Pay Commission report to be presented on 29th May in the Parliament session

The much awaited and discussed Pay Commission report will be presented to the Parliament by the Finance Minister on 29th May 2014. The third session of the second Parliament will be starting on 16th May and Concluding on 20th June 2014.

The Pay Commission report among other things had recommended around a 20 percent hike for civil servants. However, according to sources the report after being presented to the cabinet has undergone some changes after which the

cabinet recently finalized it and sent it to the Finance Ministry.

Currently it is not clear what the final hike approved by the cabinet would be or in what format it would come though it is clear that there will be a hike.

The National Assembly will also see the 2014-2015 financial year budget being presented on 6th June 2014 by the Finance Minister who will also have incorporated the budgetary implications of a pay hike on the national finances.

In a related issue the NA will also be continuing the discussions on the Local Government Entitlement Bill of Bhutan 2014 and will then pass it. The Bill looks at the pay and entitlement of local government functionaries.

When pay hikes come up the next inevitable process are landlords increasing their rents unreasonably but this time around the tenants will have reason to cheer as the government will introduce the Tenancy Act Amendment Bill that will aim to give more teeth and muscle to the existing but ineffective Tenancy Act.

The NA will also see the introduction, discussion, amendment and passing of the Parliamentary Entitlement Bill of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2014 which talks about the pay, perks and privileges of MPs.

An important part of this session will be the annual State of the Nation report to be delivered by the Prime Minister on 18th June 2014.

Another important legislation for the NA will be the Tobacco Control Amendment Bill 2014 passed earlier by the NC that allows the sale of tobacco.

The NA will also be looking at the National Council Amendment Bill 2014 passed by the NC that ensures more stable resignation conditions for its members.

The Biosafety Bill of Bhutan 2014 introduced in the previous sessions will be discussed and passed. The bill focuses on protecting Bhutan from bio-products, certain genetically engineered products and organisms that could affect the local species and environment.

There will also be a reading of Narcotics, Drugs, Psychotropic Substance and Substance Abuse Bill 2014.

The will also be a report by the Chairperson of the Good Governance Committee on the Annual Anti-Corruption Commission Report 2013 and implementation of resolution on granting human resource autonomy to ACC. There will be another report by the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee on the Annual Audit Report 2013.

In the National Council the most watched legislation will be the Right to Information Bill which was passed by the National Assembly in the previous session. However, there are already some problems in terms of protocol and coordination issues between the NC and the government (see main story).

Other important legislations are the Introduction of Local Government Act amendment Bill passed by the NA focusing on aligning the Act to the Constitution and the National Assembly Act amendment Bill 2014 also passed by the NA which focuses on the resignation conditions of NA members, procedures and powers of the Speaker.

The NC will also see the Introduction of Office of the Attorney General Bill that seeks to improve and strengthen the office of the OAG.

The NC will also discuss issues related to shortage of LPG and Kerosene presented by the Economic Affairs Committee.

The house will also see the re-deliberation of the National Council Act 2014 and the Tobacco Control Act.

The Pay Commission report and the Budget will also be presented after it has been presented and passed in the NA.

The House of Review will also review the status of the resolutions of the 12th session of National Council presented by the House Committee.

It will also see the presentation of the Annual ACC report and a report from the Public Accounts Committee.

Other issues from Dzongkhags and constituencies will be also discussed in both houses along with question hour sessions as well.


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