English | Dzongkha Monday, July 13, 2020

SOEs’ pay revision violates constitution, says Opposition

Dec 4, 2019

The Opposition Party says the government violated the constitution by endorsing the corporate pay revision without the recommendations from a Pay Commission.

The Opposition Party also shared their disagreement with regard to the withdrawal of corporate allowances, corporate bonuses and the introduction of performances based allowances in State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

Talking to BBS, the spokesperson of the Opposition Party, Dorji Wangdi said the government has committed a constitutional error. As, unlike the previous pay commission report, the Fourth Pay Commission Report does not have the pay revision of SOEs.

“As per the Article 30, Section 2 of the Constitution, Pay Commission must review and recommend on pay, allowances and other emoluments of all public servants including all SOEs under Ministry of Finance and Druk Holding and Investments. While establishing the 4th Pay Commission, the government failed to inform the commission to review the pay revision for the SOEs. It is not the fault of the 4th pay commission but it is of the cabinet,” said Dorji Wangdi, the Spokesperson for the Opposition Party.

The opposition party also added the withdrawal of corporate allowances and the introduction of performance-based allowance is wrong and not timely in the absence of a performance-based system in some SOEs.

He also added corporate employees should be entitled to arrears of salaries from 1st of July. The opposition party also did not support the idea of doing away with the corporate bonuses. They said the decision would defy the very principles of best practices in the internationally accepted corporate governance.

However, Finance Minister Namgay Tshering said the government has not violated the constitution of the kingdom.

“I think they must be cornering around the word public servant but for that, we have been very mindful. The public servant as per the Pay Revision Act 2019 is defined as an individual who actually draws salaries, benefits and other emoluments from the governments consolidated fund. However, the Pay Revision Act 2019 states that capitation fees and stipends for Royal University of Bhutan, subsidies and transfers that are drawn from the government consolidated funds and transferred to the SOEs for the purpose of meeting their salaries, allowances, benefits are excluded from this Act. The Act also specifies and actually gives a power to the government of the day. In the act it is clearly specified the revision shall be in accordance with the existing practice by the government and as in when necessary,” said Lyonpo

The pay revision for the SOEs was endorsed by the cabinet on November 26 and the pay revision would be effective from December 1st. Today, there are 38 SOEs, of which 19 are held directly by the Ministry of Finance while remaining is under the Druk Holding and Investments.

Kinley Dem/ Passang Dorji

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