NC to summon the RMA Governor

The National Council (NC) has decided to summon the central bank Governor to attend the proceedings of NC following discussions yesterday.

This NC decision comes after the NC’s economic affairs committee reported to the house that the committee failed to submit a complete Indian Rupee (INR) shortfall review report of policy and issues due to the lack of cooperation from Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) on the matter.

Deputy Chairperson of NC Dr. Sonam Kinga referred to Chapter four, Section 59 of the National Council Act 2008 which stated: “the Chairperson may summon any person to attend the proceedings of the NC for the purpose of giving evidence, provide information or produce documents in that person’s custody or control”.

The Chairperson of NC’s economic affairs committee (EAC) Rinzin Rinzin said all efforts made by the council to call the RMA Governor for a committee meeting or access relevant documents did not yield results.

He said, “The governor has refused to attend any committee meeting with the EAC despite repeated requests and the RMA has refused to provide critical documents such as minutes of the board meetings and executive committee meetings of the RMA, much-needed to conduct a comprehensive review”.

Since the INR shortfall is a serious national issue, the NC in its eighth session mandated the EAC to conduct a review of the policies and issues pertaining to the INR crunch.

Rinzin Rinzin said, a deputy governor of the RMA reluctantly attended an EAC meeting on June 21 but the deputy governor did not come prepared for the meeting.

He said the deputy governor kept making phone calls during the meeting to find out basic information about the status of INR reserves and the shortfall.

“He wasn’t carrying even a piece of paper,” he said.

Requests for certain documents, had been declined by RMA who consistently said that it is not as per norms and practices of central bank to share the information requested by NC.

To this, some NC members highlighted that the laws of the land must prevail over norms and practices of any organization. “The RMA Act 2010 does not prohibit the NC from accessing the documents,” Rinzin Rinzin said.

The NC Deputy Chairperson said that RMA is an autonomous body under the government and that it is neither a private agency nor an independent constitutional body.

Bumthang NC MP Tshewang Jurmi cited several possible reasons why RMA refused to cooperate. He said it could be because of ‘ego or guilty consciousness’ or maybe the concerned individual is not confident in himself about the issue.

Apart from RMA, the EAC had received cooperation from all other ministries and agencies with regard to acquiring information, consultation meetings and EAC meetings.

EAC contacted the economic affairs ministry, finance ministry, the private sector and representatives of financial institutions among others to conduct the review.

EAC members reported that constitutional post holders heading independent bodies such as the Royal Civil Service Commission, Anti- corruption Commission, Election Commission and Royal Audit Authority have all attended the NC’s committee meetings. “Even the Prime Minister, opposition leader and cabinet ministers have visited the NC when invited to brief the members on important national issues,” Rinzin Rinzin said.

Gasa NC MP Sangay Khandu highlighted the importance of Right to Information (RTI) under such situations. He said the media faces the same problem when it comes to request of information and documents.

EAC members said the laws of the country mandates RMA as a responsible body not only for monetary policy but also foreign exchange and reserve management and rendering advice to the government. Therefore, the views of RMA and information requested are crucial to fulfill the mandate of the committee entrusted by the house.

Rinzin Rinzin said EAC committee was informed only one day prior to yesterday’s session (July 5), that a deputy governor will be sent by RMA and information needed shall be provided. Repeated requests were sent to RMA in the last two months.

“One night is not enough time for the EAC to review and come up with a report on the INR shortfall,” he said.

The NC Chairperson Namgye Penjore said it would be better if the house resorted to hold a special session as RMA has recently agreed to provide cooperation.

Chapter five, Section 65 of the National Council Act states, ”whenever necessary, the Chairperson of the National Council shall convene an extraordinary sitting of the National Council on the command of the Druk Gyalpo”.

The EAC chairperson however clarified that the letter from RMA stated a deputy governor will represent the central bank while the committee required the governor himself.

The NC members supported Deputy Chairperson Dr. Sonam Kinga’s suggestion to summon the governor to the NC before the end of the current parliamentary session.

The house then decided that the Thrizin shall summon the governor to attend the NC session on Tuesday, July 10.

An EAC member who talked to The Bhutanese after the session said, “There will not be any questions for the governor on Tuesday but he will be ordered to cooperate with EAC in providing documents and attending committee meetings”.

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20 comments

  1. this is the standard of RMA and how our great leaders reward and give scarf, patang to this heads and dashos, i dont know that the selection was based on merits and not on chamchagiri or loyalty, this is seriously hampering our country’s performance. It would be better to give some monetary award for loyalty and chamchagiri. I feel sorry for our country and its leaders.

  2. This is si childish. We Bhutanese have big ego, rather than solving the National rupee crisis with the co operation of everyone’s help,we like to get into power struggle. We want the best for ourselves. We want big houses, buildings, cars bigger the better, children to be educated abroad. Our Central Bank kept watching untill the rupee crisis got worse. We will starve without rupee, even basic food like salt and rice are imported from India. Shame on us, we boast of being agriculture base country when we hAve to import rice. What is Government doing to enhance the capacity of farmers in rural areas. Paddy fields are barren in rural areas as there are no help to work on the land. Our youth like to hang out in urban areas rather than work on the field. Government could help with machineries , which are concentrated only in Paro, Wangdi, Punakha. Orange trees are either dead or dying due to a virus. Export of oranges to India used to bring significant amount of rupee at one time. Government didn’t do a thing to control the virus, most of the trees are dead and people are reluctant to go for new orange trees. Government is too mportant to look into the problems farmers are facing.

  3. How idiotic of rma not providing info to our highest law making bodies and the peoples representative!!!!!!! who do they think they are working for???????

    In fact both na and nc should hbe deliberating the rupee crsis as a priority!!!!!!instead of tax and land act………..pl prioritize prioritize  prioritize the need of the hr!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  4. This is a good idea because our bankers know only how to count the money for playing archery and make contributions for the welfare of their banks. Our Bankers are not economists but GNHists. They can play archery better than doing their office works. They do not know anything about economy……….that’s why there are crises. If they know it there should be solution…..since they do not know anything about economics……..we are suffering. The NC must call the Governor and make him learn what economics is so that at least he knows what’s crises.

  5. Those jokers at the NC, everyone knows that the present rupee crisis was unavoidable, both the RGOB and the banks are to be blamed, one for spending as though money grew on trees and the banks for making loans available so readily. I just want to know what the NC think they will achieve by summoning the RMA governor. The NC seriously want to play both Judge, jury and executioner or what. While I am certainly not a fan of the RMA boss, in this instance. I am firmly in his corner. 

  6. Your comment is awaiting moderation.I think Daw tenzin doesnot deserve to be a governer. As an civil servant, he has to answere to all the questions put upon him by the govt and NC is a part of govt, I too want him to be investigated. How come we land up in ruppee crunch and other financial problems without RMA giving us any warning. I think this guy is not capable of being a head.I fully supprt NC, which is acting as a opposition as DPT does all crazy things, give promotions, corruption, favourtism to its own fellows and relatives.

  7. this is nothing but a ego clash between rma and nc…i don’t know what difference nc will make by calling governor other than serving their ego….everyone knows the problem and issue of rupee crisis….looks like like nc wants to get their hand everywhere and i just hope they have capacity and expertise to do that………

  8. I don’t understand this…why can’t the Governor just go and attend the NC meetings? Even if he attends or the whole team of RMA attends the NC wont be able to give us a solution to the rupee crisis.

  9. held the governor responsible for inr crisis. in fact he is responsible for all actions. 

  10. Minjur Dorji,

    Your article is not complete in that you fail to ask the NC members and in particular Sonam Kinga as to what they hoped to achieve by summoning the RMA governor. As far as I remember, the RMA was always borrowing rupees from India to offset the shortage required in Bhutan. It is funny that the NC themselves were completely in the dark about the rupee crisis themselves until it us and now they have started a witch hunt to somehow make the RMA responsible for it. 

    The NC have also asked the ACC to investigate the Trowa case, and while this is a good move, by the same token, they need to ask ACC to investigate how Damchen Petroleum got government land to build their gas station in Thimphu.

    They will be surprised to learn that Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji will be at the heart of both these two scams. Now, lets see if Sonam Kinga and the NC jokers have the balls to ask ACC to go after Damchen.

  11. Even if the NC summons 1.000,000,000,000/= Governors, the INR crunch will not be solved. Therefore, look at measures to address the issue instead of looking in the pit how deep it has gone down.

  12. The Governer of RMA is Mr. Prime minister’s Mouth piece. So he”ll not come simple as that. we all know that fro sure..

  13. I think the move by NC is justifiable and at least with the help of NC , people of Bhutan could extract the real problem on rupee crisis. The government has been cheating the people by saying that it is temporary measures and they haven’t mention the appropriate corrective measures.  We would like to assure our support to NC on this matter.  

  14. NC has the right to summon anybody as stated in its Act. Governor of RMA therefore must comply with it. Whether the Governor is a PM’s mouth piece or not is a different story but he miserably failed to warn us and the government. NC is one of the houses where laws are enacted and framed, therefore they need to understand the matrix  of the problems which could be provided by  concerned organization, in this case the RMA. The governor is being defiant for reasons we do not know, but he had even labelled the National Council as being investigative. Of course if need be the EAC can even investigate the RMA. He could soon face his retirement if not the compulsory one.  

  15. I would agree that the NC has the right to summon the governor of the RMA if they are going to achieve something positive or if they are going to find out anything new about the rupee crisis that we already don’t know. Right now, the only thing the NC is doing is flexing it’s muscles. 

    If I were the RMA governor, I have a ready made answer for part of the rupees crisis, just add up the 7 lacs given to each MP to purchase a vehicle and show these jokers how much dollars or IC were spent to purchase them and then dig a little deeper and find out how many MPs bought heavy machinery, most of which cost up to or over 50 lacs to hire out the power projects, I am sure that will shut them up for a moment.

  16. I think, NC should cite Daw Penjor and RMA org for contempt of NC. As a consequence, AGO/ACC Office should prosecute him in the Court. This is a legal process accepted and followed in all democratic countries. Because, NC and NA, as peoples body, are legally, morally, and ethically are authorized by the people, citizens of Bhutan, as in any other democratic country, to summon anyone on any issues which affect the tax paying citizens. In addition, Daw Penjor, as long as he receives salary, paid for by the taxes collected from the people, he has obligations to deliver the services to the tax paying people. Therefore, the fact that he has announced in BBS, Kuensel that he, his a.i.or his org will not attain NC is a point blank blunder of non-obedience and utter lack of responsibility.
    This kind of disobedience from a salary receiving people should be dealt with a maximum impact before such blatant behavior becomes an accepted behavior in the country. That is one of the seeds of corruption.

  17. Governor did his part. NC and NA wants to gain cheap popularity. we people  particular myself are convince by governor by letting us know through all the available media in our country. 

  18. i do not agree with pema……u sound almost like gov himself………….nothing concrete has been revealed by rma to the bhutanese public….we r still in the dark and wish to know the true status.

  19. The RMA and the MoF have been informing the people and the country about INR shortages since 2007 in the print media as well as in other mass communications(TV,Radio etc). The NC should have woken up then only instead of trying to find out what went wrong when the RMA placed measures in place to control the situation from worsening further. The DPT and the RMA are working hand in hand to resolve the issue, therefore, we should not worry but abide by some of the Dos and Donts that will further drain out the borrowed Rupees at a heavy costs.

  20. It is a time that to look for happiness from different sources. For many centuries we human beings have wasted our limited resources towards the point of view of material development which only created many problems that never existed before or during ancestral time. The economic crisis will only aggravate as long as we look for happiness from external sources and even simple pleasures like eating or lying in the sun are becoming more dangers because our planet is being destroyed for the sake of external development.

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