Member of the Parliament (MP) from Maenbi-Tsaenkhar constituency, Choki Gyeltshen, during question and hour session of National Assembly (NA), questioned the Labour Minister on what is being done to increase the minimum wage rate.
MP Choki said that increasing the minimum wage rate to Nu 450 for the National Workforce (NWF) is one of the many pledges made by the government. However, it has not yet been revised even after four years of the government’s term.
Responding to the question, the Labour Minister, Karma Dorji, said that after a thorough research on wage increment, the proposal for Nu 460 as minimum wage rate for those whose minimum wage rate is Nu 115 was submitted to the Ministry of Finance in April this year.
In addition, he said, “We also have proposed for provident fund for the NWF, as like any other employee. However, due to an issue of budget deficit in the country, the finance ministry is working on to it, and we are hopeful that it would get approved as soon as the situation improves.”
At the moment, there are 2,800 NWF in the country, and once the proposed minimum wage rate gets implemented, it would cost Nu 350 million (mn) in one year to government’s revenue, according to Lyonpo.
The Ministry of Labour with support from the World Bank is also working on the increment of the minimum wage rate, Lyonpo said. In the process, they are also working on the evidence from the Department of Revenue and Custom on the revenue from the private sector, tax collection and economy status.
“It’s been two months that we are working onto it. If the minimum wage rate is increased, we see the opportunity to increase the NWF wage accordingly. We are hoping to get it done at the earliest,” Lyonpo added.