English | Dzongkha Wednesday, October 27, 2021

CSO registration process needs to be relaxed: CSOs

Sep 7, 2021

Civil Society Organisations in the country want the procedures involved in registration of a CSO to be relaxed. The Civil Society actors raised the issue during a panel discussion on “Harnessing Civil Society Potentials” yesterday. They said CSOs are fundamental for a community to thrive. 

According to the CSOs, today, the registration process is complex requiring a person to submit too many documents. This, the Civil Society actors, said is hampering the growth of CSOs as most busy and powerful people do not want to go through such hassles.

To enable the growth of CSOs in the country, the CSOs also proposed to amend the Civil Society Organisations Act. It was tabled in the National Council during the summer session of the Parliament. They said a lack of comprehensive rules and regulations governing CSOs is hampering the growth of CSOs.

During the panel, Chencho Lhamu, the Executive Director of the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy said although amending the act is an opportunity to create an enabling environment for the civil society actors it can also pose danger of imposing all rules and regulations that are applicable to government agencies on the CSOs. “That would kill the beauty of civil society as an entity that is nimble and flexible and quite agile and adapting to changing situations. If that’s the case then we would be creating a civil society that is a replica of larger bureaucratic machinery.”

Some members of the National Council raised concerns over the increasing number of CSOs in the country while tabling the Civil Society Organisations Amendment Bill during the last session of the parliament.

On the contrary, CSOs said the number of such organisations should not be a cause of concern for the country. They said the law should allow establishment of CSOs and then regulate the organisations’ programmes once registered.

They said starting a CSO allows people to do charity work and address social issues in the community.

Today, there are over 50 registered CSOs in the country and more than 20 such organisations are yet to be registered.

Samten Dolkar

Edited by Phub Gyem

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