Cabinet gives in-principle approval for college stipends

Decision on RGoB and GoI college students’ stipends to also come soon

On 11th July 2019 the Tashichhoeling MP Dil Maya Rai proposed that the stipends of college students be raised from the current Nu 1500 to Nu 2500 and that day scholars be given an additional Nu 1500 for rent taking the total to Nu 4000.

The motion was passed in the National Assembly at the time.

However, almost three months later the Royal University Students of Bhutan (RUB) are still waiting for their promised stipends while the civil servants pay hike has already come into effect from July 2019.

Students studying outside on RGoB and GoI scholarships have also wondered aloud on if their stipends would be revised as well.

The main issue seems to be confusion on the very motion in the NA itself.

A senior official said that the government has implemented the Pay Revision Act 2019 which talks of pay and allowances but does not mention anything about stipends.

This is because stipends of college students were never part of the Pay Report.

The Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Tshering said that while the motion to increase stipends was passed in the NA the exact figures was not agreed too.

He said this in-principle decision on the stipends has been taken by the Cabinet which has given directions to the Ministry of Finance.

Lyonpo announced that the stipend will be Nu 2500 for boarders and Nu 3000 for day scholars for college students.

However, he said that in the case of the Paro College of Education and Samtse College of Education the stipend will be higher at Nu 3500 for boarders and Nu 4000 for day scholars.

He said that this is being done to attract the best candidates to the two teaching colleges and as part of the government’s focus on strengthening education.

The minister said that the aim is to disburse the approved stipends from October 2019.

In the case of selected PGDE candidates coming through RCSC and going to the Samtse College of Education the minister said the stipend as already approved is Nu 5000 per month.

The minister also clarified that the government is also working on taking a decision on enhancing the stipend of students studying outside on RGoB and GoI scholarships.

It is understood that as soon as the cabinet takes a decision on enhancing the RGoB scholarship stipends the decision would be communicated to the GoI so that the stipends of the GoI scholarship students can also be at par.

The government is confident of support from GoI on this matter.

The clarification from the Finance Minister will set at rest questions over the stipend as the RUB and College students  were waiting for the funds.

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