Generous pay hike for ministers and others

The government’s final pay revision report recommended hiking the salary of the Prime Minister from the existing Nu 78,000 to around Nu 180,000 while for the ministers the hike recommended was from the existing Nu 78,000 to around Nu 130,000.

After much discussion and deliberation in the National Assembly going into late night the government’s final pay revision report was accepted without any changes (see separate story on Pg 3).

The Finance Minister in an interview to the paper on Thursday said, “There has been a printing error in the pay revision report as it says the government has decided to ‘maintain’ these pay scales but the actual wording should have been that the government has decided to ‘table’ these pay scales to the Parliament.”

He explained that the pay scale was not fixed by the government but was as per the resolution of the sixth session of the first Parliament and neither the Pay Commission nor the cabinet had the authority to change it except for the Parliament.

The second pay commission had recommended a 92 percent hike for the PM coming to Nu 150,000 and a 54 percent revision for Cabinet Ministers coming to Nu 120,000. It had also recommended a 69 percent hike for the Speaker of the NA and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

However, the pay revision report of the government says that the second pay commission’s recommendation to create a new pay scale for the Speaker of the NA and the Chief Justice was not in keeping with the Parliamentary Entitlements Act which states that their benefits would be equivalent to cabinet ministers along with the Chairperson of the NC and Leader of Opposition.

The report says that the present salaries of the Ministers and equivalent positions had not been revised since 2006 during which period civil servants got a 55 percent hike. It says that if the current hike is included then Minister should actually be getting 145,000.

It says that in addition and as part of its cost cutting measures like discontinuing domestic help, Wagon R etc each minister was saving Nu 29,000 per month.

Like the Cabinet Ministers the salaries of the NC Chairperson, Opposition Leader, Speaker of the NA, Chairman of the Privy Council and the Chief Justice has been increased from the current 78,000 to Nu 130,000.

The pay of MPs has been increased by 21 percent from the existing minimum of Nu 50,455 to Nu 65,930. This will also continue to get their 30 percent house rent which comes to a total of Nu 85,709 not including other benefits.

The pay scale of Constitutional heads, Drangpons of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of the High Court, Attorney General, Cabinet Secretary and the Deputy Speaker of the NA and Deputy Chairman of the NC will be increased by 19 percent from the current minimum 63,000 to Nu 75,160.

Thrompons will see a 19 percent hike from a minimum of Nu 38,475 to Nu 45,785, Gups will see a 39 percent hike from 13,355 to Nu 20,000 and this would also apply to Mangmis who will see their pay rise from Nu 10,765 to Nu 15,000. The Geydrung’s pay will increase by 36 percent from Nu 9,570 to Nu 13,000 and the pay of Tshogpas will increase by 40 percent from Nu 5,000 to Nu 7,000.

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