NA discusses a Perennial Issue – Balance in Tourism 

NA considers new provision aligned to section 6O of NDI Bill

Majority of sitting Members during the ongoing Parliament Session on June 16, 2023 in the National Assembly considered inserting a new section after section 60 of the National Digital Identity (NDI) Bill, 2023.

The new section was considered in Chapter 5, ‘Digital Credentials.’ The Good Governance Committee recommended adding the section “the governing body, administrative body, verifier, custodial wallets, trust service provider, certification service provider, guardianship and other persons related to data shall be responsible to ensure information security and privacy protection.”

The Chairperson of the Good Governance Committee, Tenzin, MP of Khatoed-Laya said, “The reason behind considering a new clause after section 60 is to ensure data security and data privacy for the country and even to individuals.” He added that the Bill will empower all natural and legal persons by affording a digital identity which is accessible through one’s personal devices to carry out numerous digital transactions – applying for financial services, employment, G2C services and more.

The committee submitted that it will promote Bhutan’s digital economy, ensure social security, accessibility and allow citizens to utilize their identity seamlessly while traveling within and beyond the national boundary among other benefits. The Bill will also synergize with Civil Services Reform Act 2022 to save cost by efficiency gains through digitization efforts to realize the vision of “Developed Bhutan” and empower the other existing laws, rules and regulations by legitimizing any digital transactions during enforcement of these laws, rules and regulation.  It also gives legal recognition to NDI Wallet, verifiable credentials, NDI platform and NDI services to carry both cross-sector and cross border digital transactions and will provide an avenue to ensure the natural and legal persons who claim to be on digital space (online) are exactly who they are claiming to be.

The Chairperson submitted the Committee’s 55 recommendations on the Bill for deliberation. Section 7 on the “Disqualification of a member of Governing Body” garnered different views from the House and it was deliberated at length. The Committee recommended repealing the whole of Section 7 and replacing it with a new provision   where the qualification of a member of the governance body shall be as determined by the Rules and Regulations prescribed under the Act.   However, the House through a majority show of hands decided to retain the original clause of the draft bill.

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu