Saturday, May 30th, 2015 - 12:17 PM
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Information officers key to RTI success

Yesterday National Assembly members discussed issues pertaining to request for official information and in what format the request should be made while deliberating the Right to Information bill. In the preceding discussions, the members had discussed about information and media officers, one of the key elements of the legislation. At the assembly discussions and those of other forums showed, information officers under this bill were equated with media spokespersons that various ministries appointed in their efforts to ensure transparency. Spokespersons were more ceremonial figures who [... Read More]

For better cabs, cabbies

Information and communications ministry’s recent decision to suspend the issue of taxi licence could not come at a better time. Drive around any of the main roads of the capital city and every second car passing by on the other lane is a yellow-hooded one. Thanks to the country’s natural topography that does not favour other kinds of taxis like auto-rickshaws that are found in countries within the region. Despite that, the capital city roads are for motorists to play scramble-for-space game of sorts. Amid [... Read More]

No place for novices

The National Council has endorsed its legislative committee’s proposal to include a provision in its Act that will specify a minimum of 10 years’ experience to contest for the house. Despite concerns from some members, especially the younger lot, the house endorsed the provision with a show of hands, where a clear majority agreed to the change. Within the house on Thursday, there was a good debate. The provision is important and will have long-term implications, therefore, before the Act is amended, a good discourse [... Read More]

Council clears resignation confusion at long last

The confusion that lingered for the last almost two years with respect to National Council members’ resignation, finally comes to a fitting end. Yesterday council members decided they could, in future stay in office, profit their retirement benefits and still contest for another term. That was in keeping with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of a provision that had many legislators, lawyers and legal experts puzzling over what it was. The Constitution stipulated the council had to be a continuous house and therein was the confusion. [... Read More]

Two steps back?

Two commodities the country today can do without are foreign alcohol and furniture. This is because, even with the ban on import of alcohol, there is no dearth of alcohol, both local and imported.  The ban, although short, on furniture has, for the first time, led to a small but fast growing local furniture industry. So, when the Cabinet announced that they have lifted the ban on import of alcohol and furniture, there were more questions than appreciation to the decision. Should we lift the [... Read More]

Wanting of more debate?

It is said legislators are often valued for their intelligent debates based on which decisions are made and long after they leave, the difference it makes in a society in future. Perhaps people following assembly discussions, especially on the issue of a member’s resignation, expected too much from the members that they felt deliberations did not live up to their expectations. Or was it that the expectations were fair but the members failed to touch on issues, in this case, provisions in the National Assembly [... Read More]

Lost and found

Last week, police and vehicle owners managed to bring back four Bhutanese trucks that were operating in the neighbouring Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The first question that springs to mind is: what were the Bhutanese trucks doing in Arunachal Pradesh?  While some were hired out to contractors in the Indian state, others were trucks that went missing after they were sent for repair or to fetch goods. Bhutanese losing vehicles is not new.  We keep hearing stories of parked vehicles going missing.  While some [... Read More]

What of the Education City?

What is going to happen to the Education City project? Is it ever coming through, or is it going to be dropped? These are the two questions on the minds of many Bhutanese, who have heard of the project and especially in the light of recent issues cropping up in relation to the project. When the previous government initially proposed and later initiated the project, save for a few newspapers, which expressed skepticisms on the viability of such a project and the fear of compromising [... Read More]

Giving local leaders their due

Call it the need of the hour or a populist decision; there is some progress in the proposed Local Government Entitlement Bill. The bill was not even on the agenda, but the National Assembly will take it up this session, so it could be deliberated on in the next session, or perhaps enacted in the summer session. Notwithstanding the reasons, an entitlement bill is long overdue, considering the importance of elected leaders at the local level. The need for such a bill was felt way [... Read More]

The ill within

For whatever reasons the nation-wide drug bust operations are being carried out, but it is something that should have been done much earlier. Not that it is late, but simply the thought that we could have saved one more life, had the intervention come in a little earlier, cannot be waived. Many parents have had to suffer the pangs of losing their children to drug abuse, or were fighting to lure them to depend on support the family provided and not on psychotropic substances. Such [... Read More]