Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - 6:16 PM

Rural leaders disagree with NC’s tobacco decision

Concerns that some local leaders in the east share on the National Council’s recent decision to allow sale and import of tobacco speaks of lack of consideration of rural take on it.

Perhaps our council and assembly members need to consult a little more on the issue to strike a chord with the rural folks that comprise a majority of the country’s population.

It was this argument of majority support in rural areas that was used to [... Read More]

Working abroad

Judging by recent developments, we could soon see the second batch of Bhutanese leave to work in the Middle East.

A Saudi company has expressed interest to recruit Bhutanese workers.  They need 2,251 people.  If the company chooses to give all the jobs to Bhutanese, it would lift a heavy burden from the labour and employment ministry, which is trying its best to create jobs, both within and outside the country.

Nine had already left for Qatar.

Unemployment [... Read More]

Concern over appellate body

While National Assembly might have endorsed the Right to Information Bill yesterday, some sections of the public found members’ decisions on certain issues dissatisfactory.

The concern was with members’ decision to give the authority to information and communications ministry to deal with cases emanating from denial of requests for information.

It was a genuine concern for some of the opposition members, a few contractors, businessmen, constitutional bodies and the media, who believe would have to frequently use [... Read More]

A practical law

In amending the Tobacco Control Act, the National Council made some bold decisions.  It resolved to allow import and sale of tobacco products.

While the amendment the council made will have to go through the National Assembly, and might even require a joint sitting, the controversial act has already generated a lot of debate.

Tobacco is bad for health and Buddhism, the religion of most Bhutanese, vehemently opposes it.  Ironically, this is one act that has been [... Read More]

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 [... 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 [... 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, [... 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 [... 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 [... 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, [... Read More]

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