English | Dzongkha Wednesday, April 14, 2021

National Assembly decides to provide a legitimate stand for the PMO

Dec 7, 2020

The National Assembly today unanimously agreed to have a formalised Office of the Prime Minister headed by the Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister. The Human Rights and Foreign Relations Committee recommended to include this as a new chapter in the Lhengye Zhungtshog Bill of Bhutan 2020. The recommendation was made during the third reading of the Lhengye Zhungtshog Bill of Bhutan 2020.

“We need to provide a legitimate stand to the office. The office of Prime Minister does exist, but the strengthening of the Prime Minister’s office is very important,” proposed Jurmi Wangchuk, the chairperson of the Human Rights and Foreign Relations Committee.

The members of the National Assembly agreed to include Office of the Prime Minister as a new chapter after chapter 8 of the Lhengye Zhungtshog Bill of Bhutan 2020. The Lhengye Zhungtshog Bill originated from the National Council as a private bill.

“During the first government, people were recruited and the office was established well. However, the practice was discontinued during the second government. So today we have this opportunity to establish a proper culture of such office. The recommendation doesn’t say people have to be recruited during this term. I find the need for this office but I feel it is okay to discuss the number of people to be recruited and their salary during the next government,” said Dr Tandi Dorji, the Foreign Minister.

The recommendation also states that “The Principal Secretary shall be supported by term-based Advisors and Specialised professionals either from the civil service or outside of civil service.”

To this, the Khatoed Laya’s Member of Parliament (MP) said specification of the number to recruit advisors and specialised professionals is necessary.

“It is important to recruit people but to have a certain specification of people to be recruited is also important. There should be a limitation. We need to have advisors and specialised professionals but it is better if we could also mention the number of people to be recruited,” suggested Tenzin, the MP of Khatoed Laya.

The committee’s recommendation also states that the remunerations, allowances and service conditions of the employees be determined by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Finance Ministry. The Opposition Leader however shared that this decision should be under the Pay Revision Commission.

“We have the Pay Revision Commission. So I feel it is not appropriate to give this power to the Prime Minister,” said Dorji Wangdi, the Opposition Leader.

However, the House decided to keep it as per the committee’s recommendation. The deliberation will continue tomorrow.

Kinley Dem/Samten Dolkar

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