Parliamentarians question developments, border talks

Published on Dec 04 2009 // Main News

December 04, 2009: The parliamentarians raised series of question with the Minister for Works and Human Settlement Yeshey Zimba regarding the construction of roads, bridges and others during the question hour session on Friday’s sitting of National Assembly.

The member from Lhamozinkha Hemant Gurung asked on the government’s plan to construct road between Gesarling and Lhamozinkha. The minister responded that initially the road was planned to be constructed with Indian assistance. However, the assistance from the Indian Government couldn’t be materialized and that the government has now approached the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the money for the construction of road increased significantly with the new policy of building good quality road. He also informed that the amount has not been received yet but the work is included in the tenth plan and the talk is going on with concerned international agencies and countries.

The Member from Drujyegang-Tseza Sonam Jamstho asked the minister about government initiative to solve the frequent road blockade in Dagana during summer. The minister said that the government is working on it and assured connect Dagana’s most villages with roads in next two to three years.

The member from Jomotshangkha-Martshala Norbu Wangzom questioned on the possibilities to construct road connecting Geogs in Jomotshankha Dunkhag to avoid people traveling through Assam. The minister said that although it is not included in the tenth plan, the government has talked with ADB and mentioned if the bank agreed, 110km of road will be constructed in the area.

The Opposition Leader Tshering Tobgay questioned the Health Minister Zangley Drukpa regarding the prevailing undernourishment in Bhutan. He expressed concerns on out flow of Bhutanese money with patients going abroad for treatment and doctors and specialist going abroad for greener pasture. He also questioned on the possibility of allowing private hospitals in Bhutan.

The minister said nothing regarding the malnourishment. Citing the example of Phuentsholing hospital, the he said that the number of non national visiting hospital is on the rise. He also said that off hour clinic plans have been formulated and will be submitted to the Cabinet next month for the retention of doctors.

The National Assembly today failed to endorse the Marriage Act (Amendment) bill today but resolved to submit details of the deliberation to the National Council on why the Bill was not been able to be endorsed. Some members of the NA said that the Bill must be amended explicitly since it might affect amendments in other relevant laws.

Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee Sonam Penjor presented report on the implementation status of the resolution of the third session of National Assembly. Presenting the report, he informed that as per the resolution of the National Assembly, the committee apprised the Auditor General, Ministers and secretaries, head of agencies, corporations and concerned authorities of Local Government to submit the report before 30th September, 2009.

However since the Royal Audit Authority could not clarify the irregularities within two months because of their annual plan. Therefore they set forth to submit the report during the fifth session of the National Assembly.

In his address, Prime Minister Jigmi Thinly, expressed government’s appreciation to the Anti Corruption Commission and reassured its support to the commission and informed of incentives for its employees.

Secretary of international boundary informed the House that after 18 rounds of border talks with China, the boundary has not been finalized due to disparity in the stand of two countries. He informed that Bhutan claimed 1,128 sq km of disputed territory while the Chinese claimed on 1,300 sq km of disputed territory. He also informed that in 2008 alone the Chinese soldiers visited Lharigang 21 times where they have also encroached with road construction.