Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile approves CTA 2020-2021 budget

Speaker Pema Jungney, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile announcing the opening of the 9th session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile

Dharamsala: In the light of the COVID-19 outbreak across the world and with the increasing number of confirmed cases of positive patients in India, the budget session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile for the fiscal year 2020-2021, scheduled to hold for 10 days from 17-27 March 2020, convened for only one day as a measure to contain the spread of the virus.

The session began with Speaker’s session commencement announcement at 9:30 am today. Followed by the singing of Tibetan national anthem in the parliamentary hall, assembled with Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and its Deputy Speaker, Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration along with his ministerial colleagues as well as the parliamentarians and the observers. It was followed by the Speaker Mr. Pema Jungney’s session opening speech and the appointment of Acting Speaker and Ad Hoc committee members.

Speaker in his brief opening remark said that the one-day budget session that has been convened as per the Charter of Tibetans in exile, which instructs Parliament to hold a Parliamentary session within a period of six months. Speaker further said that the session will strictly follow the set agenda which includes presentation and approval of the annual budget of Central Tibetan Administration for the year 2020-21 and adoption of official resolutions of obituary and solidarity.

Parliamentarian Mr. Ngawang Tharpa Gewatsang tabling official obituary reference

Parliamentarian Ms. Youdon Aukatsang paying official obituary reference

Thereafter, the list of business marking the official obituary reference was followed with Parliamentarian Mr. Ngawang Tharpa Gewatsang paying tribute to Mr. Yonten, a 24 Tibetan youth, who self-immolated on 26 Nov 2019 to protest the repressive policies of the Chinese government. Parliamentarian Ms. Youdon Aukatsang paid official obituary reference to former Geluk Parliamentarian Late Gajang Geshe Lharampa Tashi Gyaltsen, who passed away on 21 Jan 2020 at the age of 64.

Parliamentarian Ven Khenpo Soman Tenphel presented the official solidarity motion on the critical situations inside Tibet, which was supported by Parliamentarian Ven. Geshe Monlam Tharchin. The motion was passed unanimously.

Parliamentarian Ven Khenpo Soman Tenphel presented the official solidarity motion

Parliamentarian Ven. Geshe Monlam Tharchin supporting the motion

Following the list of business, Finance Minster of Central Tibetan Administration, Mr. Karma Yeshi presented the 2020-2021 Budget of Central Tibetan Administration, which was subsequently followed by Parliamentarian Ven. Khenpo Jamphel Tenzin, reading out the Précis report prepared by the Budget Estimation Committee of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

Kalon Karma Yeshi, Department of Finance, CTA presenting the annual budget estimates of Central Tibetan Administration

Parliamentarian Ven. Khenpo Jamphel Tenzin reading out the Précis report prepared by the Budget Estimation Committee

The motion for debate on the Central Tibetan Administration’s 2020-2021 Budget was raised by Parliamentarian Ven. Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende and supported by Parliamentarian Dhondup Tashi Tsaneytsang but discussion on the budget was put off as per the advice from the Speaker in order to curtail the session in a single day.

Parliamentarian Ven. Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende presenting motion for debate

Parliamentarian Dhondup Tashi Tsaneytsang supporting the motion

The budgets of all the departments of Central Tibetan Administration and the offices under various departments were passed and approved unanimously except for Tibet Policy Institute, Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Indo Tibet Coordination Office, Office of Tibet (Washington DC), and Tibetan Community Development Fund (TCDF), which were approved by majority.

The Revised Appropriation Act of 2019-2020 and the Appropriation Act of 2020-2021, presented by Deputy Speaker Ven. Acharya Yeshi Phunstok and supported by the Chairman of the Budget Estimate Committee Ven. Khenpo Jamphel Tenzin, where the revised appropriation Act of 2019-2020 was passed unanimously while the Appropriation Act of 2020-2021 was passed with majority in the house.

Deputy Speaker presenting the revised appropriation act of 2019-2020

As per document no- 9, the revised appropriation act of 2019-2020 approved the need for a total income of Rs. 3,429,101,658/ to be accumulated by Kashag and a total of Rs. 3,283,576,332/ for the expenditure (annual budget and interim budget) proposed to be made from consolidated fund and the funds not included in the consolidated fund.

And as per document no 10, the appropriation act of 2020-2021 approved the need for a total income of Rs. 2,683,622,130/ to be accumulated by Kashag and approved a total amount of Rs. 2,754,487,029/ for the expenditure (annual budget) proposed to be made from consolidated fund and the funds not included in the consolidated fund.

Secretary-General Tsewang Ngodup reading the leaves of absence

Afterward, the Secretary-General of Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat Mr. Tsewang Ngodup read out the leave of absence of the Member of Parliament and the Speaker gave his conclusion speech.

Speaker in his conclusion speech appreciated everyone present in the house for their participation in enabling the session to conclude in one day. He further thanked the Budget Estimate Committee, Department of Health, Department of Information and International Relations, Department of Security, and others for their assistance. As the year 2020 will be marked as the year of gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by CTA. He urged all the Tibe3tans to follow H. H the Dalai Lama’s advice, stay united, and work together for the common cause of Tibet. He prayed for speedy disappearance of COVID-19. He also prayed for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the prompt resolution of Tibet’s issue.

The session adjourned sine die at 1:47 pm.

Speaker Pema Jungney, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile delivering the closing address

Parliamentarian Mr. Ratsa Sonam Norbu tabling motion of deduction in the proposed budget

Parliamentarian Mr. Tenzin Jamyang supporting the motion of deduction

Members of the Parliament observing a minute of silence in mourning

Sikyong, Kalons, and Members of Parliament singing Tibetan National anthem

Members of the Parliament observing a minute of silence in mourning