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Highlight of the Question Hour

Posted on :10 June 2016

To Ministry of Economic Affairs

The member of Chumey Ura Constituency  and Nubi Tangsibji questioned the Minister for Economic Affairs with regard to the number of regional tourist arrived in the country and the mechanism of tourism policy. The Minister for Economic Affairs reported that the number of regional tourist arrived since 2013 and informed that the tourism policy which require tourist to pay $250 per day and the requirement to stay in tourist certified hotel doesn’t apply to regional tourist.


The Minister conveyed his appreciation of concern to the question raised by Member of Nubi Tangsibji with regard to the  measures taken by government for the regional tourist as they do not have to follow the tourism policy of “high value, low volume/impact”. He informed that they have measures in place for assigning responsibility to each relevant agency- immigration's role, police's role. They have also designed online system as alternative measures, including dos and don'ts which are clearly specified in their pass. In future, Immigration and tourism will improve this online system  which will decide itinerary  in advance, and other requirements of hotel and travel details and guide requirements will also be checked if they are as per the rules and monitored by Royal Bhutan Police.


To Ministry of Labour and Human Resource

The member from Dophuchen Tading questioned the Minister for Labour and Human resource to report on the budget availability and plans of skilling Bhutan project  and asked if unemployed youths are aware of such projects. The Minister informed that since it is pertinent to develop skills of unemployed to get employment, ministry has devised two solutions to tackle this issue namely Graduate Skill Development program targeted to fresh graduates and Apprenticeship training program for others. He informed that by the end of 11th FYP, they expect to train 16417 unemployed youth with skill program. He added that unemployed youths are expected to register with Labour through their website. Once registered, they inform them of any training program through various medium of email, phone calls and SMS.


The member from Drujeygang Teza Constituency asked the Minister for Labour and Human Resource if there is rules and regulations in place to protect the overseas youth workers. The minister responded by acknowledging for reporting the Qatar incident on the media. He said that the guideline and rules were immediately developed and also consulted Kuwait Embassy. He added that one important criteria for oversea employment after the rule is Minimum qualification of class 10 and aged 21 and above.


The member of Nanong Shumar raised her concern based on the target of Employment which is reduced from 30,000-9000 and asked the Minister for Work and Human Resources with regard to the measures that are being adopted to generate employment to the additional 21,000 youth who would be left.The Minister said that it was done keeping in mind the work conditions abroad.


The member from Doga Shaba Constituency raised a supplementary question sharing her concern to the  Minister on the plans to increase employment for women as the unemployment report showed unemployment for women has increased, and no budget allocated for this issue for the year 2016-17.

The Minister acknowledged the importance of question raised by member of Doga Sabha. He reasoned that the increase in number of women unemployment was mainly because more women graduate and enter job market. Other reasons he mentioned was that women are not interested in blue color job which needs hard labour, some women leave job to take care of their family. He added that the ministry has always supported  sending abroad and it is evident from the record for overseas employment.


To Ministry of Finance

The member of Nganglam Constituency asked the minister for Finance to inform the house on the  percentage of convertible currency converted into Indian Rupee and the amount of  conversion done each year. The Minister in his response said that since 2013, they converted 197m of which it was sold three times. He informed that convertible currency come in country because of grants, loan from outside countries and tourist. For tourist, started using rupee reserve/flow within banks as they step inside our country. When this is being used by tourist, it affects private sectors and it is not right. Therefore, to avoid inconvenience for people, reserved was being used which is based on the threshold limit already set.


The member of Kengkhar Weringla asked the minister for finance to update on the status and scope of lottery business which is now going to function soon. On this the minister reported that although it is opened, it has not begun to function as the ministry is under the process of selecting the employees for the very purpose.


The member of Dremetse Ngatshang questioned the Minister for Finance if there is any guidelines in place with regard to the costs beared by the government for Prime Minister for the purpose of security while residing at private residence instead of the government mansion. He added that recently government has funded for constructing walls for the PM’s residence and he expressed that this might set future precedence.


The minister for finance in his response cited that even the former PM stayed in private residence and the government mansion allocated for PM is being used for state guests. And the government has to discuss about future plans whether to build a separate state’s guests house or to construct new mansion for PM. With regard to the walls, he said that it was done in consultation with the Chief of Police and Department of National Properties and done against the will of PM solely for the security purpose.


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