After deliberating the Pay Revision Bill for two days, the National Council’s ad hoc committee on the review of the Bill will table its final recommendations to the House today.

The Council members raised about 26 questions on the pay revision to the finance minister who introduced the Bill to the house of review on June 11.

The ad hoc committee discussed the bill until 10pm to form its draft recommendations on the Bill.

The committee recommended removing the additional seven percent pay raise to the Prime Minister, Speaker, and the Chief Justice. The Assembly had passed a 13 percent raise in pay for the three positions as proposed by its economic and finance committee against the government’s six percent raise.

Gasa NC member Dorji Khandu supported the recommendation saying that the raise adds further pressure on the limited resources and is more than the economy can afford.

“There is growing criticism that pay revision of civil servants is used as a pretext to actually increase for the politicians,” he said. “It appears to be true from what was passed.”

The committee proposed removing the special responsibility allowance and the overtime session allowance for employees of the Parliament and the national budget department for working overtime during the session.

The members also suggested increasing the allowance for those individuals with red scarf as recommended by the fourth Pay Commission. Members said it should be given to those retired individuals because those in service receive salary.

Mongar NC member Sonam Pelzom said that the communication allowance for tshogpas in the gewog should be increased from Nu 100. “The individual makes most number of calls to the residents to convene meetings, inform people, and collect information during mishaps or disasters,” she said.

Trashigang NC member Lhatu said that there is a need to recommend the appointment of pay commission members from outside the civil service to avoid conflict of interest.

“There can be vested interests from the individuals to emphasise on the benefits of their respective sectors,” he said.

The members also made other recommendations on the procedure of pay revision.

Chairperson of the committee and Bumthang MP, Nima said that the two houses have to initiate a dialogue on the process of pay revision.

Nima said that the recommendations were made in light of the country’s small pool of resources and competing priorities.

Tshering Palden