After series of deliberations in both Upper and Lower House of the Parliament, the National Assembly (NA) of Bhutan passed the Pay Revision Bill of Bhutan 2019 on 19 June.
While re-deliberating on the Bill in NA, the house accepted most of the recommendations submitted by the National Council (NC).
The discussion on pay revision started on 5 June in the Parliament and went on till 19 June where NA adopted the bill for the second and the final time..
Out of five recommendations submitted by the Economic and Finance Committee, Athang Thoedtsho MP, Kinley Wangchuk, four recommendations were on allowances.
NA approved the committee’s recommendation to revise the salary of the Speaker of National Assembly and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to 13 percent from 6 percent which was proposed by Pay Commission.
The recommendation to remove the Special Responsibility Allowance for the Head and member of the Constitutional Offices were approved. Lumpsum of Nu 13,000 per month for head and Nu 7,000 for member or commissioners of Constitutional Offices were proposed.
NA approved an Overtime Session Allowance of Nu 15,000 and Nu 5,000 for individual committee staff and general staff during the parliament session. Similarly, the staff of Department of National Budget will be provided an overtime session allowance of Nu 15,000 during the budget session.
All 65 sections were thoroughly debated and discussed for two days. The Bill was then forwarded to NC for recommendation and discussed for two days and submitted to NA with 19 points recommendations while pointed out certain lapses. NA out of the 19 recommendations endorsed 12 recommendations while maintaining status quo with regard to other 7 recommendations.
The most important change in the final version of the Bill is that the pay scale of the Speaker of National Assembly and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court remains at initially proposed 6 per cent instead of 12 per cent as endorsed by the NA before.
NA approved NC’s recommendation to increase communication allowance from Nu 100 to Nu 200.
The Council’s recommendation on a vehicle import quota free of custom duty and sales tax of 3000 cc or an option of monetized amount of Nu 1.5 million per term for the Privy Council Chairperson.
Pangbang MP, Dorji Wangdi, said, “Only MPs should be provided vehicle quota because other post holder like Prime Minister, Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Cabinet Ministers among others have their duty vehicle whereas for MPs do not have duty vehicle should be given the vehicle quota.”
Finance Minister said that during the tenure of the first government, all the minister took their duty vehicle upon completion of their term.