Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fiscal Incentives battle between DNT and the Government at High Court.

I do not favour the Government induced Parliament decision regarding Fiscal Incentive. At the fag end of its term this government had surrendered the " fiscal incentive " power of the Cabinet to the Parliament. But only after having exercised what it wanted. So the restriction is upon the next elected government if formed by another political party. PDP Cabinet will not be handicapped even if re-elected because it had already done what it desired during this term.

I was most disappointed with DNT choosing fiscal incentive pretext in the middle of Doklam crisis to distract national attention from critical sovereign dangers.That was playing into the hands of the transgressing foreign aggressor. A sure case of national red light alert when a registered national political party behaves in such manner. I question the timing and therefore the motive of DNT but not  the right to file the case.  
Now I am keenly interested in finding out  whether the Laws of the Land allow an individual or a registered political party from approaching a court of law in matters of deemed wrong doing by a sitting government.

I am convined that for the good of democracy an elected government has to have some leeway and thereby some independent say in running a nation. If everything including every economic matters such as fiscal incentives  must be processed through the Parliament (NA and NC) and be granted royal assent, then we are back to pre 2008. An era where people choose representatives to represent their views in Royal Advisory Council and the National Assembly but His Majesty the King shoulderrd full responsibility. A kind of tampered absolute Monarchy and not blind absolute Monarchy  because the voices of the representatives were always heard and mostly taken into considerations. 

Under the limitted democracy  arrangement since 2008, the Constitution appears to have divided national responsibilities to some extent whereby an elected government had more leeway in social and economic affairs whilst the King exercised the all important national security and welfare affairs including land distribution.

However it must be noted that the same  constitution reserves the authority of His Majesty to convey royal concerns in any matter for dicussion in the Parliament. Also in general Bhutanese people by and large would expect the government of the day headed by the Prime Minister to fully respect the royal  thoughts and visions.

I am certainly not against all powers reverting back  to the Throne especially if a sitting cabinet is unsure of its own capability. The wisest course is to refer to His Majesty when not sure or complication of sovereign nature arises. But here the fiscal incentive politics of both PDP and DNT have different purpose and objective. Both are pursuing selfish party goals.

But I am considering the real possibility that when democracy was " gifted " it was so done with the royal intent " entrusting responsibility " to the people. I cannot recall the exact royal words but His Majesty had commanded something to this effect when Bhutan was a year or so into democracy infancy. The King had commanded that democracy was not a " gift " from the Thorne. It was a grave " responsibility " for people to uphold.   

This royal vision behind the democracy gift must be taken into consideration by the Judiciary of Bhutan whilst conducting the judicial process and forming the all vital opinion on the responsibility and power of an elected Cabinet. Responsibility cannot be upheld in power vaccum. A namesake cabinet cannot represent democratic governance.

Also the verdict of previous landmark constitutional case between PDP the Opposition and DPT the Government needs to be revisited and confirmed because the two political parties have recently expounded differing versions of the verdict in regards to fiscal incentives. I do not recall previous verdict covering the fiscal incentive aspect. So this time there could be a final determination whether fiscal incentive stays a government pre- rogative or not even if DNT case is not admitted for judicial process.  



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