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National Assembly Deliberates on Local Government Petitions

Posted on :27 January 2020

Requirement of Budget Appropriation of Gewogs

The Member from Panbang constituency, on behalf of the Zhemgang Local Government, submitted that the responsibility of preparing and planning for any Small Development projects, Common Minimum Infrastructure and Flagship Programme are with the Gewog Administration whereas the budgets allocated for the programs are either with the Dzongkhags or Central Government, causing delay and inefficient utilization of the budget.  It was therefore submitted that the funds for the above-mentioned programs be directly included in the Gewog’s Account rather than the Dzongkhag’s account during the Annual Budget Appropriation.

To this, the Prime Minister said that, while. he  supports the proposal,  he  said that currently the 205 gewogs do not have the required manpower and capability. 

 

Most of the Members agreed that even though there was a need to provide the budgets to the gewog administration, it was necessary that the Gewog administration be well equipped with all the human resources and technology to handle the responsibility of the budget.

The House by show of hands  could not pass the motion with only 13 Yes and 32 No out of 45 Members present.

 

Matter Related to Farm Shops 

The Member from Bardo-Trong, on behalf of the Zhemgang Local Government, submitted that there is a need for a standard and uniform operating system of Farm Shops across the Nation. The Member submitted that even though the Farm Shops under Food Corporation of Bhutan benefited the general public, local people raised they had no access to farm machinery and seeds from such shops and it has also not implemented the Buy Back policy as it was supposed to do so.

To this, the Minister for Agriculture and Forests agreed that the Farm Shops did not benefit the local farmers as intended. He clarified that it is  mainly due to the operation of  Farm Shops despite being established with the objectives of  helping the local farmers. He informed that from 173 Farm Shops, only 9 Farm Shops  are located in remote areas which have benefited the locals. The other 164 Farm Shops appear to be a competition for the private shopkeepers. The Minister also reported that the Ministry for Agriculture and Forests in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited is planning to improve the implementation and functioning  of the Farm Shops.

Majority of the Members by show of hands supported the petition and directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests to develop a uniform and   standard operation system  of Farm Shops across the Nation and report back in the next session.

 

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