Crime: Tsirang district court on May 19 sentenced a 33-year-old man from Dagana to nine and half years imprisonment for raping a 14-year-old girl and for being in possession of controlled substances.
The court also ordered him to pay a compensation of Nu 25,000 to the girl.
A member of the opposition reminded the government of the pledges it made and a debate sparked off, almost turning ugly, needing the Deputy Speaker to remind the house of its decorum.
On the agenda for discussion yesterday at the Assembly were issues from local governments, but members of the ruling and opposition parties engaged in a heated debate almost along party lines.
Crime: At the Royal Bhutan Police’s annual crime conference in Thimphu yesterday, superintendents of police (SP) said that there is a need to start past midnight vehicle checking at Chuzom check post.
The police officials said that increasing number of criminals involved in offence against cultural and national heritage, burglary, drugs and sandal wood smuggling are using motor vehicles to get away at night.
Home Minister Damcho Dorji said that if police are doing their duty as per the law, there is no objection from the ministry. Police have the right to inspect if they find anything suspicious at any time of the day.
Wangdue: The National Assembly Wednesday resolved that Finance Ministry should review whether wage rates for carpenters and masons should be increased between Nu 500 and Nu 600.
Nyishog Saephu MP Kuenga submitted the petition from Wangdue dzongkhag to house that due to increase in wage rate for carpenters and masons in some communities, it has affected developmental activities, especially during restoration of cultural and heritage sites like dzongs.
“There is severe shortage of carpenters and masons. And there is a need to increase wage rate for carpenters and masons between Nu 500 and Nu 600,” said Kuenga.
Assembly: To promote the national language, Dzongkha and the national dress, South Thimphu member of parliament (MP), Yeshi Zimba, yesterday asked the National Assembly to create job opportunities for people with Dzongkha-based qualifications.
MP Yeshi Zimba said that, while considering the national language important and introducing it in all schools and institutions, people with Dzongkha qualification have a hard time finding employment. “Except for teachers and clerks, most people with Dzongkha background don’t get appropriate jobs, as per their qualification,” he said.
Enterprise: In a small ceremony yesterday, Namgay, 43, of Septoka village in Baap, Punakha, introduced two wooden winnowers he made at home.
The father of three is perhaps the first to fabricate wooden winnowers at home. One is equipped with a motor and can be used with electricity while the other is run with the help of a gear and used without electricity.
The product is used to separate the chaff from rice (grain) through an air current produced by a fan installed inside the winnower. It takes the machine 10 minutes to separate the chaff from a 20kg bag of rice.
Concerned agencies responds to National Council’s resolution
Mining: Nationalisation of mining activities would breach mines and minerals Act and the mines and mineral management regulation, the ministry of economic affairs has informed the National Council.
In the last session, based on a performance audit, the council expressed concerns on the current policies and practices related to the mining and quarrying sector.
The house had then resolved that all existing mining leases be immediately terminated, if applicable. “This would logically entail the nationalisation of all mineral extraction activities,” stated the last session’s resolution.
Delegation: The European Union (EU) is working on releasing 20M (million) euros of the 42M it committed by the end of this year or beginning 2016, cooperation manager, Karine Olislagers, one of the members of the EU delegation, who are in the country, said yesterday.
Last October, the EU tripled its assistance from 14M to 42M euros for Bhutan’s efforts towards poverty reduction, food security and democratisation.
The various ministries, sectors and agencies have yet to coordinate their efforts
Disaster: Although Bhutan is theoretically prepared for a bigger disaster, it’s yet to have a standard action plan for coordination and preparation. Bhutan also requires clear operation procedures during national disasters.
As of today, each ministry, sector and agency was found working on its own identified preparedness plans, but without crosschecking duplication of activities.
… particularly with respect to timber requirements for lhakhang renovation
Assembly: The National Assembly yesterday directed the ministry of agriculture and forests to disseminate information on the provisions of the Forest Act and related laws for better understanding of the people, and research on how to go about the issue of timber for lhakhang renovation, and for constructing houses for summer and winter.
This was the resolution for the petition submitted by the Nubi-Tangsibji MP Nidup Zangpo and Nyisho-Sephu’s representative Kuenga to the National Assembly yesterday.