Extremely determined disrespectful opinion

The government has decided to discontinue the constituency development grant. That is good news. The government had bulldozed the CDG through the Parliament, without a full debate, without a vote, and without any support of the National Council and the opposition party. The ECB had objected saying that the CDG undermines free and fair elections. And the media has repeatedly questioned the legality of the grant. So the government’s decision to discontinue the controversial grant comes as really good news.

But there’s bad news too. The prime minister has not accepted that the CDG was a mistake. He has not apologized, and he has not explained how he will make amends or who will take responsibility. Instead, he has blamed the people who questioned and opposed CDG. And he has threatened that the “next government” would, anyway, reinstate CDG.

The prime minister claims that he is discontinuing CDG to avoid the specter of another “constitutional case towards the end of their term” as there are “people who are willing to take the government to court.”

Yes, we did take the government to court for raising taxes illegally. And yes, we will not hesitate to take the government to court if they purposely violate important provisions of the Constitution. After all, the opposition party’s main responsibility, according to the Constitution, is to ensure that the government and ruling party function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution

The prime minister has also complained that, “So here you have the majority opinion and majority feelings giving way to the extremely determined and disrespectful opinion of the few in a democracy.”

The opposition party has only 2 members. That works out to just 4% of the National Assembly seats. And that makes us probably the world’s smallest opposition. But we have worked with extreme determination and we have not hesitated to express our opinion, even at the risk of appearing disrespectful. And I am happy that our unwavering stand has prompted the government, one that enjoys an overwhelming majority, to discontinue the CDG.

But there’s still something else: according to Article 22 Section 18(c) of the Constitution, “Local Governments shall be entitled to adequate financial resources from the Government in the form of annual grants.”

The controversial constituency development grant is no more. Good. But what about the annual grants that local governments are entitled to collect from the government? When will the government fulfill that important provision of the Constitution?

No doubt, the government realizes that the opposition party will be “extremely determined” and will not hesitate to express “disrespectful opinion” to ensure that local governments are provided annual grants, grants that they can use without the interference of their MPs.


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  1. INVISIBLE says

    Well said!

    I thought irrespective of the origin, history, and legality of the CDG, it was ABSOLUTELY DICTATORIAL on the part of our dominant Prime Minister to just wake up out of the blue one day and decided to pull back the resources EXPECTED by the people of the 20 Dzongkhags (EXPECTATION created in the first place by our Government in the first place).

    I Decision Theory, it is called “Loss Aversion” (Studies and empirical evidences show that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains to make people unhappy). Why the Government chose to make the people of Bhutan unhappy out of the blue, ad hoc, reflects badly on the Government itself. It deeply undermines the basic fundamental intelligence of the Bhutanese people.

    In layman terms, it is simply “to expect is to be unhappy.” I expected the CDG to continue till the end of the term, so I made my village work plan based on the EXPECTATION that I will get the CDG money. Now I can’t execute my work plan. I feel I am at “loss” even though the money actually not mine (it did not reach in my hand, only in my head – Expectation). I am experiencing “loss aversion.” I am unhappy. It is “loss aversion.” 7,00,000 Bhutanese would feel “loss aversion” too, especially the vast majority of my INVISIBLE people. Gross National Unhappiness created by our Government that says “in pursuit of Gross National Happiness”?

    Just a food for thought.


  2. Anual Grands system was developed perfectly, and CDG came as a virus to that system..I strongly stand what i have said, because I am working in concern stakeholder who has to apply that annual grands system.
    As CDG will now be discontinue,I am happy for Gup,Mangmi and GAO working in a gewog.


  3. true to his dictatorial style, this character feels only his opinions are right..he bulldozed cdg through, as ol points out above, then he withdraws it, unapologetically..disrespecting himself the views of those opposed to it..
    the sheer arrogance of jigmi thinley is on record with these comments..his anger & frustration that not everybody agrees with him, or tows his line, sadly relects on him – overrated, hypocritical, egoistic, controlling & full of.. no, arrogance..
    the man knew all along he & his sidekicks were wrong about cdg..but his lack of humility held him back.. until now.. knowing the next elections are nearing.. talk about conceit & opportunism.. so much for his rhetoric on the importance of establishing sound democracy & good governance..

  4. The constitution does not say whether the CDG is legal or not. The majority of the people in the villages were benefitted and they welcomed the CDG. So, if it is not proven illegal and if the majority people are benefitted, what’s wrong with CDG? The oposition party and the NC members are against the CDG simply because CDG will help the ruling party members gain favour from the public. That is morally wrong.

  5. If CDG was legal and if its is not politicised why our wise PM has discontinued and afraid of facing the consequences.

  6. Whether CDG is legal or not is not the question. The larger issue is politics rather than CDG.
    The incumbent government has upper hand with CDG in place as it benefited the majority who are in the villages. We don’t know about the impact because we migrated to urban area as semi-educated or educated lot.
    So opposition objects not on the real ground of legality but on political ground? would you like to lose just because you have less chance to use CDG?

    Why NC opposed the CDG? these twenty people are with political ambition in future. They don’t act as apolitical individuals. They act like opposition.

    Even Judiciary is also political. They have asked Tax Case to be brought to the court. The ex-judge especially of high court and supreme shouldn’t be allowed to join politics in future after retirement. otherwise, they will try to discredit government to gain mileage. of-course what i say is irrelevant with CDG right now.
    I really don’t feel the need to give PM a personal attack. It is being decided bt cabinet.

  7. Constitution says

    As far as I know, even our Mr OL did used the CDG gracefully although he continued his rhetoric that he is against this in the eyes of public. So what shall we call this? A Double Faced? If CDG as illegal or was against the provision of Constitution, Why didn’t our OL take the Gov. to court like they did in the Taxation case which was indeed done for the well being of we bhutanese people not certain section of people who owns car….although it should have come through proper channel. SO shall we conclude that The ROLE of the Opposition is to oppose whatsoever, be it on personal ground or ego? My only wish is to pray that LET NOT COME POLITICAL PARTIES WHO CAN DISINTEGRATE THE PEOPLE which we are seeing everyday in our neigborhood, KILLINGS, ATROCITIES all created by greedy political parties… LET PEACE REMAIN in BHUTAN…

  8. simple thought says

    the next elections are coming…. the govt does not want other parties to make CGD an issue….. it is as simple as that….. whoever comes to power in 2013 will do the same thing again i guess….. in politics strange decissions are ok…..

  9. This govt has not apologized for many things;

    (1) It has not apologized for its wrong decision on the tobacco Act, which saw many go behind bars for as long as a year. And

    (2) It has not apologized for the unnecessary confusion it caused because of the Tax Hike it brought in without following procedures. Of course it lost the case to the Opposition.

  10. Dear Falcon,
    Tobacco Act was passed by parliament. so why should government apologize. If you are bend upon getting apology, please ask your MPs of NA and NC to do this.

    In every democracy, the majority rules. That is the beauty of being elected leader.The elected leader make best use of his ideology when s/he has chance.
    And you have right not to vote for him next election if you don’t like the incumbent leader. Please don’t vote for JYT if you think he is wrong.

    If he gets elected like last time, then it is possible that you are seeing right as left.

  11. Defoz,

    The beauty of being the Majority in a democracy is not just the power the Party holds, but also the bigger responsibility it has to shoulder. In our current parliament, do the calculation and we see that the majority of the DPT is overwhelming even by international standards. Like you said this gives DPT an advantage in making decisions, but as I have mentioned before, this also holds them to bigger responsibilities.

    During this tenure of the DPT govt, I say because of this, it deserves all the credits for good policies and performance, and it has to bear the brunt for all the mistakes. Eg like the Tobacco Act.

  12. Annual Grant system/ budget allocation system for the Dzongkhag and Gewog was very best and most reliable allocating system right now.
    it’s allocated base on population, poverty and areas.
    Annual Grants has provision such as:
    1) 20 % from annual grant budget can be utilized for non-plan activities by D.T members
    2) 80% for planned activities.

    The CDG was initiated by government to use in Non-plan activities. And Non-plan activities are covered by Annual Grant. The Govt would ‘ve allocated CDG fund in annual grant system…. where gewog Administration could ve carried out many non-pan activities.
    implementing non-plan activities through Annual Grants system is easier than CDG…
    coz Annual Grants system requires just three minimum condition to carry out non-plan activities

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