Next government to review Land Amendment Bill

The Land Amendment Bill 2012 will be deliberated after a new parliament is formed in 2013, decided the National Assembly today. The Land Act of Bhutan 2007 was reviewed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests in consultation with relevant Ministries, Agencies and Organisations.

The Agriculture Minister, Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, said the Land Bill is expected to address the land related issues. He said it is an important Bill which needs to be discussed extensively. “There is a need to consult with the people and get their views.”

Majority of the MPs agreed that the Bill should see more discussions.

But, the Opposition Leader, Tshering Tobgay, said there isn’t a need for the Land Act of Bhutan 2007 to be amended. He said no major inconvenience was reported during the implementation of the current Land Act. Moreover, he said, His Majesty’s Kasho, in his opinion, might be an indication that if the land Act is amended, it might hamper the smooth functioning of the land related issues.

The Prime Minister, Jigmi Y.Thinley, said His Majesty’s recent Kasho clearly indicates that the Land Act needs to be amended. Lyonchhoen said in the current Act, there is no mention of land ceiling for the Royal family members. In His Majesty’s Kasho, the land ceiling is specifically mentioned as 25 acres including for the Royal families, added the Prime Minister.

While introducing the Land Amendment Bill 2012, to the National Assembly, the Agriculture Minister said, the review was carried out mainly because of the inconveniences caused during the implementation of the Act. He added the Act needs to be reviewed in order to maintain consistency with other related Acts and in keeping with developments taking place.

The National Assembly resolved that the Land Bill 2012 will be deliberated by the new government after 2013 elections.

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