Bhutan government establishes fourth pay commission

THIMPHU (Kuensel/ANN) - The fourth pay commission will examine and recommend the government on salary, allowances, benefits, and other emoluments for civil servants and other relevant public servants.

The government has, upon the approval from His Majesty The King, established the fourth Pay Commission yesterday.

The time-bound autonomous Pay Commission comes into immediate effect. One of the first decisions the government took since assuming office in November was to form the pay commission at the earliest.

A press release from the Cabinet Secretariat stated, “As provided under Article 30 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan and as approved by His Majesty The King on the recommendation of the Lhengye Zhungtshog (Cabinet), the Royal Government is pleased to establish a time-bound autonomous Pay Commission with immediate effect.”  

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji and Finance Minister Namgay Tshering met with the members of the commission yesterday evening and asked for recommendations based on in-depth analysis.

“While it is autonomous, we conveyed our expectations to the commission to think of something different and means to motivate people to perform better,” Dr Tandi Dorji said.

The government suggested the pay commission if it could consider ways to incentivise special skills, recognitions such as academic excellence, and awards for special contributions, and extraordinary performance of the public servants in addition to regular enhancement of benefits.

The fourth pay commission will examine and recommend the government on salary, allowances, benefits, and other emoluments for civil servants and other relevant public servants.

The taskforce members for the commission have been selected from among cross-sectoral agencies for their wide experience and competence. Royal Monetary Authority Governor Dasho Penjore is the chairperson of the eight-member commission.

Other members include Druk Holding and Investment chief executive officer Dasho Karma Yezer Raydi, Royal Civil Service Commission commissioner Kesang Deki, National Pension and Provident Fund CEO Dungtu Dukpa, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary general Sangay Dorji, finance secretary Nim Dorji, Supreme Court registrar general Tshering Dorji, and National Statistical Bureau director Chhime Tshering.

The commission, which is autonomous, is expected to submit its recommendations to the Cabinet in three months. The government would then table it for approval by the Parliament.

The 12th Plan has a provision for pay and allowance amounting to about Nu 73 billion (US$ 1.028B). Of that, about Nu 20 billion (US$ 281.69M) is expected to cover the salary revision.

The party has pledged to revise salary two times during its tenure. The party had also pledged to give two pay hikes to civil servants, review salaries annually taking into account the state of the economy and inflation, review and revise employment status of General Service Personnel and Elelmentary Service Personnel levels and institute appropriate allowances for certain categories of civil servants.

There were three civil service pay revisions between 2009 and 2018 with one hike each in 2009, 2011, and 2014.

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