Relief for relief fund?

For the people

During Question Hour today, I requested the Hon’ble Home Minister to report on the status of the Relief Fund. In particular, I asked him if he, as the minister in charge of disaster management, would propose legislation to establish the Relief Fund.

According to Article 14 Section 12 of the Constitution:

Parliament shall establish a relief fund and the Druk Gyalpo shall have the prerogative to use this fund for urgent and unforeseen humanitarian relief.

Bhutan’s first Parliament has already met five times. And the sixth session is currently on. Yet, and in spite of the opposition party’s repeated appeals, the Parliament has not established the Relief Fund. In fact, the Parliament has done no work to establish the Relief Fund. So the first elected Parliament risks defaulting on this important responsibility.

On the other hand, a spate of natural disasters – floods, earthquakes, storms and fires – have struck various parts of the country during the last two years, and have caused unprecedented hardship to countless people. In almost every case, His Majesty the King has personally provided immediate relief, and overseen the rehabilitation and recovery process. And, during the opening of the Parliament’s sixth session, His Majesty spoke of His pledge to victims of the Chamkhar fire that:

… even though our nation may be a small, landlocked country without the great wealth of others, in their moment of great suffering, the King and government would do everything to find the resources needed to alleviate their pain and restore happiness to their lives.

Obviously, there’s a real need to establish the Relief Fund urgently.

So I was happy to hear the home minister report that his ministry and the Ministry of Finance have jointly drafted a proposal to establish a relief fund, and that the proposal would soon be discussed in the Cabinet.

And I was even more happy to hear the Hon’ble Speaker decide that the home minister will submit a motion in the National Assembly to introduce the proposal to establish the Relief Fund.


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  1. Respected Hon’ble OL,

    I noticed that you have always kept your focus on Relief Fund issue, and for not losing that focus, you have earned my respect more because resources for relief greatly matter to the people I hold so dear to my heart – the INVISIBLE PEOPLE.

    On the side note: Through Your Hon’ble, I would also like to pass my respect to MPs who authored “Age of Consent” amendment in the upcoming Penal Code Amendment Bill. “Age of Consent” is another issue that is so close to my heart because it also greatly affects the people I hold dear – the INVISIBLE PEOPLE.

    Keep the heart in the right place. Keep the focus on the right issue. Think beyond yourself. It gives me great hope that Bhutan is in the right hands.


  2. With the relief fund, it is also high time, we have a capable search and rescue team equipped with modern life savings equipments.
    I was both sad and angry at the recent news about how someone drowned in Thimchu, while others were trying their best to rescue the person. It has only been a short time, since the Chukha incident and looks like we have not learnt anything. Imagine what would happen if something happened in the tunnels of Bhutan hydro electric projects, if we cannot save person from a small river.

    Please do not worry about the cost, just set up a search and rescue team and equip them with modern life saving equipments. Money is nothing compared to human lives.

  3. Good thoughts but from where do we bring the money for the Relief Fund is the main reason why the DPT government is delaying the establishment of the Relief Fund.

    They gave all the money to the McKinsey!!

  4. Because the DPT government ran out of money by giving it all to useless McKinsey, the recent attempt to raise taxation is a well thought out plan to collect instead from the people, but sadly, that didn’t come through for DPT.

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