NA, NC and National Flag – Again!

A joint committee comprising members from National Assembly (NA) and National Council (NC) will be formed to draft proper procedures to pass a private member’s bills.

Apparently, this comes to light after rejection of the first private member’s bill which was passed by the NC in the eighth parliamentary session but rejected by the NA during Tuesday’s session.

The NA is yet to send a letter to the NC to withdraw the National Flag bill.

Normally if a bill is not passed at the NA, it should be sent back to NC with amendments for discussion. The national flag bill was however rejected on grounds that there was no proper procedures in place to pass a private member’s bill.

Deputy Speaker Yangku Tshering said it is extremely vital to have a proper procedure in order to avoid issues in the future regarding the private member’s bill.

NC MP Rinzin Rinzin said as far as the NC is concerned there is no need for an extra procedure while it’s already there in the legislative procedures.

The NA legislative committee chairperson Ugyen Wangdi said an act cannot be adopted based on the views of few individuals. He said “one or two individuals cannot come up with a bill which talks about the national identity”.

Although the NC had passed the bill, majority of the NA MPs voted against the National Flag bill in its Tuesday session and concluded on the formation of a committee to make proper procedures to propose and pass private bills from here-on.

A crucial component of the soon-to-be drafted procedure regarding private bills according to MP Ugyen Wangdi will be, to have proper guidelines of jurisdiction between the public and the private bills in its introduction. However he said after the procedure is drafted the same bill (national flag) can even become a public bill if it concerns the interest of the nation.

‘One or two individual cannot come up with a bill which talks about the national identity,” said MP Ugyen Wangdi.

All said but yet to be done, the co-proposer of the national flag bill, NC MP Rinzin Rinzin said very recently that even if the NA rejects it (national flag bill) the NC would put it up to His Majesty for assent.

He said “since the NC has exhausted all procedures of endorsing a private bill and passing it, the house probably won’t withdraw the bill”.

As for now, NA cultural committee chairperson Rinchen Dorji said the NC won’t put it up to His Majesty since the bill is not being sent back with amendments but is being withdrawn.

NC MP Sangay Khandu who had proposed a private bill (Right to Information bill) which was also not passed, said that the bill being rejected will not have a major implication in any sense but if the legislative procedure of the parliament has been compromised in the process, then “it is a very serious issue”.

He said the NA should come up with more viable reasons on what is lacking in the bill rather than saying it doesn’t have proper procedures.

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