People working as National Work Force (NWF) workers under Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS), popularly known as PWD workers will be given the same preference if they are interested in participating in the Build Bhutan Project (BBP).
Though the number of NWFs working along the roadside are very less in the country, the ministry does not find the need of having more numbers of NWF.
Minister of Labor and Human Resources, Ugyen Dorji said that BBP is a two-year project which is to encourage whoever is willing to take up and whoever is willing and interested have turned up.
“We are not forcing anyone to take this up. What NWF people are doing right now is almost a permanent job and they are paid at a certain level of wage. As far as we are concerned they are happy and doing great,” Lyonpo added.
However, Lyonpo said that they are most welcome to join BBP if they are interested but they will have to leave their job. BBP is for the unemployed and not for the existing ones, he said, adding that BBP has its scope and that scope doesn’t cover the NWF workers.
He said, “BBP is not a public system kind of a project. BBP is a scope specific project and a time bound project unlike the NWF which is almost their regular scheme.”
Meanwhile, Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) Minister, Dorji Tshering said that there are not a high number of NWF’s working along the roadside. Moreover, they do not require huge number of NWF workers as well because maximum works are given on contract, he added.
He said, “Through BBP we want to boost up construction sector and want youths to gain skills that are required. NWF workers are not necessarily skilled but there are few who are skilled and they are paid high compared to other NWFs.”
For now unskilled NWF’s are paid Nu 230 per day and the Labor Ministry is working on the revision of national wage rate. Once it is revised, it would encourage NWF’s. Today the NWF number is quite less due to low wage rates.
Lyonpo said, “BBP is a short term and focused project whereby we want to enhance the skill of our youths so that we can have them as and when needed in the market while NWF is a permanent project.”
Nevertheless, if people working under NWF are willing or interested to work under the BBP project then they are most welcome, he said, adding that if those two things are not differentiated properly then they may lose their focus.
This announcement comes in the wake of limited interest of youth in BBP so far especially after the flip flop in announcements with the government first announcing very high wages and then withdrawing it.