The Upper House passed the Local Government Entitlement Bill of Bhutan, 2014 as proposed by the Good Governance Committee of National Council (NC) on November 19.
The decision was made after the House deliberated on the seven sections of the bill which was passed by the National Assembly (NA) during the Third Session of the Second Parliament.
NC adopted Section 4.1 as, “Attract competent and qualified candidates.” .”
In Section 8, NC adopted as to not only ‘Commencement and Entitlements’ but as ‘Commencement and Termination of Entitlements’, which says, “A member shall be entitled to salary, allowances, benefits and other emoluments from the day on which the member is declared elected.”
NC also included the new section which said, “A member shall be entitled to salary, allowances, benefits and other emoluments till the day on which the member’s seat become vacant.”
In Section 9, “A Gaydrung shall be entitled to salary, allowances, benefits and other emoluments from the day of initial appointment by the Gewog Tshogde,” NC accepted the NA’s amendment.
NC adopted Section 12 to, “A member shall be entitled to a monthly salary as determined with the provisions of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008,” from NA’s amendment of, “A member shall be entitled to a monthly salary as per the rates approved by the government.”
Regarding the daily subsistence allowance and sitting fees during Local Government sessions (Section 13), NC adopted the NA amendment, which states, “A member shall be entitled to daily subsistence allowance for approved official travel.” The NC also accepted Section 14, “A member shall be entitled to sitting fees for attending the Local Government session.”
The House also discussed on Gaydrung’s entitlements to be included in the Bill, payment of house rents to Gups and Mangaps, and payments of retirement benefits to elected members of Local Government.
In line to the entitlements of an elected leader, NC Tempa Dorji, said that it should start from the day the election results are declared, and end on the day of the dissolution of the local government or resignation, removal, prolonged ill health and death of the elected member as enshrined in the LG Act 2009.