Govt dragging feet to reduce the number of ministers, says Opposition Party

One minister should be reduced immediately

The Government is irresponsible and shows a blatant disregard for the law by taking an unduly long time to reduce the number of ministers in conformity to the number of ministries, according to Opposition Party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT).

“This is not only against the compelling objective and earnest spirit of the civil reform and Civil Service Reform Act 2022 but also in contravention of the Constitution,” DPT states.

According to DPT’s press release, Article 20(2) of the Constitution stipulates that the number of ministers shall be determined by the number of ministries, and that the creation of an additional ministry or reduction of any ministry shall be approved by the Parliament.

However, DPT states that the Parliament, with His Majesty the King granting the Royal Assent to the Civil Service Reform Bill 2022 on 15 December 2022, had approved the reduction of the number of ministries from ten to nine. “Accordingly, the new ministries and corresponding number of ministers should have legally come into effect from this date.”

DPT states that even after two and half months of the Act coming into force and completion of all the re-structuring and re-organization exercises, “we are in a situation of nine ministries with ten ministers. We understand the lack of clarity on ministerial delegation is already hampering the functioning of some ministries and agencies.”

“This inaction or delay is in fact in complete contrast to the repeated commitments and assurances provided by the Government to the public, in particular, to reduce the number of ministers on the very day the Act comes into force,” DPT states.

Meanwhile, the press release of DPT states that the public deserves explanations from the Government. There must be responsibility, accountability, and transparency in the conduct of government affairs.

“We urge the Government to respect the law, put national interests over party interests, and in particular, reduce one minister immediately.”

Staff Reporter from Thimphu