The civil servants
The government has increased the salary of the civil servants, public servants and local government functionaries including the constitutional position holders’ from 1st of July 2014 and the executive order for the rise was issued by the Ministry of Finance last Wednesday.
The highest raise is for the prime minister and the lowest is for the Tshogpas/ Thromde thuemis from the local government and ESP from the civil servants. The striking feature of the executive order which was made available on the public domain last Friday was that the lump sum “Salary allowance “granted from 1st of January 2011 is merged with the revised pay scale.
The salary of the Non Formal education Instructors is revised to Nu. 8,400 per month and Contract employees to Nu.14,000 from Nu.10,000.00 The remuneration of artistes from Royal Academy of Performing Arts was also revised based on their position level . The salary of the Community Based Teachers is revised to Nu. 11,200 per month, Gups to Nu. 20,000 and Nu. 15,000 to the Mangmis.
The government has already clarified that it has enough money to pay the pay hike and most of them should be through the internal revenue generation. The increase in the tariff of the Chukha hydro, Commissioning of Dungsum and Dagachu are some of the important sources of internal revenues forecasted by the government. The government has already identified the total domestic revenue of Nu. 24.599 B and can afford to pay the pay revision.
While the government got a stiff reservation from the members of the national council and the opposition party citing reasons that the state of the economy cannot afford the pay hike. The reason pointed out seems valid on the ground of huge external debt and weak economy due to economic slowdown. The private sector which is considered the engine of growth is already in trouble due to limited source of finance..
The Druk Nyamrup Tshongpa has requested the government to rethink about the pay revision and as the representatives of the people, it has a sacred responsibility to work towards the greater interest of the nation, serve people selflessly and set good examples for fellow citizens. The Bhutan KuenNyam Party wants the constitution of the Third Pay Commission.
With the pay revision now put in place by the government, it is time for the general public to ponder as to what type of service they expect from the civil servants.
As enshrined in the constitution of Bhutan the civil servants has to be apolitical and will discharge the duties in an efficient, transparent and accountable manner. The civil servants must strive to uphold their duties and responsibilities at all times to come. As at the end of the day it the public who is paying the civil servants.