June 22, 2018
Deliberation on the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) annual report 2017 in the National Council (NC) yesterday saw the good governance committee proposing the house to pay special attention to the commission’s budgetary constraints.
This means that the house of review would provide necessary support and recommendations during deliberations on the annual budget.
To ensure that ACC carries out its mandate independently, the commission in the annual report has highlighted the need for assured annual budgetary allocation that is not dependent on the discretion of the government of the day.
The ACC was allocated Nu 140.78 million (M) for the financial year 2016-17 and Nu 124.28M in 2017-18.
“The ACC has grown in terms of human resources and reach over the years, but the annual budgetary allocation for the ACC has not increased,” states the ACC annual report.
The report states that the tentative capital budget outlay of Nu 75M for the 12th Plan is a serious concern. The indicative budget, according to the commission, is less than the 11th Plan outlay, and below the commission’s utilization capacity.
The ACC adds that the commission had sensitized the Gross National Happiness Commission secretariat on the issue.
“The political will of the country to fight corruption must be demonstrated by, among others, allocating adequate resources and safeguarding the impartiality and independence of the ACC,” the ACC report states. “This calls for measures including legislation to be in place to secure adequate resources for the ACC thus ensuring ethical accountability.”
The committee reported that although the commission has received sufficient resources so far, the budget has been largely dependent on the support of the development partners. The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) wound up its support to ACC in June 2017.
The government has stepped up its budgetary support to fill the resource gaps in the last three financial years. However, ACC has raised concerns over whether or not it can rely on the government for adequate resources.
The committee also reported that the allocation of overall annual budget for the ACC over the last five years has seen a decreasing trend. The ACC has received not less than 0.2 percent of the total annual national budget.
Gasa’s representative Dorji Khandu said that ACC and GNHC should hold a consultation for allocation of resources.
Bumthang’s representative and member of the good governance committee, Nima, said ACC’s financial security should be strengthened. “Lack of adequate budget will affect the ACC’s ability carry out its functions,” he said.
Complaints received against local governments have consistently been the highest over the past years. The report shows that 81 out of 305 complaints received in 2017 were against local governments.
The member from Trashigang and deputy chairperson of the committee, Lhatu cited lack of adequate human resource and increasing workload of gups as some of the reasons behind the high rate of allegations against local governments. “Gups remain busy in works such as receiving government officials. We need to reduce the number of government officials visiting gewogs,” he said.
Chhukha’s representative Sangay Dorji said that the complaints were indicative of awareness among people and that it was a good sign.
“Corruption cannot be eradicated immediately. But with awareness, the incidences of corruption will decrease gradually,” he said.
The member from Mongar, Sonam Pelzom, said that awareness among people should be created.
The committee reported that given the increasing financial authority devolved to the local governments, the committee stated that transparency and accountability system in the local government functionaries must be strengthened.
Abuse of functions by public servants top the list of types the basis of allegations. A majority of complaints were reported in Thimphu and Chhukha dzongkhags.
The committee proposed that the ACC carry out targeted interventions to address corruption allegations against local governments, abuse of functions, and the two dzongkhags, which have the highest complaints.
December 12th, 2020
December 10, 2020 The construction of the 500kW mini-hydro power plant in Lunana would start next year, according to Economic Affairs Minister Loknath Sharma. Lyonpo informed this while responding to a question from the Gasa Member of Parliament (MP)...
November 13th, 2019
Laya Run, considered one of the most scenic high-altitude run in the world, has become a crucial part of the Royal Highland Festival. But the run’s popularity among the highlanders has been decreasing. This year, only two Layaps participated...
November 13th, 2019
Oct 28, 2019 In its fourth year, the Royal Highland Festival has come as a boon for the people of Laya Gewog in Gasa. Locals say the annual festival has contributed significantly to boosting the community’s socio-economic conditions. Otherwise...
March 22nd, 2019
Mar 20, 2019 The third generation mobile network (3G) has finally reached Lunana, one of the most remote gewogs in the country. At mid-day on 16th March, Bhutan Telecom successfully launched the 3G network, which will benefit six villages in...
September 24th, 2018
Sep 14, 2018 The development works at the new Gasa town in Kolikha located about a kilometre away from the dzong has begun. “We have completed the construction of a waste disposal site and also carried out a feasibility and...
September 5th, 2018
September 1, 2018 The Pioneering First Laya Run Two years ago, without hesitation and any prior training for high altitude racing, I signed up for the first Laya Run. This would be my second memorable trip to the majestic...
August 28th, 2018
August 25, 2018 The Roof of Bhutan: the Majestic Hidden Land of Laya Laya, nestled high in the mountains at nearly 4,000 metres, is arguably one of Bhutan’s most stunning and culturally preserved places. Surrounded by euphoric views of...
August 20th, 2018
Jul 14, 2018 His Majesty The King graced the consecration of a Palden Lhamoi Lhakhang in Tenchoe village during the recent Royal Visit to Lunana. The consecration of the newly restored lhakhang, held on the 6th of July, was presided...
June 22nd, 2018
June 22, 2018 The National Assembly had earlier endorsed and forwarded the Agreement to National Council. The upper house today ratified the Double Taxation Agreement between Bhutan and Bangladesh. Presenting the agreement to the house, the Finance Minister, Namgay...
June 20th, 2018
June 20, 2018 The joint sitting of the Parliament adopted the Audit Bill 2017 yesterday. The joint committee with 12 members from the two houses submitted their recommendations for the 17 disputed clauses of the Bill. The Speaker submitted...
June 19th, 2018
June 19, 2018 The National Council (NC) members raised questions on the government’s respect for the house after the deputy chairperson, Samdrupjongkhar NC member Jigme Wangchuk submitted that the government did not respond to the 20th session’s resolution on...
June 11th, 2018
April 30, 2018. Mobile network made its way into Laya in 2010, five years before electricity did. The highland community is now only months away from getting 3G service. The service is expected to be introduced by...
- The covid-19 vaccine gives us hope for the future January 3rd, 2021
- Questions to MoEA Minister December 12th, 2020
- Inauguration of the Road to Lunana November 9th, 2020
- The NA endorsed Supplementary Budget of 5M; it’s purely conflicting and a wrong precedence June 23rd, 2020
- On issues concerning the road to the Finance Minister June 10th, 2020