Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 - 5:41 AM
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Pay hike proposals challenged

The pay commission report is finally out. Although it was the civil servants who were waiting for it in rapt anticipation to see what percent salary rise the commission had proposed for them, many flipped when they learnt of the commission’s pay hike proposal for the prime minister and Cabinet ministers. If holding the ministers’ portfolio was a lottery of sorts, the pay raise proposal was like hitting the jackpot. People understand that ministers’ salaries had not been revised for a while. It is not [... Read More]

After Shingkhar-Gorgan road

Much to the dismay of the conservationists, it looks like the Shingkhar-Gorgan road is going to come through anyway. Today, politicians are bent on clearing the entire more than 60km road to Ura in Bumthang, through some 10km park area around Thrumshingla. The visceral opposition of the foresters and conservationists were no match for powerful politicians and their interests, articulated through as powerful an argument. That was how the road from Gorgan in Lhuentse was started. The previous government argued the whole country was a [... Read More]

Supervision of electoral processes

Is there a need to field Anti-Corruption Commission surveillance teams during elections in future to ensure proper conduct of it? National Assembly members apparently felt there was no need for it, as a majority voted against it. It has always been the job of the election commission officials to ensure proper conduct of elections and they have reported incidents, as and when they arose and dealt with them. This role the election commission played was quite amplified during the last gups’ election. Incidents of supporters [... Read More]

A continuous house anyway

The country witnessed the violation of a constitutional provision during the last National Council election as members resigned from office to contest for another term. That was following the apparent confusion with the interpretation of the council having to be a continuous house. The continuity of the house was compromised because it lacked a quorum to convene a sitting, just in case. The constitutional provision requires that council elections be held in a manner that it was reconstituted on the expiry of term of existing [... Read More]

Best of both worlds

In sharing their experiences following a brief stay in the capital city, without having to tell of their lifestyles back home, students from remote schools of Lhuentse left much for us urbanites to reflect on. They reminded us of what we were, not so long ago to what was becoming of us today. A platform from which to stop for a moment, our consumerism-fuelled revved up engines, and look back at the roots that dictates the country’s guiding philosophy, before we begin again this journey [... Read More]

What lies behind diplomatic ties

True that the sovereignty of the country, the course towards which, guided by our visionary monarchs and our forefathers, is secure today. As we see it today, there probably seems to be no threats to it. However, that sovereignty cannot be taken for granted. Various developments happening around the world are rather disturbing, particularly when it is about one powerful nation occupying a smaller one. It is true that various issues the country is faced with, the financial one being more pressing or important to [... Read More]

Wage on, not linger

More than any other vices that afflict the society, like alcohol and illegal drugs, our Parliament members are bent on discussing the already existing tobacco law. It seems as though the attempt is to try and amend the law until such a time the legislators feel satisfied with how the law reads, than working towards ensuring the existing law actually works as intended. Even the discussion in the hall has not changed one bit. It has become almost predictable of what the members are going [... Read More]

The cut and thrust of Question Hour

Call it a difference in interpretation or misinterpretation of National Assembly rules of procedures; the Assembly didn’t have their “Question Hour” session on Tuesday as planned. The question hour session, many say, is one of the interesting aspects of Parliament.  Not many follow the parliament session broadcast live, as they find it boring when members discuss legislation, and discussions are filled with legal jargon.  Unless the legislation being discussed is relevant to their agency or ministry, not many civil servants follow them. But the question [... Read More]

Secure the checkpoints

For what little gains, what big a stake our men at the gates in connivance with other players are risking, how can we not fathom? What the recent Anti-Corruption Commission investigations on the operation of labour recruitment agents, cabbies, immigration officials and police points out is a serious one, that of the country’s security. While the country was fortunate to not have faced any security threats so far because of such malpractices the commission pointed out in relation to people at the checkpoints, it would [... Read More]

Legislating a loophole?

The National Assembly, when discussing the Local Government Members’ Entitlement Bill 2014, resolved to allow members of local government, the tshogpa and thromde thuemis to engage in business, although they are elected officials. The Assembly is also discussing if the entitlement of the tshogpas and thuemis should be increased, with many already sharing that there was a need to raise benefits of elected representatives to local government. Local government is important, and it is good that lawmakers are recognising that.  Today, if there is a [... Read More]

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