PM lists measures to encourage civil servants from not leaving

The Mongar Constituency MP Karma Lhamo said the number of civil servants resigning has been steadily rising in the country.

She said in 2020 around 1200 civil servants had left, in 2021 it was 1,700, in 2022 it reached around 2,000 and today within the first five months of 2023 it has reached around 2,600.

She said the figures are worrying and the government is giving a pay hike as one main reason for them leaving is income and inflation but from another angle there are other issues like working condition, additional pressure, peer pressure etc.

She asked if the Prime Minister can update the House on the measures that the government is

taking to address this issue apart from the pay hike.

The MP also asked if it is time to do a study on why the resignations are happening.

The Prime Minister said this is a major issue that is worrying many people. He said Bhutan’s attrition rate of under 9% is not very different from other countries as most countries attrition rate is between 7% and 10%.

The PM admitted that civil servants have resigned in large numbers in the last three years and His Majesty The King in his audiences has mentioned this issue.

The PM said the government cannot stop people from exploring opportunities even though the government is worried. He said the attrition rate will not resolve in a few months or even a couple of years as people are moving from a low wage country to one of the highest daily wage rate countries in the world like Australia, USA, European Countries and Canada.

He said the solution is to improve the economic and job situation, but at the same time youths will accept an office job that pays Nu 12,000 per month but not a blue collar job that pays Nu 16,000 to 20,000 per month.

The PM said the largest component of the civil service are teachers and until recent years the annual voluntary resignation was only around 180 to 190 but within the last five months around 475 teachers have taken voluntary resignation.

The PM said such data is very worrying. He said that a lot of investment must be made in the transformation initiative.

Giving another example the PM said that every year the JDWNRH gives around 40 slots for masters and around 50 would apply but recent from the 40 seats available only 8 applied.

“This is worrying as after 4 years when Bhutan should be getting 40 specialists, Bhutan will only get around 8 specialists,” said the PM.

To address this the PM said that major changes are being brought in as visible in the RCSC notifications. He said the retirement age has been increased to 63 from 60, 60 and 59 from 57 and now applicants can try for numerous times for the RCSC exams. 

The PM said that the salary hike is not a guarantee that civil servants will stay until retirement but it is to address one of the issues.

The PM said that it is important to give good retirement benefits and this is why the NPPF is bringing about changes to ensure better benefits.

The PM said that there are many cases where civil servants face difficulty on retiring and so there is a plan to go for retirement homes.

The PM said that until the the situation in Bhutan does not improve the resignations and migration will not stop.

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