Seventh session of the Parliament to commence next month

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The Parliament will once again deliberate the Anti-Corruption Amendment Bill in the upcoming session. It is among the three disputed bills that the parliament will present for re-deliberation. It became a disputed bill during the last session of the parliament as the two houses could not agree on two clauses. The National Assembly conducted a plenary session on Monday to set the agenda for the seventh session of the parliament which will commence next month.

The National Council, during the last session, recommended that ACC should have complete independence over its human resource. The house also recommended that the Commission should have the right to prosecute cases. But the National Assembly did not support these two recommendations.

The other disputed bills include the Civil Society Organisations (Amendment) Bill and United Nations Convention Against Corruption Amendment.

The two houses could not agree on the composition of the Civil Society Organisation Authority’s board.

The National Council recommended including the Secretary of the Home Ministry as the Chairman of authority. However, the National Assembly recommended that the home minister should be the chairperson.

Regarding the United Nations Convention Against Corruption Amendment, the two houses did not agree on whether or not to revoke reservations on article 66(2). The article states that any dispute between two or more countries that cannot be settled through negotiation within a reasonable time shall, at the request of one of those countries be submitted for arbitration in an international court of justice.

The National Council recommended to re-accede to the UNCAC with reservations on the article. But the National Assembly recommended revoking the reservations.

The seventh session will also see deliberations on five money bills. They include the National Budget Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2022 to 2023, Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2021 to 2022, Fiscal Incentives Amendment Bill of Bhutan 2022, Goods and Services Tax Amendment Bill of Bhutan 2022 and Concession of Property Tax Bill of Bhutan 2022.

The joint sitting of the parliament will deliberate on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee’s Review Report including the Royal Audit Authority’s Annual Report 2020 to 2021 and Performance Audit Report.

Pema Seldon Tshering

Edited by Phub Gyem

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