English | Dzongkha Saturday, August 17, 2019

PDP’s 10-point suggestions on Fourth Pay Commission’s report

Sonam Pem, Thimphu
May 14, 2019

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) submitted their comments and 10-point suggestions on the Fourth Pay Commission’s report to the cabinet yesterday. The party wants the government to consider it before tabling it to the Parliament.

The press release from the party stated that PDP, being the oldest political party has a sacred responsibility to provide position or alternative policies on any new policy initiative of the government.

The first recommendation is to equally divide the allocated budget of Nu 4.2bn for the salary revision among approximately 40,000 civil servants. By doing this, each civil servant would get an increase of Nu 8,829 on their salary. And this would push the minimum salary of Elementary Service Personnel or ESP level to Nu 15,829 which is above the minimum wage. The government would then actually narrow the gap. The Pay Commission had recommended the salary increase from 14 to 29 per cent with a higher rate of revision at the lower position.

The PDP is also proposing to review and provide salaries to Local Government officials and not leave them out of the pay raise. Given the high budget allocation in the 12th Five Year plan for the Local government, the party feels it is important to raise their salaries to higher-level official and not lower them. The salaries of the LG officials today is mapped with P2 level officer in civil service.

Next, the party suggests a uniform house rent allowance of 30%. Otherwise, the recommendation to increase 30% house rent allowance for term-based appointees against 20% for regular civil servants will create a disparity in the system.

The PDP also does not support the practice of providing domestic help and dedicated pool vehicles for the residence of a minister. This, the Party says, was done away with during its tenure.

Further, the party proposes, “to keep the TA/DA and mileage claim uniform for all public servants irrespective of grades or positions since it is to meet expenses while travelling on duty.”

The party calls upon the government not to interfere with the Royal Honour and monetise it as well. The party says, “It is the prerogative of His Majesty the King to award titles, medals or honours to deserving citizens. Honours should not be monetised and we should not undermine that unique honour.”

PDP also suggests looking at the annual salary indexation in civil service. The party is apprehensive of its effective implementation. Indexation is one of the methods to compensate partially or fully the rising cost of living on an annual basis rather than waiting for spikes in every four or five years.

The 4th Pay Commission recommended increasing fuel price by introducing additional taxes. But PDP proposes the government not to introduce any new taxes on fuel.

And regarding the home loan scheme, the party requests, “the government to apply the scheme to all private and public sector employees too. In fact, we should look at providing this facility to all citizens,  particularly the retirees some of whom are languishing in poverty after retirement.”

Besides these recommendations, PDP also requests the government to include few of the government’s pledges in the pay commission’s recommendations like giving vehicle quotas to all public servants including public corporations at least once for those who are not eligible and fortnight salary disbursement.

The party appeals the government to consider the larger interests of the less privileged in the civil service and the country before considering the Pay Commission’s report.

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