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National Assembly deliberates on three reports

Posted on :22 November 2017

Finance Minister Reports on the Formulation of Stabilization Fund Rules and Regulations

As a follow up of the resolutions of the 9th Session of the Second Parliament, the Finance Minister submitted a report on the formulation of Rules and Regulations of the Stabilization Fund. The Stabilization fund would be established with a seed money of Nu.100 million from RGoB with the objective to “maintain macroeconomic stability by sterilizing lumpy inflow of from electricity exports and convertible currency related flows and mitigate imbalances in external sector, volatility in liquidity and support counter–cyclical measures in times of economic crisis for achieving desired level of economic growth”

 

The Finance Minister reported that, a committee comprising of representatives from Ministry of Finance, Royal Monetary Authority, Ministry of Economic Affairs, GNH Commission and DHI was formed and that the committee is still working on the formulation of the Rules and Regulations. The Committee is to submit a Royal Charter and Guidelines for the Stabilization Fund to the Cabinet by December 2017 and scheduled to be launched in February 2018.

 

Good Governance Committee Reports on the Feasibility of the Establishment of The Ombudsman’s Office

While reporting the findings of the study carried out on the feasibility of the establishment of the Ombudsman’s Office, the Chairperson of the Good Governance Committee said that the establishment of such an office would enable the Anti-Corruption Office to concentrate on its core mandate and ease the administrative burden of respective administrative agencies. The Committee also recommended that a small distinct unit within the ACC be established and later be detached as a separate independent office after having gained experience and stability. The Committee further recommended that RCSC provide additional manpower to ACC and RGoB provide budget for the establishment of the office.

 

As recommended by the Committee, the House decided that, a unit under the ACC be instituted with provision of additional man power from RCSC and budgetary support from the government and after having gained enough experience the unit could be separated from ACC as an independent office in future.

 

Social and Cultural Committee Reports on Healthy and Active Aging

The Chairperson of the Social and Cultural Committee said that with our country’s population set towards ageing, it was crucial to understand the changes happening in the lives of our elderly citizens, address the challenges faced by them and promote positive ageing and bring improvement to their lives. In 2015, 7.8 percent of the total population were elderly people and ageing population tends to increase every year. In 2016, ageing population numbered 83,524 out of total population of 774,368, which is projected to  increase to 58,804 in 2017 out of 779,666. Bhutan is expected to have largest increase in longevity within 25 years from 65 years life span in 2005 to 75 years life span in 2030.

 

Apart from the system of kidu initiated by His Majesty and some welfare schemes provided by CSOs such as the Tarayana Foundation, there is no state sponsored system to look after the welfare of the old and aged citizens. Social Security schemes such as pension and provident funds are limited to retired public servants, corporate employees and members of the armed forces. Although some efforts have been made to ease and safeguard the life of the elderly there is no specific legislation in place to address their needs.

 

The Committee to fulfill the provision of the constitution to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of “Leaving no one behind” and mindful of our age-old tradition of respecting and caring for our elderly, submitted ten recommendations to improve the wellbeing of the elderly in the country. These include designing policies and programs to promote the institution of extended family system, strengthen geriatric care in basic health units, promote the functions of tripartite social protection system, provision of home and shelters to elderly who have no one to look after them, aggressively promote cultural values, provide leisure space for old and disabled, concessions for elderly in public services and provide training for special care givers.

 

The house endorsed the recommendations of the committee with some changes and the National Assembly would continue to review the policy as and when deemed necessary.

 

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