short sighted. The parliamentarians now and in the future have to work for their entitlements and they should enjoy those benefits. As far as I’m concerned the only way we will get good law makers is if the profession attracts good people. 

    making issues out of trivial matters, and for the press to add fire to the fuel by highlighting them doesn’t help the matter at all. We need to grow up as a society and see the bigger picture if we want our society to move forward.

  6. I agree with Tshomo! If the entitlements or emoluments are not good who will work like donkeys. The big business houses pay very high salary to attract brilliant people. The benefits should be handsome, then only talented people will join politics otherwise only those guys who do not get selected in the Graduate selection exams will take up politics as the last choice! Please mind that if you had good breakfast you are very efficient the whole day.

  7. i wont vote for MPs…i want member of parliments.
    MP means
    1. my pata
    2. my pay
    3. my pension
    4. my provision
    5. my Prado……………….

  8. give good benefits but make sure they are not corrupt.

  9. kinerki, a really good acronym. i dont want any MP who has all the long forms of MP like:MP means
    1. my pata
    2. my pay
    3. my pension
    4. my provision
    5. my Prado……………….

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