The National Council today passed the Pay Structure Reform Bill 2022 with some recommendations. The House proposed reinstating the communication allowance for all eligible public servants despite the National Assembly doing away with it last week. It also recommended providing MPs with a designated duty vehicle.
The house recommended providing a communication allowance for all eligible public servants starting from Tshogpa to the Cabinet Ministers ranging between Nu 200 to Nu 5,000. The lump sum Professional Allowance for medical and clinical staff and the teaching allowance are recommended as:
35 per cent of the minimum pay scale for employees serving between 0 to 10 years. Employees serving more than 10 years up to 20 years are apportioned 45 per cent of the minimum pay scale. And 55 per cent of the minimum pay scale for employees serving 20 years and above.
The lump sum Professional Allowance for aviation staff has been proposed at 25 per cent to 45 per cent of the minimum pay scale for employees in service for 6 years to 15 years and above.
Good Governance Committee’s Chairperson, Nima who proposed the recommendations for adoption said the committee endorses providing a designated duty vehicle or a one-time vehicle purchase grant to enable MPs from all social classes to acquire a vehicle for daily functions over the course of their tenures.
“If somehow the proposal to designate a duty vehicle for MPs gets endorsed in the National Assembly, we have recommended the engine size at 2800 cc and for the position level EX3 and above, we have kept it as it is as mentioned in the Bill. For MPs, besides the recommendation of providing the designated duty vehicles, we have also mentioned that an MP shall be entitled to a one-time vehicle purchase grant along with Driver Allowance and Fuel and Maintenance Allowance in case an MP is not provided with a duty vehicle in,” said Nima, the Chairperson of NC’s Good Governance Committee.
The Pay Structure Reform Bill 2022 when implemented will see major changes in how public servants will be paid from the next financial year. Most allowances including the vehicle quota for civil servants are discontinued. The new pay structure is sorted as fixed pay and variable pay. Leave Encashment, LTC, Performance-Based Variable Incentives and other allowances retained in the Bill will be paid out on prorated basis.
The Bill comes at a time when Bhutan is on the cusp of transformation but many public servants seem underwhelmed after anticipating a huge hike in their salaries. In the meantime, MPs took a lot of flak for proposing to buy designated duty vehicles amid a distressing economic situation.
The Council’s recommendations will now be forwarded to the Assembly for adoption.
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