OL’s question to PM cut-off by Speaker

The Opposition Leader who planned to ask five questions was cut-off by the Speaker when he was on the verge to start the questions directed toward the Prime Minister.

Of the two questions it was advised by the Speaker Jigmi Tshultim that one did not qualify as per the rules.

The Member of Parliament from Gasa, Damcho Dorji said, “As a member of the opposition I am really concerned by the tactics of the Ruling Party to stop the Opposition from criticizing the Government on very flimsy grounds and not even tendering a sound reason for not allowing the Opposition to question the Government in Parliament. It will not abide well for democracy in Bhutan”.

The Opposition leader however, clarified every question he actually wanted to ask. He said that he decided not to ask the first question to PM as advised by the Speaker.

The OL’s question that did go through was on the PM’s official visits abroad, and on the number of people who would accompany him as part of his entourage. The OL’s question also inquired about the intricacies of funding involved for trips made by the PM and his entourage.

The Bhutanese spoke to members of the general public to seek their sound opinions on the Speaker vs. the OL incident.

A legal officer from one of the agencies said, OL must have intended to ask a question on grounds that interceded on PM’s personal life , and therefore he was stopped.

Some people felt that, the transparency of the government should be maintained in such cases so as to know whose money is being used for the PM’s trip abroad and other truths.

The third question which OL intended to ask was to the home minister. The rupee crunch , said the OL has affected the whole nation but most importantly he pointed out that, people who resided in Jaigaon and Manglabar has been affected badly because of the housing problems in Phuentsholing. He said that people who resided in Jaigaon and Manglabar face many problems because they don’t get Indian currency in and out of country to pay the house rent and the bills.

“No report on this has been brought by the government,” said the OL, Tshering Tobgay.

The OL also put up questions to the minister for information and communication regarding the taxi business and the increase in the number of the city busses which has affected the taxi business though increasing the number of city buses has helped the low income groups of people.

Opposition leader said, western region of the country has the maximum number of taxis in the country which is also an indication of no equitable development of the nation. He also raised the issue of city bus carrying extra passengers which is not allowed as per the law.

In response to OLs question the minister for the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), Lyonpo Nandalal Rai said that the business of taxi will be driven by the market force. He also answered the Opposition leader’s question about Indian tourists who came to Bhutan  bringing Indian private vehicles which also hindered the Bhutanese taxi drivers’ income.

Lyonpo Nandalal said, if we disallow the Indian vehicles to come in our country this may affect the long maintained relationship between the two countries. He said that Bhutan is directly or indirectly dependent to India, therefore such small issues just for the sake of taxi business should not affect the relationship of Bhutan and India.

On the issue of issuing licenses to the civil servants, the MoIC minister said that it cannot be stopped as it driven by the market force.  “So as far as someone thinks that he can make an income out of it then they will do it,” said the minister.

Some MPs also talked about the using of the Indian roads in southern region of Bhutan. They said to restrict Indian vehicles  which comes in with the Indian tourists just to entertain a set of taxi drivers in our country would not be a logically advisable move.

The MPs said Bhutanese people also uses Indian routes for various purposes in the south. Some also said that the trucks which transport gypsum and other goods from Samdrup Jongkhar used Indian routes to reach Phuentsholing and plants at Gomtu which should be taken into account.

Unlike in Bhutan, Bhutanese taxis or private vehicles which travel to India are disallowed to tour in the locality by the Indian taxi drivers in particular areas as they have to make earning out of the tourists.

 

 

About Ugyen Dorji

21 comments

  1. i would request OL to b little extra sensitive to relationship issue when ic crunch has put all bids of bhutanese ego to hell. OL will not qualify for being PM if he goes against the sentiments of India.
    The time has come for bhutan now new delhi will decide on PM and cabinets …..we were just in air to build castle…..20 yrs back when India supported to throw southerners , not many had in mind what game India is playing ? but now those in charge of implementing must realised “jhorka dhakka dhirey sey…..!

  2. Indian tourists are using their own vehicles because:

    1. many of them prefer cars like scorpio, innova and qualis etc. These cars are not available as taxis in Bhutan.

    • I am sorry for incomplete post. Indian tourists use Indian taxis because:-

      1. They prefer cars like Scorpio, Innova and Qualis. These cars are not available in Bhutan as taxis.
      2. Many Indian tourists feel that Bhutanese taxi drivers are not friendly. Many of them don’t even drop them to their hotels with pretext of not having parking space.
      If we address these two major points then our taxi drivers shall be benefited.

      Regarding civil servants driving taxis, I don’t think this is a serious issue if they operate before/after office hours. Who all are these civil servants anyway? Surely, low income group. They are earning extra money by using their physical strength (driving taxis) while many senior civil servants earn through various means by just relaxing. Few examples are:- building owners earn from monthly rents, transport owners from hiring charges, business license owners from fronting, and list goes on. Taxi drivers also need food, clothes and shelter like these senior officials. The only smart move from these senior officials is that they have these assets registered in their non-working spouse’s name while taxi drivers have no choice than to drive themselves which automatically expose them to media and other rivals. Whether you say, that is a cow or this is a cow, the cow remains as cow. Its just how you present it. If the issue here is earning extra money then our MPs need to look at all these issues as well.

  3. As a citizen, i feel OL has every right to ask all the questions which he intended to ask. Besides that people of this country should know what is happening to public money. Its has been proven on more than one occasion that PM is not as honest as it was perceived previously. He is as corrupted as anyone else in the country.

  4. It appears that the soon-to-be-retired speaker saved the PM but he damaged the already daqmaged reputation of DPT.

  5. Dungpa wrote”The only smart move from these senior officials is that they have these assets registered in their non-working spouse’s name while taxi drivers have no choice than to drive themselves which automatically expose them to media and other rivals. Whether you say, that is a cow or this is a cow, the cow remains as cow. Its just how you present it. If the issue here is earning extra money then our MPs need to look at all these issues as well.”

  6. I guess the OL does have every right to ask any questions of the PM and other members of the ruling DPT government about any subject which he believes needs more public scrutiny. I however, was quite dumbfounded when he somehow objected to Indian tourists travelling to Bhutan in Indian registered vehicles, while I give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that he is genuinely concerned with how it is impacting negatively the local taxi/car hire business, it was sheer desperation on his part to even suggest such a stupid thing. Just imagine the chaos if we somehow did put legislation in place which did not allow Indian registered vehicles to enter Bhutan and one fine day the Indian authorities decided to retaliate and bans the entry of all Bhutanese registered vehicles to India. If such a scenario were to be played out, we would have only one loser and certainly no prizes for guessing who that would be.

  7. This kind of protectionist policy the PDP leader is suggesting will certainly create bad vibes with India. Not like our taxi drivers aren’t earning enough and they are making a killing on Tuesdays. Such petty issues should not be highlighted in the National Assembly when far more important issues need discussing like the Indian Rupees crisis.

  8. I totally agree with OP leader. I think PM’s entourage is more than any kings of PM’s of the countries. Jigme thinley acts as if he is President of US or king of Arab. Don’t he feel ashame to travel in Land cruiser when country is depending still on external fund. He takes people as if it is his father’s company money, he might be taking his own family members.
    I still remember that, if am not wrong, he took his driver once to US along with him in his company as a gift for serving him…. RAA and ACC should note about it.
    PM should be travelling with minimum, one time country is dying for fund and FDI and other hand, DHI and PM and ministers are wasting our money like smoking cigar. 
    SHAME on this type of leader, I dont know why people supported him, I never did.

    • PM ‘s sliver tongues can even get the Noble peace prize. He is selling GNH to European, American and so forth. He is speaking so highly in and around the world. The sad things is Bhutan is lacking true happiness despite of GNH. DPT is murdering young democracy in Bhutan which is gift from the throne. DPT is not government of the people, by people and for the people but group of corrupted people. when JYT got PM he said the zero tolerance and when land scam is taking just before his eyes he is silent. Instead he is defending the corrupted people Shame!!!

      • Land Scam just under his nose lo, He him self is one of the main culprit at Gyalposhing Land Scam and his hand might be there in Banesa Land Scam too.

  9. There is more subtleties in OL’s blush than his explicit, downright denouncing for barring OL from asking Qs to the PM by the Speaker in the parliamentary session. 

  10. Speaker did enough damage to the DPT already. Gyalposhing case is still fresh in peoples mind, now this. Shutting the opposition leader off is bullying. Questioning PM about how he spent Tax payers’ money is a legitimate question. I don’t think Speaker cares how the country runs. 
    By the way, whatever happened to Gyalposhing case. All  those rich and corrupt people involved in the case must be hoping that it will die down in course of time. ACC doesn’t want to dirty their hands either,, after all they have to live in Bhutan, who wants to mess up with big and poweorful

  11. Speaker in any house in any parliament , anywhere in the world has the power bestowed by the Act to object question or statement put forward by any member of the parliament if deemed irrelevant. 

    Head of the government has all the need and authority to visit any countries abroad to establishing bilateral or multilateral development relationships. However an MP or OL or for that matter the public has the right to know the cumulative budget spent during such visits. 

    OL is getting too petty by pointing out the civil servants driving taxi during off hours. It should only be a problem if the civil servant is cabbing his taxi during office hours, otherwise it should be totally fine. Any civil servant, for that matter any individual should be allowed to work for more than one employer, out of their own choice. 

  12. What was that???what the…?!
    Its not realy nice to that, then OL has no right for democracy?
    Why our OL SHOULD SIT IN THE PARLIAMENT if he is not allowed to voice his opinion.
    not really good…directed to tha legal officcer (he is not child, he wont speak PM personal life, he is not who have useless tongue like you).

  13. National Speaker has done enough for the country, not in terms of development but in terms of favoritism and corruption.
    So now it seems he don’t care as he will soon be resigning from the post. We feel OL has every rights to question PM. As the money used by the DPT is the money generated from People of Bhutan, and the money should not be misused.
    Speaker may resign before the ACC publishes its field inspection report so that he may have chance of taking part in politics in future. BUT people should not forget that he is accountable for the corrupt land scam in Gyelposhing.

  14. These sheer pitiable views from the OL bordering on such irrational matters just reminds us – the Bhutanese people – on where Bhutan needs to grow up to full maturity into understanding the better meaning of democracy.

  15. These highly obstructive leaning pitiable views from the OL bordering on such irrational matters just reminds us – the Bhutanese people – on where Bhutan needs to grow up to full maturity into understanding the better meaning of democracy.

  16. I presume the following:

    LJYT as PM of Bhutan is representing His majesty the King of Bhutan whenever he makes official visits abroad and he must be accompanied by only relevant high level officials.

    Drivers are the lowest rung official in the Royal Civil Service and if they are trying to make little income after office hours and during off days should be appreciated. They have big family members to feed plus most of their wives do not work.

    We are dependent on India for everything. Few of their taxis chartered by the tourists with RUPEES in their purses should be well come with open arms. And we want to drive our Land Cruisers all the way to Budhagaya, Nalanda, Siliguri, Sikkim etc without even a permit. This is not fair la!

    The city buses are boon to many aspects: Environment friendly, will reduce import of fuels, reduce accident and many more.

    Congratulation mijay Tshokpen Rimpochey! While in the parliament there is no person above you. Therefore, you have rightly franchised your power. Once again Congratulations from the bottom our hearts. (Well wishers).

    Rupee crunch was there from the time immemorial, because rupee is a foreign currency like dollors, euros, yen etc. All the foreign currencies are crunch in all the countries. This problem is not the creation of DPT or Opposition Party.

    • drivers are the lowest rung? I think they’re the highest in terms of kham. Besides kham, they are also the biggest robbers of govt money through theft of fuel and hilux parts. Every new driver gets into the act. Why do you have any sympathy for them? I don’t have any. They are all crooks (ie pool drivers).

  17. PM always travel to abroad and it is good for the country. But the way he travels is very levish. every time when he travels to India we see minimun 3 Ministers,few secetaries and some high level to see of him from Paro Air port and receive him from Air port. We have never seen our Beloved 4th King and 5th King doing such things. How many peoples have wasted their time and How much fuels consumed by taking one car each by those officials unnecessarly.

    Every time in his speech he talks abt. Wangtshay (Power), He is trying to snatch every thing and he want to be the most powerful in this country. Speaker is his pet Dog he will definately save his PM.

    We want our Opposition Members to dig on following
    topics ;-

    1. Why did govt shut down Bhutan Lottery as it is one of the Top ten all income generator. Why there is no claer cut and culprits in Bhutan lottry Scam.

    2. What is the status of Gyalposhing Land Scam. 3. What is the Status of DPT vice presidents land case.

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