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Filling the gaps

It’s, therefore, time that we address these gaps or shortcomings that are prevalent today, sooner the better.

Do communication or coordination entail so much hard work? Instead it should be easier given the scale of the country and its demography. However, the contrary is true going by the events that have had transpired in the recent weeks.

There is no denying the dearth of communication today among different agencies of the legislative and executive. Some events, right from the beginning of the third session of the Second Parliament till now, exhibit that the vital aspect of communication is missing between National Assembly and Council, or even between agencies under the legislative and executive.

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Recently, the National Assembly Speaker cancelled the question hour session, maintaining that questions were not received on time from the opposition party, while the latter justified that they were sent before 60 hours instead of the normal 48 hours. Instead arguments then followed on what each party viewed as normal working hours, thus depriving people of the answers to the questions they have asked through their representatives. Not so much so about the interpretation, it’s the people who have lost eventually.

However, such a situation could have been averted if the Lower House had corresponded or reminded the other party that the latter was due for submitting the questions. How much effort is even required to do so? Making a phone call or mailing a letter!

Similarly, the Council dropped deliberation on the Right to Information Bill this session, citing that the Department of Information and Media (DoIM) had failed to make presentation on the Bill despite requesting the ministry well before time.

While DoIM maintained that such request should be routed through the Cabinet Secretary based on a procedure established by the Committee of Secretaries, why should it take so long a time that the Prime Minister should intervene at the last moment? Whose fault is it?  Indubitably, it was a matter of procedure, but that could have been sorted out if there were effective communication between all these agencies and if they were serious about their responsibilities.

These events, therefore, all also indication of what His Majesty the King emphasized during the National Day celebration last year. His Majesty said it had become evident the country’s institutions, latterly were asserting independence and seeking greater autonomy at the expense of the overall harmony. “There is limited communication and coordination among agencies and this invariably leads to lack of coherence,” His Majesty had said.

It’s, therefore, time that we address these gaps or shortcomings that are prevalent today, sooner the better.

Lobzang Dorji


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