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First Session of the Third Parliament conducts The First Question Hour

Posted on :04 January 2019

A total of six Questions were asked to the Ministers in Group A, consisting of the Prime Minister, Minister for Home & Cultural Affairs and Minister for Information and Communications.


Two questions were asked to the Prime Minister by the Member from Panbang constituency and the Member from Dewathang-Gomdar Constituency on the top priorities of the Government in the 12 FYP and what the government was doing to help the students who enrolled in  the “Learn and Earn Program” in Japan, respectively.


In response to the questions, the Prime Minister said that the government will be reviewing the Health and Education policies, Tourism Policy and Mining policies among others, to Leave No one Behind and to ensure that all the general public is benefited by the government policies. With regard to the students undergoing the Learn and Earn program in Japan, the Prime Minister clarified that the government is looking into the matter and have plans to defer the loan repayment period for the students who are still studying. A team of government officials will also be constituted to study the program and look into creating business and employment opportunities and review the program accordingly.


Two Questions were asked to the Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs by the Member from Dramedtse-Ngatshang Constituency and Member from Bardo-Trong constituency on possibility of renovation of Mongar Dzong and Zhemgang Dzong in the 12 FYP respectively.


The Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs acknowledged the importance of conserving and preserving the cultural heritage of Bhutan especially Dzongs in the country. With regard to renovation of Mongar Dzong, he said that the Ministry will look into the renovation based on the availability of funds and prioritization of activities. As for the start of reconstruction of Zhemgang Dzong in the 12 FYP, the Minister clarified that the reconstruction of Zhemgang Dzong was not included in the 12 FYP. However, the Ministry will include the renovation in the 13th FYP. If the renovation of the Dzong is in a dire need, a study will be carried out and based on availability of funds include the project in the 12 FYP..


Two Questions were put to the Minister for Information and Communications by the Member from Bomdeling-Jamkhar on the plans and policies of the Ministry to resolve the confusion and concerns of the general public regarding the digitalization of television. The Member from Bartsham-Shongphu asked the Minister on the possible interventions the government is looking at to address the challenges faced by the the mainstream news organization regarding financial and human resources and market.


On the digitalization of the television mainly switching from Analog to Digital TV, the Minister clarified that this was carried out to improve the quality and standardize the telecommunication services provided to the public and in keeping with the advancing technology. However, considering the problem the general public is facing, the Ministry is looking into the issue and has deferred the deadline for the time being.  On the problems faced by the mainstream news organisation, the Minister said that various programs and trainings (long term and short term) and internships programs are being continued. In addition, the government is planning to provide printing subsidy of Nu 2.609 million, Content Development Grant of Nu.3 million 2008. Moreover, he informed that with the passing of the Information Communication and Media Act of Bhutan, 2018 and establishment of the Media Council, media houses will be further strengthened.


Question Hour of the National Assembly are held every Tuesday and Friday 10am to 11:30am except during Joint Sittings.


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