English | Dzongkha Friday, November 22, 2019

NA endorses Pay Revision Bill

Komal Kharka & Pema Seldon Tshering
Jun 19, 2019

The National Assembly passed the pay revision bill 2019 after re-deliberating on the 19-point recommendations of the National Council today. The House endorsed 12 recommendations.

 “Although all the 19 recommendations are not endorsed, 12 are passed, which indicates a good sign. It is important to include both the houses in such decision making by supporting each other. The bill is passed and it is not necessary to vote since all the recommendations were decided with the show of hands,” the Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel informed the House.

Some of the Council’s recommendations endorsed by the National Assembly are to keep the pay scale of Prime Minister, Speaker of National Assembly and the Chief Justice at 6 per cent, a 13 per cent pay hike for the Speaker and Chief Justice was proposed earlier. The house also agreed to keep the raise at 6 per cent for Ministers and other equivalent post holders including the National Council Chairperson.

The House endorsed the Council’s recommendations on the pay scale of Non-formal Education Instructor and ECCD facilitator to be revised by 30 per cent on the existing pay.

As recommended by the Council, the House endorsed that the Daily Allowance (DA) for the Public Servants  accompanying the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Speaker of NA, Chairperson of NC ,Opposition Leader, Cabinet Ministers and Equivalent positions to 100 per cent within the country and to 50 percent while  travelling outside the country.

The Council also recommended the stipend of the Technical Training Institutes (TTI) and the Institutes of Zorig Chusum to be revised from Nu 1,500 per month to Nu 3,000. While deliberating on the issue, some of the MPs  said the proposed stipend of Nu 3,000 is also too less and needs to be further discussed. The Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi said next pay revision is hardly possible within the present five-year plan due to a limited budget. He said the revision of TTI trainees’ stipend should be included in the current pay revision.

Responding to this the Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said, it is solely for the government to decide on next pay revision. He said it is possible with the changes in the taxation system and the commissioning of Punatshangchhu Hydropower project.

The finance minister said it needs to be further discussed and the government will look into increasing the stipend within the next 6 months to one year.

However, the National Assembly did not endorse the Council’s recommendation of existing gratuity ceiling of Nu 1.5 M to be maintained. The existing gratuity ceiling will be removed and revised with no ceilings.

The National Assembly also did not approve on the ambulance driver allowance to be introduced at 20 per cent of the minimum revised basic pay. The Finance Minister said increasing such allowance will have a direct impact on the overall allocated budget for the revision. He said the ambulance drivers are already benefitted with the uniform allowance and the increased DSA of Nu 1,000 ngultrum from 500.

The lump sum overtime session allowance (OSA) as recommended by the Council was also not endorsed by the House. The National Council recommended  Nu 10,000  per person to the staff of two secretariats of parliament during a parliament session. Also, Nu 5,000 to the officials of the Department of National Budget who are required to work overtime during the budget session of NA and the Royal Audit Authority, who are required to work with the Public Accounts committee during parliament session.

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