Pay Commission recommends hike for 1,499 LG members

The third pay commission has recommended revising the pay, allowances and entitlements of local government leaders, but not Foreign Service entitlements and pay and allowances for GSP and ESP personnel of the civil service.

Specifically, the commission has recommended a 40 percent pay revision for local government, daily allowance by 33 percent to 66 percent and entitlement to claim mileage when traveling beyond one’s gewog and thromde.

After statutory deductions, gups will receive an effective pay increase of 18%, mangmi 21% and tshogpas 22%.

The commission also recommended revising the Special Responsibility Allowance for Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) by six times and sitting fees for DT and Gewog Tshogde (GT) members.

The special responsibility allowance is to be revised to Nu 6,000 from Nu 1,000 and Nu 3,000 from Nu 500 per month and sitting fees from Nu 200 to 5,000 for DT and from Nu 150 to Nu 1,000 for GT, to be paid per session instead of per day.

To facilitate LG members to travel within and outside LG jurisdiction for effective implementation and monitoring of development programs the commission recommended revision of DA by 33% for Gups and 50% for Magmis and 66% for Tshogpas.

The revision of pay, allowances and benefits to LG members comes up to Nu 135.406 million a year, which is deemed to be adequate to finance based on the macro-fiscal projection determined by the Macroeconomic Framework Coordination Committee.

Based on the analysis carried out by the commission, the proposed revision would have minimal impact on the economy as the revision is only 0.6% of the total current expenditure of FY 2017 and 2018.

The commission also recommended rates for a new communication allowance and post service benefits to members as per the Local Government Members Entitlement Act of Bhutan 2015.

On not revising the Foreign Service entitlements and the pay and allowances for GSP and ESP personnel the commission has said that such revision should be carried out along with the salary of other civil servants as they are part of the civil service structure.

It also stated that due to the delayed commissioning of the hydro projects and non-realization of the projected additional revenues similar revision for Foreign Service entitlement and pays and allowances for GSP, ESP and other civil servants is not tenable at this point.

The total number of positions in the LG of Bhutan is 1,499 of which 10 are vacant currently.In the last LG election in 2016, only 40 graduates contested of which 24 were elected as Gups.

The financial implication of NU 135.406 million would be financed by the revenue surplus, Chukha power tariff revision, which is due from January 2017 that would generate additional revenue of at least Nu 284.506 million annually.

With the proposed revision, expected additional revenue in the form of PIT is estimated to be Nu. 2.415 million and health contribution of Nu 2.503 million

The reports have been referred to the Finance Committee of the National Assembly, which will review and present a report to the House after ten working days.

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