One of the 25 pledges in 120 days of the DNT government is that it would, ‘Initiate recruitment of domestic workers by reviewing and amending immigration rules and regulation and institute stringent monitoring standards and guidelines for that.”
The issue is currently being looked at by a committee under the aegis of the Home Ministry.
With the pledge nowhere in sight even after 120 days there is a growing feeling that this pledge may not happen.
Here the PM said that as far as the cabinet is concerned they government would not go ahead with the pledges on maids without having an efficient monitoring system like Singapore.
He said it is only after having such a system in place the rules and regulations can be reviewed.
He said that this issue has to researched and analyzed well and it has to ne done in an orderly manner.
The PM said that the issue of the maids is also directly linked to opening up different entry points in the south for tourists.
Lyonchhen said that his government will work on it but that it will not go ahead if they cannot come up with a good system as they cannot risk the future of the nation.
The Home Minister Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen had earlier said that a multi faceted committee is looking into the issue.
He disagreed that maids represented a security threat and he gave the example of Singapore where foreign workers can be detected well.
The Opposition in the mean time is against bringing in foreign maids.
In an earlier press meet the Opposition Leader Pema Gyamtsho had said that while there is so much concern on entry and exit points it is an irony that the government is think of allowing foreign maids.
He said that security issues should be looked at.
The OL said it is not a solution to allow Bhutanese youth to go abroad and work and then hire foreign maids.
He said it is an issue of affordability and so there are people in Bhutan and the villages who would be willing to work as domestic help, provided that they are give the right wage and working conditions.
MP Ugyen Wangdi from Dramedtse-Ngatshang had said that instead what could be done is that the Labour Ministry could pay a part of the wages and the other half can be paid by couples.
He said that the important thing is working conditions and respecting the human rights of maids and workers.
The MP said that getting in cheap foreign maids could also become an issue of human rights.