NC says either Duty Vehicle for MPs or lumpsum amount to buy a vehicle

The National Council passed the Pay Structure Reform Bill of Bhutan 2022 today.

One of the major changes was to do with the Duty Vehicles for MPs. The NC added a new section saying “Each Member of Parliament shall be provided a་designated duty vehicle, or a one-time lumpsum grant for the purchase of vehicle along with the Driver, and Fuel and Maintenance Allowances.”

The NC has also gone on to define the duty vehicle for MPs as being a 2,800 cc vehicle.

The NC has put back the existing Nu 10,000 per month driver allowance and Nu 10,000 per month fuel and maintenance allowance incase the MP does not get a duty vehicle.

The NC’s version does not mention the grant amount as Nu 1 million which is the current cap and had been pro-rated into Nu 16,665 per month.

Here a MP said the reason why the amount has not been mentioned is because this is the Pay Structure Bill and not a Pay hike Bill and so the next Pay Commission will decide the amount. He said as of now it is understood to be the existing Nu 1 mn amount.

The other major change is that the communication allowance which had been cut by the NA has been retained from the Prime Minister downwards.

The NC’s main argument here is that staff and officials down the line need this to do their work.

The communication allowance is actuals for the PM, Nu 5,000 for ministers and equivalent ranks, Nu 2,000 for MPs and Drangpons till High Court, 1,000 for Thrompon, 500 for Gups and 200 for Tshogpas.

A small change is in the professional allowance of Nurses and Clinical Staff (including Menpas) where allowance shall be a lump sum amount of 35% (0 to 10 years), 45% (above 10 to 20 years) and to 55% (above 20 years) of the minimum pay scale. The allowance percentage by the NC is the same but the NA had not defined the number of years.

Similarly, the lump sum teaching allowance shall be 35% (0 to 10 years), 45% (above 10 to 20 years) and 55% (above 20 years) on the minimum pay scale. Here to the allowance percentage is the same but the NA had not defined the number of years.

Again on the same lines the lump sum professional allowance for aviation staff (flight operation officers, airworthiness officers and certified inspectors under air navigation and aerodrome services) shall be 25% (6 to 10 years), 35% (above 10 to 15 years) and to 45% (above 15 years) of the minimum pay scale.

In times of the overtime allowance the NC has defined that staff under Ministry of Finance engaged in preparation and formulation of the annual budget will get the Nu 1,250 per month allowance instead of just the Department of Planning, Budget and Performance staff.

When it comes to radiation allowance the NC says the eligibility of radiation allowance of up to Nu 3,000 per month shall be paid to health and veterinary personnel who are directly exposed to radiation.

The NA had said this will be determined by the Ministry of Finance in consultation with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

The NC has included the Lumpsum leave passage for Australia and Guwahati which was not there earlier.

The Bill will now go back to the National Assembly.

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