Wage Re­vi­sion of Na­tional Work­force

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The na­tional work­force wage rate is be­ing re­vised by 30 to 35 Per cent with the start of Septem­ber. It was last re­vised in July 2011 since pre­vi­ous re­vi­sion in Jan­uary 2001.

The clas­si­fi­ca­tion has been done into five cat­e­gories the first one be­ing work­ers like car­pen­ter, auto me­chanic and lharib who will now be paid Nu. 324 a day.

Work­ers like su­per­vi­sors, black­smiths and plant op­er­a­tors who fall into the sec­ond cat­e­gory will get Nu . 286 a day. The third cat­e­gory which com­prises of work­ers like Auto elec­tri­cians, plum­bers and line­men will be paid Nu 254 a day. Work­ers like sweep­ers, wire­men and sawyers who are in fourth cat­e­gory will get Nu 234 a day.

Other un­skilled NWF ( Na­tional Work Force) work­ers will get Nu 215 a day. The work­ers who are hired by gov­ern­ment for projects are bet­ter known as un­skilled work­ers who will now be paid Nu 215 a day, says the labour min­istry.

The wage rate was re­vised con­sid­er­ing the in­fla­tion and the salary re­vi­sion of civil ser­vants last year, say the labour of­fi­cials. The re­vi­sion is hoped to not only ben­e­fit the NWF work­ers but also to en­cour­age them to be a skilled work­ers. The re­vi­sion of wage was con­sid­ered also due to short­age of skilled work­ers in Dzong con­struc­tion and Dzong ren­o­va­tion projects. The na­tional wage rate is only ap­pli­ca­ble to those Bhutanese em­ployed by gov­ern­ment agen­cies for works ex­e­cuted by the agen­cies con­cerned.

When asked how wages in the pri­vate sec­tors are reg­u­lated, the min­istry said that wages in pri­vate sec­tors are rather de­ter­mined by the de­mand and sup­ply forces. How­ever, it is con­sid­ered illegal to pay any worker be­low Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage which is Nu.125 per day.

The Min­istry of Works and Hu­man Set­tle­ment and Min­istry of Home and Cul­tural Af­fairs are very much re­spon­si­ble for de­ploy­ment of na­tional work force in the con­struc­tion, main­te­nance of roads and ren­o­va­tion of Dzongs. About 3,000 work­ers are em­ployed by Depart­ment of Roads un­der the Min­istry of Works and Hu­man Set­tle­ments as na­tional work force.

The di­rec­tor for Depart­ment of Roads, Karma Gay­leg said that the re­ten­tion of skilled labours have been key chal­lenge faced by his depart­ment with the work­ers hav­ing to have work un­der harsh con­di­tions. “Nu 165 per day was not very re­al­is­tic due to which many work­ers left for bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties. Labours were re­luc­tant to work for Nu 165 per day. The re­vi­sion of wage rate is how­ever ex­pected to help the depart­ment in re­tain­ing work­ers’, he added.

The re­vi­sion of wage rate is ex­pected to not only en­cour­age the work­force to be skilled work­ers, but also to im­prove the lives of the work­ers and their fam­i­lies.

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