Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Tshering

Gross hike including basic pay, HRA and PF is from 105% to 9%

While most looked at the 6 percent to 36 percent basic pay hike the actual gross pay hike inclusive of house rent allowance and four percent increase in provident fund is from 9 percent at the top level to 105% at the bottom ESP level (see box).

The PM and Cabinet ranked ministers, opposition leader, NA Speaker, NC Chair and Chief Justice got a 9 percent gross hike from their last gross pay.

It was 15 percent gross hike from the existing gross for Constitutional posts, MPs, judges, cabinet secretary and government secretary.

It was 17 percent at the Ex/Es level, 22 percent from P 1 to P5, 26 percent from S 1 to S 2 level, 27 percent at S 3 level, 29 percent at S 4 level, 31 percent at S 5 level, 34 percent at O 1 level, 35 percent at O 2 level, 38 percent at O 3 level, 40 percent at O 4 level, 61 percent at GSP 1 level, 63 percent at GSP 2 level and 105 percent at ESP level.

As is visible from the above figures, a higher percentage of hike was at the bottom ranks and a lump sum Nu 3,500 house rent from S 3 to the ESP level helped narrow the gap more.

Basic pay hike

The Civil Service Pay hike which was recommended at 14 to 21 percent by the Pay Commission was changed from 12 percent to 24 percent by the government from Ex to O level.

While the pay Commission had recommended a 23 percent basic pay hike for GSP I and II the government has increased it by 30 percent. The Pay Commission had recommended a 29 percent hike to ESP but the government has increased it to 35 percent.

Para Regulars, NFE instructor, RAPA and Geydrung are getting between 18 to 24 percent hike.

The Pay Commission recommended a 14 percent hike for the deputy speaker, MPs, constitutional heads and members but the government is only allowing a 12 percent hike for them.

The Pay Commission has recommended a 15 percent hike only for Thrompons but the government is giving a hike to all LG functionaries like 14 percent for Thrompons, 18 percent for Gups, Mangmi, Dzongkhag Thromde Theumi and 24 percent for Thromde Thuemi and Tshogpa.

Mileage, DSA and Vehicle Quota

The mileage of 16 km remains unchanged with it now being extended to 0 level and even the ESP and GSP level.

The DA rate from P1 to P5 was hiked from Nu 1,000 to Nu 1,500  while for S 1 and below it was increased from Nu 750- Nu 500 to now Nu 1000.

The in-country training DSA was increased from Nu 1,000 to nu 2,000 per day.

Porter pony charges are Nu 1,200 per day for areas where there are no motorable roads.

The TA/DA rates of the local government was also revised with Thrompons getting Nu 2,000 per day outside the Thromde while Gups would get Nu 1,500 per day outside the Gewog. Mangmi, Dzongkhag Thromde Theumi, Thromde  and Tshogpa would get 1,000 each.

The government gave the option to monetize the Nu 800,000 vehicle quota at Nu 250,000 instead of taking the quota. The monetized amount will be Nu 350,000 for giving up the vehicle quota and buying an electric vehicle.

The ministers and MPs can monetize their Prado quota at Nu 1.5 mn, if they want.

House Rent

House Rent Allowance is now increased from 12 percent to 106 percent on the existing HRA. It increased by 12 percent for cabinet secretary and government secretary, 14 percent for the Ex/Es category, 18 percent for the P level, 22 percent for S 1 and S 2 level after which there was a lump sum hike of Nu 3500 from S 3 level to ESP level. The ESP which did not get house rent earlier got it this time.

MPs allowance hike

MPs annual discretionary allowance was hiked from Nu 100,000 to 150,000. Monthly driver allowance was hiked from Nu 6,000 to Nu 10,000. Monthly fuel and maintenance allowance for MPs was hiked from Nu 7,000 to Nu 10,000.

Retirement benefits

The gratuity ceiling of Nu 1.5 mn has been removed and the provident fund contribution of the government will now be 15 percent up from 11 percent. The maximum pension payout will be the 40 percent of the maximum pay scale of the cabinet secretary while the minimum will be 40 percent of the revised pay scale of O 4.

The three measures are to ensure better retirement finances for public servants.

Provident fund was also extended to the GSP and ESP levels.

Other allowances

The professional allowances for teachers and medical staff was increased. For teachers it was from 35 to 55 percent based on the number of years. Then there is an additional allowance of 10 percent, 15 percent and 20 percent based on the performance of teacher (see main story on pg 1).

Similarly, medical allowances also increased from 35 percent to 60 percent for all medical staff.

The radiation allowance is Nu 3,000 a month. There is an annual uniform allowance of Nu 5,000. There is a Nu 500 per night, night duty allowance.

The Red Kabney Allowance has been kept at Nu 100 a month.

There is a Special Responsibility Allowance of Nu 13,000 per month for ACC, RAA, ECB and RCSC heads and Nu 7,000 for Commissioners and members.

The government endorsed the pay commission recommendation to revise the Bhutan Civil Service Exam (BCSE) trainee stipend allowance from Nu 1,500 per month to Nu 5,000 per month.

The government recommended officiating allowance of Nu 5,000 per month for managerial position of P 1 and above and Thrompons and Gups for a period exceeding three months and a maximum of six months.

The Communication allowance for Constitutional posts, government secretaries, OAG and members of the privy council was increased to Nu 2,000 while the it was revised to Nu 1,000 for heads of departments and autonomous agencies.

A new communication allowance of Nu 1000 was introduced for the PA and PS for cabinet ranks while Nu 1,500 was introduced for the PM’s staff like principal secretary, communication specialist, PA and PS.

Dzongkhag folk and mask dancers allowances were revised. The monthly allowance increased from the current Nu 1,500- Nu 2000 to Nu 2500- Nu 3000. The daily allowance increased from the current Nu 300-Nu 500 to Nu 700 to Nu 1,000.

The previous government did away with maids but the current government has retained them and increased the domestic help allowance from Nu 7500 to a range of Nu 9,460 to Nu 12,300 (ESP level). The money is paid as allowance to the eligible heads who are ministers and equivalent ranks, heads of constitutional bodies, and the OAG.

The Foreign service entitlements recommended by the pay commission were largely accepted by the government though foreign allowance for New York increased from 19 to 30 percent while representational grant for Geneva increased from 10 to 15 percent. The foreign allowance and representational grant for New Delhi is increased by 100 percent each, given its importance.

For other embassies, consulates and missions it has increased from 10 to 40 percent on both counts.

The child education allowance has also been increased for those posted outside.

Designated vehicles will be issued to all head of departments of autonomous agencies (Ex3 and above).

The Pay Commission had recommended that the professional allowance of ACC/RAA/Internal Audit/Aviation be kept the same as lump sum of the old pay. The government has instead increased it by linking it to the new basic pay.

The government endorsed the recommendation of the Commission to consider revising the pay, allowances and benefits of RBP at par with the RBA and the RBG by the government.

The effective date for Pay Revision will be from 1st July 2019.

The financial implication is Nu 4.530 bn a year due to the pay revision. Total wage bill will be Nu 18.577 bn a year up from the current Nu 14.047 bn a year.

Update: The National Assembly today adopted the Pay Revision Bill of Bhutan 2019 with 37 yes votes, 5 abstentions and 2 no votes.

Since it is a money bill approval by the NA is enough before it can become law. This means the pay revision can start effective from 1st July 2019.

The NC can make recommendations but it is not binding and the NA can choose to go with its own resolution passed today, within this session.

The pay revision motion passed two new recommendations on students stipend.

College students stipend under RUB was increased from Nu 1,500 to 2,500 per month.

Students staying compulsorily outside college campus are to be given additional Nu 1,500 as House Rent bringing total to Nu 4,000 a month for them.

The above motions were raised by Tashichoeling MP Dil Maya Rai.

The motion also agreed to give a 13 percent hike to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the NA Speaker instead of the 6 percent.

 

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