Bhutan Education City Act, 2012

Link to law: http://www.nationalcouncil.bt/assets/uploads/docs/acts/2014/Bhutan_Education_City_Act_2012_eng9th.pdf

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Bhutan Education City Act

2012

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

Preamble 1

Chapter 1 Preliminary 2

Chapter 2 Education City Board 3

Chapter 3 Functions and Powers of the Board 8

Chapter 4 Development of the City 17

Chapter 5 Knowledge Centres and Service Providers 22

Chapter 6 Finance, Accounts and Audit 26

Chapter 7 Dispute Resolution 27

Chapter 8 Miscellaneous 28

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 1

Preamble

Bearing in mind the Government’s vision to establish Bhutan as

a well-known hub for education with a strong presence of high

quality Educational Institutions;

Acknowledging the importance of an attractive environment on

economic, social and educational grounds for high quality

Educational Institutions to be present in Bhutan;

Convinced that the presence of high quality Educational

Institutions in Bhutan would contribute to the improvement of

the overall quality of the Bhutanese education system; and

Recognizing that the establishment of the City would spur the

economic development of Bhutan through direct and indirect

benefits;

Parliament of the Kingdom of Bhutan do hereby enact the

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 on the 9
th

Day of 5
th

Month of

the Water Male Dragon Year of the Bhutanese Calendar

corresponding to the 28
th

Day of June 2012 at its 9
th

Session as

follows:

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 2

CHAPTER 1

PRELIMINARY

Title, commencement and extent

1. This Act shall:

(1) Be called the BHUTAN EDUCATION CITY

ACT 2012;

(2) Come into force on the 18th day of 7th Month of

the Water Male Dragon Year of the Bhutanese

Calendar corresponding to the 3
rd

day of

September 2012; and

(3) Extend to the whole of Bhutan.

Application

2. This Act shall apply to the establishment, development,

promotion, operation, management and maintenance of

the City and such other persons associated with the City

in whatever capacity as provided for in this Act and the

Agreement.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 3

3. This Act shall not apply to:

(1) The Royal University of Bhutan except to its

Knowledge Centres it may establish in the City;

and

(2) Other universities, schools, colleges or institutes

whether public or private except to their

Knowledge Centres which they may establish in

the City.

CHAPTER 2

EDUCATION CITY BOARD

Establishment of the Board

4. There shall be an Education City Board established

under this Act.

5. The Board is a body corporate with perpetual succession

and a common seal.

6. In exercising the powers vested in it by this Act the

Board is an autonomous body.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 4

7. The Board may:

(1) Enter into contracts;

(2) Acquire, hold and dispose of property, whether

movable or immovable and to pledge and

mortgage the same in keeping with the laws of

Bhutan;

(3) Exercise all powers specifically granted by this

Act to it, and such incidental powers, as may be

necessary to carry out the powers so granted; and

(4) Sue and be sued in its own name.

8. The head office of the Board shall be at Thimphu or at

such other place as the Board may determine from time

to time.

Constitution of the Board

9. The ex-officio members of the Board shall comprise of

the following:

(1) Minister, Ministry of Works and Human

Settlement;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 5

(2) Vice-chancellor, Royal University of Bhutan;

(3) Secretary, Ministry of Home and Cultural

Affairs;

(4) Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs;

(5) Secretary, Ministry of Finance;

(6) Secretary, Ministry of Education;

(7) Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Human

Resources;

(8) Secretary, GNH Commission;

(9) Dzongdag of Thimphu Dzongkhag;

(10) Gup’s of the relevant Gewog’s;

(11) Chief Executive Officer, DHI Infra Ltd;

(12) One private sector representative appointed by

the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry;

and

(13) Chief Executive Officer of the Secretariat.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 6

10. The Board may invite special invitees to the board

meeting from time to time as it may deem fit.

Service of notice and other documents

11. Any notice or other document may be served on the

Board by delivery or by prepaid registered post to the

Secretariat.

Quorum

12. The presence of two third of the members constitutes a

quorum for a meeting of the Board.

Secretariat

13. There shall be a secretariat of the Board to assist the

Board in discharging its functions, to provide analysis

and recommendations to the Board as and when required

and to perform such other functions, and exercise such

powers as may, from time to time be delegated by the

Board.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 7

14. The Board shall supervise the Secretariat and shall issue

directions in relation to the duties, functions and powers

of the Secretariat.

15. The Secretariat shall be headed by a chief executive

officer appointed by the Board who shall be the ex

officio member secretary to the Board and the

Secretariat shall comprise of such number of staff as the

Board may deem fit.

16. The salary, tenure, discipline and other conditions of

service of the Chief Executive Officer shall be as

determined by the Government.

17. The salary, tenure, discipline and other conditions of

service of the staff of the Secretariat shall be as

determined by the Board.

18. The operating expenses of the Secretariat, including

equipment, shall be drawn from the appropriate fund and

the surplus fund, if any, shall be deposited into the

revenue account of the Ministry of Finance.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 8

CHAPTER 3

FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE BOARD

General functions of the Board

19. The Board shall:

(1) Be the apex Government body in Bhutan for

establishment, development, operation,

promotion, maintenance and management of the

City through a public-private partnership (PPP)

or other models including Government

undertaking, joint venture or a full private

participation;

(2) Recommend to the Government to ensure that

the Policies and Laws applicable to the City are

suited to efficiently meet the goals of the City;

(3) Assume all rights and duties under the

Agreement on behalf of the Government

including provision of ancillary infrastructure to

the Site;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 9

(4) Liaise with the Government, the Concessionaire,

the Knowledge Centres, the Service Providers,

the Students and any other Person associated

with the City on issues relating to the City; and

(5) Perform all other functions as may be required or

deemed fit by the Board in the letter and spirit of

this Act or which may be entrusted to it by the

Cabinet from time to time.

20. In discharging its functions and exercising its powers to

meet the goals of the City, the Board shall:

(1) Recommend to the Cabinet or to any

Government agencies any new Laws or Policies,

any amendments thereto or any limits of the

scope of any applicable Laws or Policies needed

or desirable to achieve the goals of the City;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 10

(2) Ensure that the City is built and operated in

accordance with the Policies of the Government

especially that the City shall provide both quality

education and economic development in Bhutan;

(3) Ensure that activities pertaining to the City are

fair and transparent;

(4) Promote the City consistent with the Laws,

Policies, environmental issues, national heritage

and gross national happiness;

(5) Take steps to ensure that Bhutanese nationals

benefit from the City, including by securing

scholarships or favourable financing terms for

deserving Students;

(6) Ensure employment for Bhutanese in accordance

with national laws and policies;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 11

(7) Have due regard to the national security and

public interests;

(8) Strive to promote conditions that will enable

sustainable operations and business for the

Concessionaire;

(9) Endeavour to provide reasonable security for

loans given in connection with the City; and

(10) Encourage competition in the City.

General power

21. The Board is empowered to:

(1) Act as a nodal agency;

(2) Supervise and monitor that the operations of

the Concessionaire, Educational Institutions,

Knowledge Centres, Service Providers or any

other Person associated with the City are in

accordance with this Act, the Agreement and all

applicable Laws and Policies;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 12

(3) Approve plans, contracts, timelines and other

matters according to the Agreement;

(4) Provide Support to the Concessionaire,

Educational Institutions, Knowledge Centres,

Service Providers, Students and any other Person

associated with the City;

(5) To discharge the municipal functions in the City

directly or at its discretion through the

Concessionaire in accordance with the

Agreement or later amendments thereto;

(6) Collect the Concession Fee; and

(7) Create and administer such funds and spend and

allocate such sums as it deems fit for the

purposes set forth in this Act subject to approval

by the Government.

Nodal agency

22. The Board shall act as the nodal agency for all

Permissions that may be required by the Concessionaire,

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 13

Educational Institutions, Knowledge Centres, Service

Providers and any other Person associated with the City.

23. The Secretariat shall assist the applicants in completing

applications, acknowledge completed applications and by

sending such applications to the Competent Authority for

processing and disposal within the prescribed time frame

and monitor the status of the applications.

24. In case any Competent Authority fails to process or

dispose of any application within the prescribed time

frame set by the Competent Authority, the Board may

place the application before the Cabinet for consideration

and the Cabinet shall, after due consideration, reject the

application or may direct the Competent Authority to

grant or issue the Permission on such terms and condition

as the Cabinet may direct.

Supervising functions

25. The Board shall supervise and monitor:

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 14

(1) The establishment, development, promotion,

operation, maintenance and management of the

City;

(2) That the Concessionaire undertakes its business

in accordance with this Act and the Agreement;

(3) The creation, construction and operation of the

Project Infrastructure and the Project Facilities;

(4) The quality of services in the City; and

(5) That all applicable Laws and Policies are being

adhered to in the City.

26. The Board is empowered to call upon the

Concessionaire, Educational Institutions, Knowledge

Centres, Service Providers or any other Person

associated with the City to furnish information,

documents and particulars as may be required by the

Board.

27. If the operations of the Concessionaire, Educational

Institutions, Knowledge Centres, Service Providers or

any other Person associated with the City are not in

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 15

accordance with this Act, the Agreement or all

applicable Laws and Policies the Board shall:

(1) Take such corrective measures mandated in this

Act, in the Agreement or in such other

agreements to which the Board is a party as the

Board deems fit;

(2) Collect damages and the likes for breach of the

Agreement or for breach of such other

agreements to which the Board is a party; and

(3) Prevent with the help of law enforcement

agencies and other agencies of Government any

breach of applicable Laws and Policies

Functions of approval

28. The Board’s power to approve plans, contracts,

timelines and other matters according to the Agreement

includes:

(1) The master plan and the layout of the City on the

Site, architectural design and construction plans

of the Project Infrastructure and the Project

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 16

Facilities which is to be prepared by the

Concessionaire; and

(2) The templates of all and any contracts including

for leasing of premises to the Educational

Institutions and Service Providers.

29. The Board may approve or reject the plans, contracts,

timelines and other matters with or without conditions.

Support

30. The Board shall propose to the Government fiscal or any

regulatory incentives, exemptions, subsidies or other

supports to be provided by the Government in relation to

the City. Such Support may include:

(1) Provision of fiscal incentives;

(2) Allowing foreign direct investment up to 100%;

(3) Investment incentives including repatriation of

full profits;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 17

(4) Easy procedures for granting visas and work

permits to Students, faculties, staff of the City,

their families and any other Person associated

with the City;

(5) Part or full exemption from applicable Policies;

and

(6) Any other Support as may be deemed fit by the

Board.

CHAPTER 4

DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITY

Establishment and development of the City

31. A city to be called the Bhutan Education City or any

other name as recommended by the Board from time to

time shall be set up in accordance with this Act to be the

centre in Bhutan mainly to impart quality education and

knowledge through a public private partnership (PPP) or

other models including government undertaking, joint

venture or a full private participation.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 18

32. The Concessionaire shall establish, develop, promote,

operate, maintain and manage the City in accordance

with this Act and the Agreement.

33. The Project Work shall be carried out in accordance

with the applicable Laws and Policies and shall adhere

to the environmental concerns of the Government.

34. The Project Infrastructure and the Project Facilities shall

be developed, operated, maintained and managed in

accordance with Laws, Policies and the Agreement

except for those for which international norms and

standards are required to be followed for utility and

technical reasons.

Designation of the Site

35. The title over the Site shall vest with the Government.

36. The Government shall be responsible for any acquisition

of land for the purposes of designation or expansion or

for any other purposes in relation to the City in

accordance with the Laws.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 19

37. No injunction shall be granted by any court or other

authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken in

pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.

38. The Government may lease the Site to the

Concessionaire in accordance with the Land Act.

The Concessionaire

39. The Concessionaire shall be selected through a

transparent and fair process in accordance with Laws

and Policies.

40. The Concessionaire shall be incorporated under the

Laws, as a company solely to establish, develop,

promote, operate, maintain and manage the City, which

is to be called the Concessionaire.

41. The Concessionaire, under the general superintendence

and control of the Board, shall:

(1) Establish, develop, promote, operate, maintain

and manage the City;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 20

(2) Assume the rights and duties under the

Agreement;

(3) Invite, select and enter into contracts with

credible, reputed and quality Educational

Institutions, Service Providers, and other Persons

for the purposes of development, operation,

maintenance and management of the City;

(4) Promote the City within and outside of Bhutan in

accordance with Laws, Policies and the

Agreement;

(5) Prepare construction plans and architectural

design of the Project Infrastructure and the

Project Facilities for review by the Board;

(6) Recommend to the Board granting, withdrawing

or suspending any Support in relation to Persons

associated with the City and advise the Board on

additional or new Support;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 21

(7) Collect user charges from the users of the Project

Infrastructure and the Project Facilities unless

otherwise agreed; and

(8) Perform such other functions, acts or things,

which may be provided for by the Agreement or

assigned or directed to it by the Board.

42. The Concessionaire shall transfer the City to the

Government upon expiry or termination of the

Agreement in accordance with the Agreement.

Authority Designated Area

43. The Government shall lease the Authority Designated

Area to DHI Infra Ltd.

44. The Authority Designated Area shall be developed and

used for purposes set out in this Act and the Agreement.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 22

CHAPTER 5

KNOWLEDGE CENTRES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.

Educational Institutions and Knowledge Centres

45. The Concessionaire shall lease the Project Infrastructure

and the Project Facilities and enter into contract only

with Educational Institutions subject to their compliance

with any Laws or Policies regulating establishment,

accreditation, registration and licensing.

46. The Educational Institutions shall apply to the

Competent Authority through the nodal agency for

registration, licence and other Permissions in the manner

and form prescribed by Law with all documentation and

information as prescribed.

47. The Competent Authority shall, upon its satisfaction,

permit or grant establishment, accreditation, registration,

licence and other Permissions or convey its objections to

the Educational Institutions within a reasonable time.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 23

48. The Competent Authority shall create and apply a fast

track procedure for highly reputed Educational

Institutions or Academic Courses.

Academic freedom and autonomy of Knowledge Centres

49. The Government, the Board and the Concessionaire

shall ensure the academic freedom and autonomy of the

Knowledge Centres including curriculum independence

subject only to the Laws or Policies regulating

establishment, accreditation, registration and licensing.

50. Notwithstanding the generality of the foregoing, the

Knowledge Centres and Service Providers may subject

to this Act, Laws, Policies and the Agreement freely:

(1) Recruit, deploy, promote, train and compensate

their leadership, faculty or staff;

(2) Charge Students fees, raise funds from

government or private sources and utilize its

budget;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 24

(3) Offer any Academic Courses;

(4) Perform research and scholarly works; and

(5) Form student associations.

51. Any freedom or autonomy granted by this Act shall not

limit any other Support that may be granted or any other

freedom prescribed by Law.

Knowledge Centres affiliation to religion

52. The education City may permit the establishment of :

(1) Knowledge Centres affiliated to religion on

equal terms and subject to the same requirements

as other Knowledge Centres, provided that they

offer secular Academic Courses; and

(2) Knowledge Centres affiliated to Buddhism as

recognized in the Constitution of Bhutan to offer

Academic Course on Buddhism in the City.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 25

Quality assurance

53. Knowledge Centres shall maintain high quality of

education and knowledge and shall create and maintain

effective internal and external quality assurance systems

that cover all Academic Courses in accordance with

applicable Laws and Policies.

Service Providers

54. The Concessionaire shall enter into contracts with the

Service Providers in the form and on terms approved by

the Board.

55. All Service Providers shall obtain applicable

Permissions before setting up operations in the City.

56. The Concessionaire shall ensure that the Service

Providers maintain a high quality of service at all times.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 26

CHAPTER 6

FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT

Finance

57. The activities of the Board shall be funded from:

(1) Levies, fees and other charges payable to the

Board by the Concessionaire and any other

Person associated with the City in its

performance of functions under this Act,

including but not limited to the Concession Fees;

and;

(2) Interim budgetary support from the Government

until the Board’s own funds is sufficient to cover

its activities.

Accounts and audit

58. The accounts of the Board, the Concessionaire, the

Knowledge Centre and the Service Providers shall be

prepared, maintained and audited in such form and in

such manner as prescribed by Law.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 27

Reports

59. The Board shall, at the end of each financial year,

prepare and submit to the Cabinet in such form and at

such time as may be prescribed, an annual report giving

a true and full account of its activities during the

previous financial year and the activities that are likely

to be undertaken by it in the next financial year.

60. The Concessionaire shall prepare and submit to the

Secretariat for the perusal of the Board, quarterly reports

giving a true and full account of its activities and the

activities of the Knowledge Centres and Service

Providers during the previous quarter and shall give

details of the activities that are likely to be undertaken in

the next quarter.

CHAPTER 7

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Dispute resolution

61. Any dispute, difference or controversy of whatever

nature between the Board and the Concessionaire shall

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 28

in the first instance be attempted to be resolved amicably

by conciliation in accordance with the Agreement.

62. Any dispute, which is not resolved by conciliation, shall

be finally decided by arbitration in accordance with the

Agreement.

63. The Bhutanese courts shall enforce an arbitration award

against the assets of the party who is to pay the award.

CHAPTER 8

MISCELLANEOUS

Powers of the Board to make rules

64. The Board may make rules consistent with this Act for

carrying out the purposes of this Act.

65. In particular and without prejudice to the generality of

the foregoing power, such rules may provide for the

following matters:

(1) Granting of Permissions to Knowledge Centres;

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 29

(2) City development control; or

(3) City management.

(4) Rules of Procedure for conduct of its meetings;

(5) Salary, tenure, discipline and other conditions of

services of the staff of the Secretariat; or

(6) Any other matters in relation to which rules are

required to be made.

66. The Board shall adopt its rules of procedure by a simple

majority of its members present and voting provided that

the rules are in accordance with this Act.

Breach of the Agreement

67. The Board is liable to compensate the Concessionaire in

accordance with the Agreement in the event of breach of

the Agreement by the Government.

68. The Board is empowered to pay a termination payment

in accordance with the Agreement in the event of the

Concessionaire’s default.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 30

Immunity from prosecution

69. No legal proceeding or suit may lie against any member

of the Board or its staff or a person acting for the Board

in respect of their official duties done in good faith or

intended to be done pursuant to the provisions of this

Act. Such immunity does not cover corrupt acts

committed by such persons.

Renegotiation

70. The Board may negotiate such changes to the

Agreement as may be mutually agreed upon between the

Board and the Concessionaire to achieve the visions and

goals of the City.

Amendment.

71. The amendment of this Act by way of addition, variation

or repeal shall be effected by a simple majority of the

respective houses or by a vote of no less than two-thirds

of the total members of parliament present and voting on

a motion submitted by one-third of the members of

either house.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 31

Authoritative text

72. The Dzongkha text shall be the authoritative text, if

there exists any difference in meaning between the

Dzongkha and the English texts.

Definitions

73. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires the

following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Academic Courses” mean all academic or

vocational programs or courses, trainings and

other education and knowledge based modules

whether or not they lead to grant of certificates,

degrees or diplomas.

(2) “Act” means the Education City Act of Bhutan

2012.

(3) “Agreement” means the concession agreement

for establishing, developing, promoting,

operating, managing and maintaining the City.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 32

(4) “Authority Designated Area” means the 50

acres of land within the City as identified in the

Agreement that the Concessionaire shall partially

develop and hand over to the Government to be

give to the DHI Infra.

(5) “Board” means the Education City Board.

(6) “Cabinet” means the cabinet of the Government

of Bhutan.

(7) “Chief Executive Officer” means the chief

executive officer of the Secretariat.

(8) “City” means the Bhutan Education City, which

shall be a dedicated zone mainly for education

and knowledge in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

(9) “Competent Authority” means any department

or an agency of the Government, any local or

statutory authority, constitutional offices, or any

other authority constituted or established under

any Laws or Policies or under administrative

control of the Government which is entrusted

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 33

with the powers and responsibilities to grant or

issue Permissions in relation to the City.

(10) “Concession Fee” means any amount of money

required to be paid by the Concessionaire to the

Board in accordance with the Agreement.

(11) “Concessionaire” means a company with whom

the Agreement is entered into by the Board and

to whom a concession has been granted for

establishment, development, promotion,

operation, management and maintenance of the

City.

(12) “Educational Institutions” mean institutions

whether domestic or foreign imparting education

and knowledge from pre primary to tertiary

education, research, and short term courses or

training and shall include vocational Courses and

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 34

any other category as the Cabinet may determine

on the recommendation of the Board.

(13) “Government” means the Government of

Bhutan.

(14) “Knowledge Centres” mean the institutes set up

in the City by Educational Institutions offering

Academic or vocational Courses or doing

research, innovation and other ancillary activities

usually performed by Educational Institutions.

(15) “Laws” mean all legislation that are in force in

Bhutan including all rules, regulations and

notifications, including any orders, judgments or

decrees of any court.

(16) “National Educational Institutions” mean the

Educational Institutions outside the City

established in Bhutan whether domestic or

foreign.

(17) “Permissions” include any clearance, approval,

consent, no objection, registration, enrolment,

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 35

licence and the likes by the Competent Authority

in relation to the City.

(18) “Person” means a natural or a juridical person.

(19) “Policies” mean policies, guidelines and

directives issued or revised, amended, changed

or re promulgated by the Government from time

to time.

(20) “Project Facilities” mean all the amenities and

facilities required under the Agreement to be

developed, operated, managed and maintained on

the Site by the Concessionaire.

(21) “Project Infrastructure” means all real estate

and infrastructure required under the Agreement

to be developed, operated, managed and

maintained on the Site by the Concessionaire.

Bhutan Education City Act 2012 36

(22) “Project Work” means erection, creation and

construction of Project Facilities and Project

Infrastructure.

(23) “Secretariat” means the secretariat of the

Board.

(24) “Service Providers” mean Persons providing

accommodation, entertainment, hospitality,

maintenance, retail or other services not offered

by Knowledge Centres.

(25) “Site” means the land on which the City is to be

established.

(26) “Students” mean the students enrolled with the

Knowledge Centres.

(27) “Support” means the fiscal or any regulatory

incentives, exemptions, subsidies or other

supports provided by the Government in relation

to the City.