National Council (NC) members have proposed four recommendations to the third Pay Commission Report that the house will continue deliberating today.

The deliberations followed the finance minister’s presentation of the Third Pay Commission Report to the House.

Lyonpo Namgay Dorji said the Third Pay Commission was constituted to examine and recommend revisions of pay, allowances, and benefit of local government (LG) members.

Members said the recommended revision of communication allowance for tshogpas was meager. The commission proposed Nu 100 as communication allowance for tshogpas. Today, tshogpas do not get the allowance.

Wangdue NC member Tashi Dorji said that tshogpas spend much more than that. The revision was not in line with the ground reality.

Zhemgang NC member Pema Dakpa said that tshogpas have to keep in constant touch with villagers compared to his superiors in the gewog. The gups and mangmis have fixed phones in office, whereas tshogpas have to rely on their private phones.

Trongsa NC member Tharchen said a tshogpa on average spend Nu 1,500 a month. He said that there is no use of increasing the Daily Sustenance Allowance for tshogpas as they hardly go out of their gewogs.

“It’d make more sense to increase their communication allowance than their DSA,” he said.

Members said the government needs to increase the porter pony rates. Another proposed recommendation was to pay the same DSA and travel allowance for all LG members.

The dzongkhag thromde thuemi, thromde thuemi and tshogpa don’t get travel allowance for travel within their jurisdiction but given their responsibilities they have to move around a lot. Members said that if not equal to the other LG members, they should at least be given some travel allowance.

The economic affairs committee will present the four recommendations for deliberation once again when the House finalises on its recommendations.

The pay commission after determining the revenue of the country recommended 40 percent salary increase in the pay scale of LG members except Thrompon.

The Commission also recommended revising the Special Responsibility Allowance for Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of Dzongkhag Tshogdu by six times and daily allowance (DA) between 33 to 66 percent along with the entitlement to claim mileage while traveling outside their jurisdiction.

The financial implication of the recommended revision of pay, allowances and benefits of LG members amount to Nu 135.406 million a year.

Lyonpo Namgay Dorji added that although it is imperative to revise the Foreign Service entitlements and salaries for civil servants in the general support and elementary support categories, it could not be done because of the delayed commissioning of the hydropower projects and non-realisation of the projected additional revenue from these projects.

Tshering Palden