NA rejects NC’s recommendations

NA rejects NC’s recommendations

The National Assembly (NA) rejected most of the recommendations made by the National Council (NC) on the Financial Budget 2020-21.

NA re-deliberated on the amendments and seven general recommendations received from NC on the Supplementary Budget Appropriation Bill for the FY 2019-20 and Budget Appropriation Bill for the FY 2020-21 on Tuesday.

The NA rejected some of the recommendations that the council made in the budget report 2020-21 including establishing a cold chain to link farmers to the market outlet in addition to building cold storages, provision of transportation of produce by refrigerated van to maintain the quality for products and allocating of mines to the State Mining Corporation Limited until the amendment of Mines and Minerals Act is enacted.

The council had also recommended to establishing cottage and small industry estate in eastern Bhutan to ensure balanced regional development and access to economic opportunities and facilities, immediately commissioning an independent third party to study the current problems and issues at the Punatshangchu I hydroelectric project site and a feasible solution and endowment fund for crop and livestock conservation operational as soon as possible so that the affected people can be compensated in a beneficial and timely manner.

However, the NA rejected these recommendations.

While few of the members supported the cold storage and refrigerated van, agriculture minister Yeshey Penjor said during summer the places at higher altitudes can supply the vegetables to the lower altitude and during winter, the farmers of lower altitudes can supply their vegetables to higher altitudes.

Lyonpo said that if such market is established, there is no urgent need for cold storage for now.

Similarly, on the allocating mines and minerals to the SMCL, economic affairs minister Loknath Sharma said that until the new Mines and Minerals Act is enacted, the government would continue to allow private participation as per the Mines and Mineral Management Act 1955.

On the establishment of the CSI estate, Lyonpo said that it will be a challenge with a lack of people coming forward to work for the estate.

Lyonpo mentioned that the government is planning to establish a CSI estate at Tsirang and startup centers at Samtse and Mongar. Government is also looking at establishing CSI estate at Bumthang and Paro as pilot project.

The NA endorsed the budget for FY 2020-21.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu