Seedy grant

Our newspapers reported that the cabinet has approved the constituency development grant last week (read Bhutan Observer). I join the NC Chairman in expressing complete shock at the cabinet’s decision. Here are a few reasons, most of which I’ve shared with BBS, why we should be seriously concerned if the CDG has really been approved:

1. It is unconstitutional. Our Constitution declares that “there shall be separation of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary and no encroachment of each other’s powers is permissible.” Allowing MPs to implement the CDG amounts to the legislature encroaching on the executive.

2. It undermines local governments. Our Constitution declares that “power and authority shall be decentralized and devolved to elected Local Governments…” By granting Nu 2 million per year per constituency as CDG, MPs retain a considerable amount of direct control over development funds. This will seriously undermine the “power and authority” of the Gewog Tshogdes.

3. It undermines the National Council. During the second session, the NC resolved that the CDG is unconstitutional and submitted the matter to His Majesty the King. In approving the CDG, the government may have totally disregarded the NC’s resolution.

4. Rules have not been approved. During the first session of the parliament, the NC and NA, in the joint sitting, resolved that they would continue deliberating the CDG in the next session, and instructed the government to present draft rules on the CDG at that time. The CDG rules were not presented or discussed during the second session of the parliament.

5. It is not fair. If members of the National Assembly require a constituency development grant, what about members of the National Council? They too have constituencies. They too made promises. And what about gups? And mangmis? And tshopas? All of them also have constituencies and also have promises to fulfill.

6. It will breed corruption. The CDG looks a lot like slush funds – the money is not earmarked for any specific purpose, and it will be used to gain political mileage.

7. It is inefficient. If money is available (and it must be, hence CDG), use it to fund development work as part of the 10th Five Year Plan. The ruling party’s promises, and that of its MPs, should and must be fully covered in the Plan. Extra money, if any, should be placed at the disposal of local governments. After all, they will have a much more intimate knowledge of the problems and the opportunities in their gewogs.

8. Learn. Several countries that have similar schemes – India, for example – are trying to abolish them. But they can’t. Why? Politicians, who are the ones who stand to gain the most from such schemes, will not agree to do away with them. Let’s learn from the mistakes of others.

 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    its good if the govt. has the money. The Lyonchen met the media just a few days ago. And he talked transparency and accountability. So it would have been really nice if he had talked/discussed the CDG funds and the proposals.
    Of course, the democracy in Bhutan is better than anyother countries right now. given that we are only a year old. How can he compare the level of corruption in other countries and Bhutan right now on account of democracy. there’s no basis.
    Isntead of saying how successful the democracy is in Bhutan and what a “strong root” has to be planted – we urge the Govt. to do some serious work. we want some serious, dedicated and sincere and honest people. We want the country progress from what His Majesty has left us. we want some future plans and goals.

    Democracy and people of Bhutan are not jokes and definitely not a focus of some whimsy, wanna be power and influence hungry people who don’t know jackshit about running a govt. It is definitely not a place for somebody who just talks and acts. That person should be an actor in some wretched theatre.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The newspaper quotes India, Philippines and Kenya as example of countries whiach also seem to have this so called pork-barrel funds. I am wondering, are these countries we want to copy from? The governemt learn from the prosperoous and free nations and not from another 3rd world country.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Every day, every week, every month, there is nothing good to look forward with this new govt. It is either wanting power, wanting status, wanting this wanting wanting that……. not giving at all. We hear of abuse of power, bullying people, targeting people, collusion of govt with institutions to fix people, resorting to nepotism, so many…. I think we must now demand for referendum….. this govt. is nothing but old wine in new bottle…….. With blobization Bhutan is also changing and we need CHANGE in the sytem too!

  4. By the way the newly formed democratic Government is functioning, it looks to me that many things are unclear at the top. But, was this unexpected? NO! We have a bunch of old ex-bureaucrats, who are perhaps trying to be democratic but finding it extremely hard to let go the dictatorial power they enjoyed for so long. I can only pity them, for at some point they would have to give up against the majority, mena? How sad, indeed, that we’re almost breaking what the Monarchy made for us in the past century! My confidence in the new government is almost shaken, not judging the results that are yet to come, but the process in decision making. What our fourth King envisioned for us is perhaps not understood by the new political leaders, who are busy being political (power hungry) and hardly leaders (democratic). What a sad aftermath of the happy centenary celebrations!

  5. TPenjore says:

    I fully agree with hon’bl OL that the decision of approving CDG is in violation of the constitution besides undermining the voices of the NC. There is no need of any further explanation on the motive of DPT in approving CDG. It is purely for gaining political mileage which is a clear form of political corruption (the dangerous form of corruption). I along with most of my Bhutanese colleagues who are equally concerned of this unconstitutional decision condemn the steps taken by DPT government’s unilateral decision.

    If government has extra money, it is as simple as handing over to the local leaders for they are the ones most closest to the people. If DPT government is serious with their advocacy of promoting genuine decentralization and transparency for improving the service delivery at the grass root level, they should revoke their decision of granting CDG to the MPs and instead allocate it as a part of 10th five year plan budget if they do not want it to be allocated as a part of local government budget.

    The credibility of DPT will fall down if they do not listen to the people whom they are supposed to serve with equality and equity.

  6. Bhutanese youth says:

    I wasn’t clear with many of the DPT’s grants and funds, the latest being ‘Private scholarship grant’.Now I have one more to hear about; the CDG funds.
    what is next grant? the next fund?
    Conclusion: Democracy is complex, and our young DPT is even more sophisticated!

  7. Anti JYT says:

    Sir, This is purely unconstitutional and against the decission of mass. JYT and his govt is always in want of power and all of them are having political ambition. Let us not accept that and really make our noise. CDG is a grant that can be spent elsewhere… Great lunch at a public meeting by the MPs saying it as a working lunch or so.

    Sir you should approach NC, ACC, ECB, and if they dont do anything, ultimately HM for proper functioning of democracy…

    JYT and his team will never satisfy and they will make money which will benefit themselves and fill their pocket from the loans they take from other countries and ADB in the name of our country and at last they may even sell our country… sir be aware… doubt… there may be agreement mortgage BHuatn to fill their pocket…

    CDG NOT APPROVED… by the People of Democratic Bhutan

  8. Grants and funds… to fill their own pockets and to gain political mileage tey…

    Many grants and funds will come in future… may be on the way….

  9. One day they will approve three PMs in Bhutan…. JYT, Yeshi Zimba and Khandu Wangchuk….. 20 Ministers for 10 ministries and so on…Grants and Funds !!!!!!!!!!!!!! ACC and ECB do something… Cant trust ACC and ECB, all pets of JYT and his govt….

  10. Anonymous says:

    poor poudyel!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
    -Albert Einstein

  12. Anonymous says:

    Aren’t we using ‘unconstitutional’ word too often?

    If the report is true about CDG being done and dusted then aren’t we culpable in letting DPT government destroy the constitution. Today it is DPT next other will follw the suit.

    Hon’ble Opposition Leader, How about using referendum clause?

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is what our people(voters) wanted and they(as i didnt vote for DPT) should be happy for what ever is happening as our voters wanted no opposition and letting DPT have landslide victory, so i guess our people deserve this!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    First we elect a studpid and bunch of oldies to rule us. Now we are complaining that they are “stupid” and “not for change”. This is the Bhutanese way.

  15. Anonymous says:

    DPT sold our rivers to India by signing up the agreement on hydro power project for all feasible and potential river catchment area in Bhutan.I wonder whether the present Govt.has the right to decide the fate of our future generation.Don’t you think that before the Govt. decides on such important matter it has to be debated in the parliament(similar to the nuclear deal between India and USA where the other political parties nearly toppled the ruling Govt).I fear that we have lost our bargaining power of our prime industry to India. I really appreciate India for their assistance and cherish their friendship but our Govt. needs to weigh the consequences of such decision because everything changes with time and space….Just a thought for discussion.

  16. Anonymous says:

    here’s what i read about leadership recently and thought it might me interesting to compare:

    1. Leaders practice what they preach.
    2. They walk the talk
    3. their actions are consistent with their words.
    4. they put their money where there mouth is ( hahahah)
    5. they follwo through on their promises.
    6. They do what they say they will do.

    I guess it doesn’t say much about “equity and justice” …..but that is a profound vision.

    I am really sick of Bhutan ( people) cliaming that we are different and unique only for people who from outside to see it when oue own actions, thoughts have been very similar to the rest of the world ( esp. now that of our new govts.) unmet promises…… not so transparent decisions and mistrust in the media and other agencies.

    I really think His Majesty the King really meant democracy in the real sense when made his decisions. and i don’t think that the new Govt. should control everything the way they are doing…making decisions without consultations……

    If we don’t correct oursleves right now, we will become like the other countries. People are watching us with both good and bad eyes. And its both we have to be concerned about. Good because we want them to continue..bad because we don’t want to give them more reasons to influence others.

    Anyway, if at all, i guess our new leaders should take a class in leadership and intergrity and credibility.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Now 10 households closely related to a MP can have great benefits from the CDG every year. That should make the MP’s family and close relatives more powerful in our simple villages and gewogs. That much money can do a lot in our rural areas. This will probably lead some families to establish some kind of ZAMINDARI system in the villages and become a political stronghold. I hope my MP doesn’t miss out giving my share of benefits for voting for him.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I cant believe this.. I cant believe that DPT is doing such Blunders. I dont know what is happening in country because i am outside Bhutan but what i hear are all blunders and decision of insane. Hope DPT is not confused after doing nothing after one year political business. Seems they feel pressure for not doing anything and try to do something which is not sound. Huh! Hard luck for next election or may be thrown soon..i bet!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I had a feeling that DPT government is under immense pressure after unsuccessful period of one year in their respective offices. Only successful work which they feel that they have done was coronation of his majesty the King which I feel was mainly successful due to the high commitment from CICCC and other steering committees involved to make it successful.

    Such a poor performance DPT puts them under constant pressure and Cabinet doesn’t know what they are doing. They don’t know what kind of decision they are making. They don’t know whether decision is in the interest of people or not. They are really confused. DPT has become confused party. DPT feels that they don’t have strength in dept to handle the government in long run though they have got JIGME THINLEY who is good at LIP SERVICE!!!

    Might have done good things but to me, it was rare. Done very little!! Nothing concrete than enacting legislations and spoiling our constitution by amending some provisions which was discussed by HM with peoples of 20 districts. They enacted their entitlement bills with great interested and were dead over other though few were good.

    Watch out following points:

    1. Medical grants worth 300,000/- Per annum to Private MBBS
    2. Did nothing with blast in southern part of country occurring now and than where four foresters were brutally killed which never happened in the history of Bhutan.
    3. PM and DPT said that their party abide shall be abided by the constitution and will be transparent but they recently drove out Media personnel haha!! What a contradiction?
    4. Ohh… Pay revision and MPs arrear!! That was one funny incident I won’t forget.
    5. Undermining the GAO
    6. Civil war among MPs and DPT coordinators!! Its bit funny though but asking media to leave was funniest part!! Had a good laugh and thought its unique democracy in Bhutan.
    7. Appointing their party members in their offices! Isn’t it corruption?
    8. Finally the constituencies grant! Waha.. God knows what will happen next!!

    Don’t you guys think that DPT is gone crazy and is really under pressure? I feel that they are and that’s why they make such blunders.

    Thanks!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    “Bad politicians are elected by good citizens who don’t vote” I almost voted for DPT but I am relieved that I did not. I knew DPT was all JYT and nothing more. I hoped that PDP would come into power easily with the rural vote and that didn’t happen. I did not vote for them either and the reason…extra baggage (You all know). Lyonpo SN as PM but minus all those chamchas and “baggage?” would have made tremendous progress and would not have made such kind of ridiculous decisions. I am on one side glad that I did not vote for DPT but on the other, really sad and angry to see the functioning of DPT really hilarious. Bhutan was never ready for Democracy. People looking for referendum should vote for Monarchy. Long Live the King

  21. Anonymous says:

    what the hell are opp leader and pdp doing. You need to show us more action. This gov has done several things at their own whims,but all you do is shout and watch. Aren’t you failing as the only opp party?
    You must call for the resignation of the finance minister. He has beeen committing lot of errors. We cannot afford to have such incompetent minister.
    Opposition leader and PDP wake up!

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