Pay Commission proposes a 20 percent hike

The Pay Commission report, according to a reliable source will propose around a 20 percent pay hike for civil servants. The exact details are not yet forth coming but a 20 percent hike is confirmed for Civil servants.

This paper has also learnt that the report in line with the cabinet’s directives will either do away with or significantly reduce the current pool vehicle system and instead allowances could be given.

According to the source the Pay Commission came to the figure based on the fact that the average inflation in the last three years since the last pay hike has been around 20 percent or so.

The Pay Commission has also looked at several other areas as mandated by the Cabinet.

The pay and allowances of the local government officials has also been looked and some revisions have been proposed.

The Commission has also looked at the issue of rural postings and other allowances and some changes have been suggested. The issue of house rent allowance has also been looked at but details are yet to come out.

The Pay Commission has also proposed pay hikes for the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers though it is not yet clear by how much.

A source said that initially the Pay Commission had great difficulty in coming up with funds for a hike. However, a hike could finally be managed by estimating the revenue to come in the future from projects like Dagachu, Dungsam Cement, Chukha project etc. The report also looks at cutting down on wasteful and unnecessary current expenditure and other kinds of government expenditure.

The report was supposed to be submitted on 13th March 2014 to the government but the report after a final review will be submitted formally on Monday to the Cabinet by the Druk Green Power Corporation, MD Dasho Chhewang Rinzin who is the Chairman of the Pay Commission.

Despite several attempts both the Pay Commission members and Cabinet Ministers maintained a stony silence on the details of the report.

While some Pay Commission members did not even pick up phone calls or respond to attempts to contact them others said that they had promised not to share any information.

The Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and the Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Dorji both maintained that they were yet to receive the report so were not in the know at all.

The Pay Commission was formed after a cabinet order was issued on 4th December 2013 giving a three month time frame that ended in early February 2014 but given the magnitude of the task an additional one month time extension was sought and given till March 2014.

The Pay Commission’s report will be evaluated by the cabinet after which it will also be presented to the Parliament in the upcoming session along with the annual budget report.

The government had asked the Pay Commission to ensure that due importance was given to factors like the sustainability of the economy, the spiraling effect on the corporate and private sector, inflation, balance of payments and inculcating a savings culture.

The members of the Pay Commission are its Chairman Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, Finance Secretary Lam Dorji, Home Secretary Tshering Dorji, GNHC Secretary Karma Tshiteem, National Pension and Provident Fund CEO Duptho Wangchuk, National Statistical Bureau Chief Research Officer Ugyen Norbu and Bhutan Tourism Corporation Limited MD Thinley Dorji.

The Commission was helped by officials from the Finance Ministry and the Commission members were given a sitting fee of Nu 5,000 per sitting.

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