All four political parties have plans to increase the salaries and allowances of civil servants and reviewing the Civil Service Act, according to their manifestos for the National Assembly Election 2018.
Two political parties, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) will raise the pay and allowances of civil servants two times in five years, to keep pace with inflation and rising cost of living and ensure that the lower group receives the higher raise.
It is a given fact that civil servants are the backbone of the government, and play an important role in implementing development plans and activities, and the delivery of critical public services to the people.
Today, there are as many as 28, 000 civil servants in the country, that is one civil servant for every 27 Bhutanese citizens. Close to 50 percent of these civil servants are in the professional and management cadre, made up of mostly the teaching staff.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
Since it is the mandate of the Parliament to review and amend legislations, PDP will review and amend the RCSC Act to improve performance system, working and service conditions of our civil servants and to make the retirement age the same for all categories of civil servants meaning 60.
PDP pledge aims to raise the vehicle quota from Nu 800, 000 to Nu 1, 500, 000 and provide a onetime vehicle quota of Nu. 1,500,000 to civil servants who are not eligible for vehicle quota but have put in long years of service.
TA/DA and mileage will be substantially raised for civil servants in the lower category and make it equal across the board and LTC payment shall be reviewed for all level of civil servants.
PDP shall raise the salaries of civil servants and ensure that the pay revision benefits mid and lower level civil servants the most and will also review and raise the salaries and benefits of the corporate sector.
PDP says it shall develop affordable housing facilities for civil servants posted in rural dzongkhags and gewogs, and shall create examination centers in the dzongkhags to conduct Bhutan Civil Service Examinations in the dzongkhags.
Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT)
DPT said that it shall respect and ensure the independence, integrity and apolitical status of the civil service, as a constitutional institution.
DPT will revise and ensure uniform mileage entitlement to all civil servants irrespective of their grades and positions, and review the vehicle quota system for civil service to spread benefits to other positions and increase the maximum value of import exemption from Nu. 800,000 to Nu. 1,200,000.
In close consultation with RCSC, DPT shall enhance professional excellence of every civil servant through transparent, fair and merit based promotion and regular training programmes and enhance the job security, salary, allowances and post retirement benefits of NWF, GSP and ESP.
It shall also review and recommend the continuation of study leave for qualification upgrading civil servants, and pursue the policy of regular employment and explore regularization of the services of contract employees, such as teachers, matrons and wardens, laboratory assistants, special sports instructors, assistant research officers, ECCD & NFE instructors, gedrungs and others on consolidated pay.
DPT will increase paternity leave from 10 days to 15 days and increase bereavement leave from 21 days to 30 days. It will also provide dedicated duty vehicles to all executive level officers.
Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT)
DNT pledges to provide realistic salaries and allowances to civil servants, reason being that the cost of living is increasing every year, making it difficult, especially for those in the lower and middle income groups, to meet expenses for house rent, food, educating children and other costs.
It shall institute a mechanism to provide realistic salaries that take into account the national economy and increased costs of living. DNT will ensure that the annual increase is fair, especially in consideration of those in the lower and middle positions of the PCS.
DNT aims to identify salaries that need revision regularly rather than waiting for change in government. Uniform travel allowances (TA) and daily subsistence allowance (DSA) shall be provided to all civil servants. Appropriate allowances for civil servants, such as those with special skills in need, for extra hours of work, risk allowances and high achievers at national and international forums shall be instituted.
Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP)
BKP shall invoke Article 30 of the Constitution and empower the Pay Commission to revise the salary and allowances of the civil servants, restructure and rationalize TA/DA and retirement benefits. It shall review the Civil Service Act 2010, and if necessary, propose for an amendment, so that the concerns of the civil servants can be better dealt with.
BKP will also develop affordable housing schemes for civil servants.