No live cast of parliament proceedings

Published on Nov 19 2009 // Media Monitor

November 19, 2009: Like in last session, the National Assembly has restricted Bhutan Broadcasting Service for live telecast of the parliament proceedings of the fourth session that starts Friday. The session ends on December 11.

However, the TV has been permitted for live telecast of opening and closing days and when the anti corruption committee’s annual report is discussed. The opening ceremony is also attended by the king.

Additionally, the TV has been permitted to telecast live the question-hours, which is held every Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30 am to 10.30 am.

The third session of the parliament had restricted the only TV channel for live cast. In response, the TV channel even ignored the budget presentation by finance minister.

The National Assembly speaker Jigme Tshultrim took the formal decision ahead of the starting of the parliament session to avoid controversy as in last session. The media has been informed about the decision on November 17.

The decision to stop live telecast of parliament proceedings created a huge debate in the media and public forums in the last session.

However, BBS has filed an application at the ministry of information and communications (MoIC) to providing license to telecast live. The ministry has remained mum over the issue. The corporation also said record the proceedings of the National Council and broadcast in the afternoon.

The media persons are also restricted from entering into the House gallery to see the debate in person. Instead, they are provided with press release daily.

The National Council had permitted the TV channel for live cast during the third session. It has not said anything this time.