Speaker of National Assembly thanks Their Majesties during closing session

Speaker of National Assembly thanks Their Majesties during closing session

The Gyalsuung Act, Property Tax Act and Civil Service Reform Bill were some of the most important and historic Acts passed by this session of the National Assembly

Speaking on the closing day of the 8th Session of the Third Parliament of Bhutan, Speaker of the National Assembly, Wangchuk Namgyel, thanked His Majesty the King for gracing the occasion.Today, on the closing of the Session of the Parliament, I, on behalf of the Members of Parliament and myself, would like to welcome and express gratitude to His Majesty the King for gracing the occasion despite His Majesty’s busy schedule of working for the country and the people,” he said.  “I would also like to welcome Her Majesty the Queen, members of the Royal Family and the other guests for the closing ceremony,” he added. 

The Speaker spoke about the restoration of the historic Wangduephodrang Dzong, underlining that under the patronage of His Majesty the King and with support from the Government of India, voluntary cash and labour contributions from the people and devotees, prayers by the monastic bodies, Wangduephodrang Dzong, one of the oldest Dzong, has been restored to its original glory. In June, 2012, the Dzong was gutted and razed to the ground by a fire.

On July 13, 2012, His Majesty the King in a Royal Kasho issued from the sacred and inner reaches of the Punakha Dzong granted a total of Nu 200 million for the reconstruction of the Wangdue Dzong. Of the total, Nu 100 mn was granted by His Majesty from the Armed Forces to the Zhung Dratshang. His Majesty also offered an additional Nu 100 mn from the Kidu Foundation. His Majesty in the Kasho stated that he granted these funds on behalf of the people of the 20 Dzongkhags. Meanwhile, the government of India committed Nu 1 billion for the restoration. Coinciding with thenbirth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, the Dzong was renovated and consecrated on November 11, 2022.

“The Parliament would like to thank His Majesty the King, His Holiness the Je Khenpo and religious heads and sponsors in the restoration and also for the grand consecration of the Wangduephodrang Dzong,” the Speaker said. The Speaker also spoke about Kidu from His Majesty that has lifted and transformed the lives of thousands of people. “His Majesty the King, having deep care and concern for the welfare of his people, continuously grants Kidu to people. Most recently, His Majesty granted citizenship Kidu to the people. This had greatly benefited the Kidu beneficiaries. Towards this deep benevolence, the Parliament would like to express deep gratitude to His Majesty the King,” the Speaker underlined.

Highlighting that this session has been historics and an important session, the Speaker said, “the session had the opportunity to receive the historic Gyalsung Bill of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2022 from His Majesty the King and deliberate on it at length. It has been very insightful.” “It has been an immense honour and pride for the Parliament that His Majesty the King has also granted Royal Assent to the Bill,” he said.

The Speaker said that the historic Gyalsung Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2022 is a precious gift to the Bhutanese people at large and to the youth in particular. “As we receive this precious gift from His Majesty the King, it is an opportunity for us to rededicate ourselves in serving for the country’s security and sovereignty, well being and unity in this fast changing times,” he said, adding that side by side, “it has also been heartening to witness Gyalsuung Projects progressing very well in coherence with the adoption of the Bill.”

On Bills passed, the Speaker said that keeping in mind the welfare of the people, the parliament deliberated and passed many bills and most importantly the Civil Service Reform Bill and the Pay Structure Reform Bill of Bhutan. “It is intended to enable smooth transformation of the civil service reform. In keeping with the transformation, the Parliament has accepted and deliberated the bill as an Urgent Bill to be passed in this session itself. The deliberation and passing of the bill has been a blessing and fortunate for the Parliament to take part in the transformation,” he said.

Going further, he said that one of the greatest achievements of this Parliament has also been the ability to successfully deliberate on the thirty year old property tax policy and enact it as a Property Tax Act .

Thanking members of the National Council (NC), the Speaker said that the session saw the  National Assembly and National Council working together and passing many Acts for the welfare and benefit of the people and for the governance of the country. “I would like to extend my appreciation to the Chairperson and all the Members of the National Council for collaboration and hard work,” he said.  “Lastly, due to the blessings of the Triple Gem (Kencho Sum), blessings from His Majesty the King and Royal Families, prayers by the Monastic Body, cooperation and support from the Members of Parliament and merits of people of Bhutan, the parliament session has been successfully concluded,” he stated, adding that the Parliament also would like to thank the monastic body for the conduct of numerous religious activities for world peace and wellbeing. The closing session ended with members offering prayers and Tashi Moenlam for His Majesty the King’s successful reign.