English | Dzongkha Friday, June 22, 2018

Govt. and Opposition row over use of public fund continues

Sherub Dorji, Thimphu
Mar 12, 2018

The clash between the government and the opposition over the use of public fund for security arrangements at the prime minister’s private residence continues. The Opposition holds its ground on the legality of the use of Nu 3 m for the installation of security arrangements.

In a news release it issued recently, the Opposition states the use of public fund is not only inappropriate but totally unlawful.

It added the question of refund would not arise if the use of public money was permissible by law.

The release states that the Opposition has learnt that the prime minister refunded the amount only upon the Royal Audit Authority’s (RAA) objections.

“If he voluntarily refunded, then why did he in the first place use the public resources? This is the height of cynicism and hypocrisy,” the release stated.

The Opposition also stated that public fund was used to carry out other works at the prime minister’s private residence.

“The expenses are more than Nu 3 m,” the member of Opposition from Panbang, Dorji Wangdi said.

“Floodlights and CCTV cameras were installed, and the road leading to the prime minister’s private residence was blacktopped. According to the RAA report, the works were carried out but details not audited yet.”

On the prime minister inviting former ministers to return their duty vehicles, MP Dorji Wangdi said the vehicles were soelra from His Majesty and that a letter in regard to this was circulated to all ministers, including Dasho Tshering Tobgay when he was the Opposition Leader.

Regarding the government not asking the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to investigate former minister Yeshey Zimba to avoid possible perception of political motivation, the Opposition states that real conflict of interest would arise if the government directs the OAG to investigate or prosecute any members of both ruling and opposition parties.

“The OAG is the legal arm of the government and functions directly under the prime minister. As the government’s lawyer, the OAG cannot be made to carry out investigations that warrant independent institutional rulings,” stated the release.

The Opposition added it is also not their responsibility to take the government to court and that they will function as a parliamentary body in line with the provisions in the constitution.

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