Bhutan's upper house passes bill to strengthen civil society organizations

Bhutan’s national council, the upper house of parliament, has passed the Civil Society Organizations (Amendment) Bill 2021, proposing the government to provide adequate resources to these organizations in the country

Jun 18, 2021
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Bhutan's upper house

Bhutan’s national council, the upper house of parliament, has passed the Civil Society Organizations (Amendment) Bill 2021, proposing the government to provide adequate resources to these organizations in the country. The new rules would make the functioning NGOs more efficient in the coming days. 

The amendment to the bill, originally passed in 2007, was introduced because of the troubled implementation of the earlier law and constrained institutional capacity.

“The amendment is to ensure it boosts Civil Society Organizations’ (CSOs) growth through the act given their contributions to the communities,” Phuntso Rapten, a member of the house, was quoted as saying by Kuensel newspaper. 

A new section, introduced in the earlier bill, requiring the government to make adequate financial provisions for the independent administration of the CSO authority as part of its annual budget.

There are 63 registered CSOs in the country; 25 are awaiting registration.

The bill, now, also states that accounting records of CSOs must contain financial statements (revenue and expenses, assets and liabilities, cash flow statement).

A CSO shall be removed from the register if it has ceased, for a period of at least two years, to carry out the purposes and activities set forth in its Article of Association according to the Bill.

The new rules were reviewed based on principles such as safeguarding the country’s security, balanced and coordinated CSO, strengthening the capacity of CSO authority and secretariat, and harmonizing the existing provisions.

 (SAM)
 

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