In action or inaction?

The National Council and National Assembly will meet in a joint sitting tomorrow to discuss two important matters: the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Bill, and state funding for political parties.

On the first matter, the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Bill, I’m delighted that the National Council has come through. Their recommendations aim to amend the draconian law to make it sensible and implementable. Naturally, I agree with their recommendations.

The discussions are not going to be easy. They’re going to be difficult. And complicated. If, at the joint sitting, we agree on the National Council’s proposed amendments, the current ban on the sale and purchase of tobacco products will lifted in favour of taxation to reduce tobacco consumption in our country.

If we agree on the National Assembly’s proposed amendments, the current ban on the sale and purchase of tobacco products will continue, but the penalties for breaking the law will be spread according to the quantity of tobacco involved.

But if we do not reach an agreement – that is, if neither proposal, nor one that the joint committee comes up with by tomorrow, is supported by at least two-thirds of the MPs present and voting – the amendment bill will be declared a “dead” bill. And we will be stuck with the current Tobacco Control Act.

Democracy in action. Or democracy inaction. We’ll see tomorrow.


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  1. Personally I don’t know whether I was shocked or ashamed to see our MPs debate about the tobacco act. They keep on bringing religion into the debate, what they don’t realise is first of all religion and politics should not mix, that is in our constitution too, and I want to them show me where lord Buddha said smoking is bad. I want them to show exactly how and where lord buddha mentioned that you cannot smoke.
    They keep on saying the rural folks support the smoking ban and only kiths and kins of smokers does not. Did they do research and survey or what. I never touched tobacco, none of my family members smoke, yet I don’t support the smoking ban for various reasons.
    The government cannot dictate how an individual lives their lives, if we keep on banning everything then we will run of of things to ban, the best thing is education and advocacy, by making selling legal and raising taxes government and the public benefits a lot, the government will make extra revenue through taxes, they won’t have to spend money to keep people in jail, courts can spend their time on more important cases like murder and thefts, black markets will disappear, and you won’t cause unnecessary pains to Bhutanese people. I have heard of father and mothers who are sole bread earners going to jail, this is stupid, it is not good for the country and its citizens.

  2. TORISE dragon says

    Instead of banning and making it again complicated by saying “ILLIGAL” and imprisoning people, why not raise TAX which will directly or indirectly help the livelyhood of NC’s & NA members….after all every one lives with government hand.

  3. They refer religion only when they don’t have any points to be made.
    Maybe the MPs should have Orientation on Buddhism and make some preliminary discourses compulsory.
    Because they also forget that their GREED on Entitlements are against Buddhist precepts.

    We see cases of stabbing in the country every other day, and I wonder if there are any discussions on such social issues instead of focusing on some out of air bills and Acts.

  4. tax is bullshit! don’t we remember few yrs back, black market was booming when it was just imposed tax……my view is, either ban with stringent law like today or make it completely free like any other commodities in the market…..forget abt health,it is personal choice….but ban smoking in public…

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