English | Dzongkha Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Council questions the procedure of tabling the Pay Revision Report

Samten Dolkar & Sonam Pem, Thimphu
Jun 13, 2019

MP Nima

The Ad-hoc committee of the National Council today raised questions on the procedure of tabling the Pay Revision Report. This is following the confusion that arose when the National Assembly introduced the Pay Revision as a Money Bill. The committee recommended on streamlining the process of tabling through the enactment of a Pay Commission Act and amendment of Public Finance (Amendment) Act 2012 and National Assembly Act 2008.

The Public Finance Act 2012 defines Money Bill as a bill which contains only provisions dealing imposition, increase, reduction or abolition of any taxes and government spending. The act also states that if any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker thereon shall be final. But the Chairperson of the Ad-hoc committee Bumthang MP Nima said the act does not give any clarity.

“What our committee think is we should have a proper procedure to come to the same consensus. And for that, we should amend a few Acts. For instance,  if we are to differentiate between two peaches, we thought that the speaker has an authority to say that one peach is from Tsirang and another is from Bumthang because as per the constitution, the speaker has an authority to say whether the bill is a money bill or not if confusion arose from Financial bill and Money bill,” he said.

“Still then, there is a difference between the two. So amidst confusion, the speaker has the final word. When they say that a report is a money bill, it is like saying an apple is an orange. There is a vast difference between the two. That’s why we think that the public finance act should be amended. Likewise, the National assembly act which has no clear clause should be amended too.”

Amidst the confusions and ambiguity, Bumthang MP Nima added that the two Houses need to initiate a dialogue on the process before tabling. Further recommending on the Bill, the committee proposed on streamlining guidelines for allowances by setting overall impact assessment.

The committee also proposed that the National Assembly needs to share the overall budget provision for salary raise. In addition, while considering the salary pay scale, it needs to be linked to the order of precedence so that the pay scale is fair.

The National Council will finalise the recommendations tomorrow that will be submitted back to the National Assembly.

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