Power, Prado and Patang…now its Pension

The National Council (NC) as well as the National Assembly (NA) discussed the need for pension for Members of Parliament (MP) after completion of their term during discussions on the Parliamentary Entitlements Rules and Regulation.

Members of the general public – the electorate have received it with raised eyebrows and mixed emotions.

Section 2.2 of the bill states: “A Member of Parliament shall be entitled to avail pension scheme of National Pension and Provident Fund as per the National Pension and Provident Fund Rules and Regulations generally applicable to any salaried employee of any organization.”

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF) Dupthob Wangchuk said only after 56 years a person who has served for 10 years is eligible for pension.

“MPs do not fall under the civil servants or any other organization but they are parliamentarians,” said the NPPF CEO.

He said there are two modules of pension schemes; one through the contribution made by an individual and the other one is through government minimum support.

“MPs can either claim their pension through the government support; otherwise they will not be entitled for pension,” Dupthob Wangchuk said.

“The ultimate question is the sustainability of NPPF, as pension is guaranteed by Government which looks after the welfare of civil servants.”

The parliamentarians on the other hand said that pension is followed in other countries so it should be allowed in Bhutan.

Most of the NA MPs said in order to attract good politicians in future it’s wise to create good prospects for the politicians. NC members equally asserted the need for pension as it would help reduce corruption if the politicians are ‘handsomely’ paid.

“There are so many countries that do not pay pension for MPs and pension is not paid when a person is young which hampers the economic productivity of the country,” said a senior Officer in NPPF.

A private researcher said that everyone should follow the rules and regulation.

“And if the rules allow MPs to have any entitlement then they should be otherwise they should not undermine the convention,” said the researcher.

A Manager in Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) said that if MPs had demanded pension for the wider benefit and the well being of the democratic system in Bhutan next term then it is very visionary thinking. “if it stems out of personal interest, it is really unbecoming of the MPs as people who sit as people’s representatives and frame laws for the nation,” said the BPC manager.

A Bhutan Development Financial Corporation (BDFC) employee said pension scheme for MPs would be a good idea since it would help to curb corruption.

A Gup in Wangdiphodrang said “Pension is an essential format but there should be deduction from their monthly payment. Not only MPs but also for local elected leaders there should have similar package”.

The Executive Director of Bhutan Media Foundation, Lily Wangchuk said “We should respect the laws and there should not be exceptions for a few people some people”. She observed that there should be a greater reason for joining politics other than a fine pension.

An officer in Bhutan Telecom said “When world is in economic crisis, our MPs are demanding pay revisions and when our country is faced with rupee crunch they are asking for pension”.

“Bhutan cannot be compared to developed countries where MPs are paid pension,” said Laya Gup Kinley Dorji. He said that MPs have always debated on their needs and their welfare a lot instead of discussing people’s problems.

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  1. Dear editor of The Bhutanese something is seriously wrong with your online paper.In every headlines there are lots of spelling and grammatical errors.

    Is it just in your online media or on the printed one too?But every time we can see lots of errors. 

  2. Democracy is made to make the MPS rich. They keep on demanding all the Ps below the sky. First power, second prado, third Patang, fourth payment, fifth pension and who know what the sixth P will be. I personally feel that democracy is actually draining the country’s economy. We want Monarchy back.

  3. Is Democracy about People or is it about parliamentarians? In Bhutan our democracy is just five years old and the last 5 years our parliament sessions have always been dominated by discussions about themselves Our MPs seem to have completely forgotten how they  became or why they became or who made them MPs. 

    My suggestion for successful democracy in Bhutan would be any discussions in parliament where there could be a conflict of interest (discussions on thogthangs) should come through recommendations of a special commission like for example Pay Commission. We talk so much about for the benefit of democracy in Bhutan but in actual fact most are for self benefits. At this rate our people will loose faith in our democratic system. 

  4. Our MPs want everything for themselves…….what are the giving to the country? Ridiculous pension idea for them….by them and not for the people by those people who were elected by the people……….selfish pigs…..every time they discuss their thobthangs.

  5. The story needs reconsideration, what about young people who want to join politics? They are not allowed to join civil service once they are into politics, its not that difficult to understand that we are discouraging young politicians.

  6. Hay MP’s Enough is enough. Before you discuss your “thobthang and rangdhoen”. Please ask your self what you have really contributed for the nation. You guys are elected by people to discuss Nation’s welfare and frame the law. BUT NOT TO DISCUSS your thobthangs in NA.
    Is that the reason why DPT has heavy Tax on imported “Garis”called the green tax. You just cannot be so narrow minded.
    NPPF has mentioned clearly that MP’s do not qualify for pension as per their rule. So keep in mind.

  7. I cannot believe that they are not satisfied with 60K per month plus that 7 lakhs provided to buy a private car. I do support they should have good remuneration but what they are earning now is more than sufficient. There is no point to discuss again and again on there remuneration. They should understand that they don’t have skills like Doctors or engineers but their salary is double or triple than those professionals. Don’t be fools parliamentarians. It is enough. You are destroying beautiful concept of democracy when your greed is being discussed consistently in the parliament. People lose trust in democracy when you do such stupid discussion. Because democracy is a very beautiful concept but you are distorting our public views.
    How cannot you guys not satisfied with remuneration that you all are receiving already? Sometimes ask to yourself what have i contributed? Have i even taken up the responsibility to earn 60+ salary per month?

  8. Except Lyonchen and a few matured MPS, many of our elected members are immature, greedy and honestly some are incapable. Timing was good for these elected boys and girls because of the graduate qualification, when will they be matured enough to contribute to the nation building, always nagging for their own profit, they also wanted to be called Dasho-a complete u-turn to the principle of democracy. These immature graduate boys and girls should not be given vote next time. What substantial contributions did they achieve? (1) Bring a real democracy to the people – promote equality instead of hoping to be called as Dasho. We need to be progressive thinkers and nation builders instead of acting like aristocratic higher rank group- these people have been elected to serve. (2). If they are not able to get away from the mind set of Dasho syndrome when will they be promoting equality- this needs broader outlook, we are evolving, need to change our mind set. Some of the bunch of immature and little brother MPS need to be given long holiday as their participation is exhausting tax payers money than any of their worthwhile contribution. We are fade-up of their wealth-making discussion, truly reflecting their immaturity.
    Next round, we really need a vibrant and more opposition leaders, by sheer numbers of these two elected opposition members, the other members seem to be trying to violating the traffic rules. NA Hall is the place of discussion; we like to see more open debate, even more heated discussion, more contribution.

  9. DPT please stop disusing about “Rangdhen”in NA. When country is going under tragic loss of Wangdue Dzong, and people are worried about the cost of rebuilding and source of project.
    So at this point of tragic loss, how can DPT MP’s discuss all the personal benefits in NA.
    My message for the people of Bhutan is not to make the same mistake again in next election.

  10. Our elected leaders need to how to be able to see other side of the bank!
    1. Not to point to anyone, but the fact is we Bhutanese are very reactive and not so forward looking, that’s why we have to pay hefty price. We are very reactive, indeed!. Some school children died because of low nutrition (or may be suppliers are bringing all those outdated – date expired food stuff at a real cheap price, who checks all this, do the BAFRA, or the Dzongkhag authorities check whether food suppliers are not date failed stuff; do the trade check it; do the officials at the MOE H.Q do periodical monitor. It is a real problem for our schools kids in the remote schools deprived of the most basic thing called a food to eat). These could have been prevented had we been little thoughtful and concern to those less privilege than us. Though late than never, thanks to MOE for increasing the stipend but it came at a real heavy cost: A BIG LESSON TO OUR DECISION MAKERS. Likewise many students in India are suffering, who is bothering despite their repeated plea, MOF is only concern to raise the perks of the elected members forgetting those people suffering in India. They will only revise after another ugly event.

    2. It is a billion and billion dollar loss in terms of its physical architecture and immeasurable loss of the ancient treasures and its artistic values to the nation. Rebuilding W/Dzong would mean diverting a huge amount at the cost of other 20 Districts, and most embarrassingly almost begging the GOI. How long are we going to depend on GOI and other friends, anything we get from others have their own seen and unseen strings attached, we all know this theory. Our neighbours will be only happy to help us and they have their own agenda – both genuine and vested. The point is we are too reactive in the sense, we can now after this tragic event in a foreseeable future see a big Fire Fighter Trucks equipped with modern facilities in each Dzongkhag and around other important infrastructure – at what cost- after losing this kind of unimaginable treasure. Let us stop defending ourselves, accept the fact. We are reactionary, many things which could have been prevented are responded aftermath.

    3. Likewise, small things though, are we more proactive in ensuring our public toilets and cleanliness of the city and town. We already had a complaint in newspaper by one of the Korean tourist that what she read in the tourist advertisement in the website was different than what she saw a dusty Thimphu with its unbelievable public toilets.

    4. A little bit more proactive and the broader and progressive thinking of our elected leaders will do wonder (instead of thinking to make themselves more and more comfortable).

    5. Another proactive thing that our elected leaders could initiate is the minimum TA/DA for the lowest rank of employees. They get Nu. 140 to 200 a day, whereas the minimum expenditure is Nu.450 (Breakfast Nu.75; mineral water Nu.15; tea Nu.5; Lunch Nu.85; Mineral water Nu. 15; Dinner Nu. 85; and the room charge Nu. 150). Who is bothering for these people, who will initiate the revision and table this kind of issue in the NA, lest they too should be the NA member so that they can discuss these issues similar to that of pension benefits for the NA members? With such prevailing condition, while on tour they are at the mercy of the officers who are on tour. The moment some unusual things happen for this lower rank of people, then another reaction will be to raise their benefits- we are reactionary- need little change to become proactive. Whether officers or lower staff both need to sustain. It may be high time time to take proactive initiative in raising their TA/DA for this category of people. We are reactionary and this is not accidental, we know Bhutanese are capable of taking proactive initiative but since such things are not directly concern to the immediate needs of the elected leaders themselves – our elite decision makers, they seemed to be more relaxed a true reflection of the characteristic of the elite leaders.

    ****** Lets move beyond our own need and are able to see the other side of the bank. It will save us costing dearly.

    How many of us, if we are the elected members of the elite/privilege group of decision makers will put ourselves in the shoes of the recipients????

  11. There are few, who understand that perfection does not exist, there are others as silly as Sunmoon who think age dictates the what nation needs. Such fools will persuade nation to lie their soul, make youth a faulty ground of human life and argue ‘don’t elect fresh graduates’. Like it or not i am contesting and i welcome you to campaign against my tender age in politics. I know you are intelligent enough for over generalizing, no one buys your idea that every fresh graduate will be a replica of the current fresh parlaimentrains. The problem with current government and the fresh graduates in the NA is not because of Dasho syndrome, but the hirarchy that is maintained by the older generation on young.
    Not knowing much is ass good as knowing only bad- next time there are such discussions i condemn your say there, may be you crossed sisties but i at twenties have one thing to teach you. Remain neutral than negative.

  12. Enough is Enough wai MPs. Please think of this poor country and people beyond your term. Though you might keep on demanding citing various reasons and comparing with other countries but in rality this country cannot pay for you. I dont think democracy is that expensive.
    Please keep in mind Bhutan is Unique country and You cannot compare with other countries in every ground!!!

  13. Child, not to offend you, but see the quality of discussion in the NA Hall, talking always about their benifits. If you are fresh graduates, I am sorry, just wasting the tax payers money by being the member of the NA. We need at least with 2 to 3 years of experience.

  14. I am conscious enough to judge the weakness of the old ministers as well. Did someone hear that minister to agriculture and forest said ‘our farmers should work on the quality of oranges and cardamom’ and finance minister blamed people for rupee crisis? I have seen them participate equally in the ‘thobthang’ discussions. I dont want to make fool of humble people, i dont wish to attack ACC for their loyal duties. Who prefers to be blamed when government mismanages the national budget? A fundamentalist view is such, did you see old man drink and fight, some young men are aslo good. The quality of national progress doesnot depend on someones age but on the collective attitude of the party. There are few young people who look for their benifit, but that isn’t the proof to justify every young person’s aptitude. We think outside the box, see the box from outside.
    Another reason why you need few young people in every political party is because the old will give way one day the young must be there that day to guide the party, its less interesting to note that we think leadership is a game of old but vanity differs from pride, weakness from gentleness and similarly leadership differs from person to person but strict complience with age is not documented. A man 25 is as good a man 79, if your opinion differs, remember its your opinion.

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