Centres renamed as Community Service Centres

Yangchen C Rinzin

The Community Centres (CC) will be transferred to National Cottage and Small Industries Development Bank Limited (CSI Bank) from July, finance minister Namgay Tshering said.

The CCs are under Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL) with about 200 operators located in various gewogs. The operators operate under BDBL as contract employees since 2015.

With this change, the CC operators’ post would be now re-designed as Community Centres Executive and the services would be also regularised on the date of transfer.

This comes following CC operators appeal submitted to Prime Minister last year to requesting the government to regularise their services with a particular parent organisation.

Lyonchhen in an earlier interview told Kuensel that although it was decided to induct CCs with CSI bank, the finance ministry was still looking into the legal provision.

The finance minister said that the ministry had studied CC issue thoroughly and found that there was no legal problem.

“In fact, the CCs would be renamed as Community Service Centres,” Lyonpo said. “Their core mandate will be to provide integrated banking services including community services.”

Lyonpo said that a new department called Community Finance Service would be structured under the CSI bank that would solely look after the CSCs.

“The department will be headed by a director and the department will consist of ICT unit, CSC unit and Corporate and Commercial Service Unit,” Lyonpo added. “The CSEs Terms of reference would be revised to suit their new role in providing efficient community-based services.”

Lyonpo said that the ICT unit will ensure services are provided through digitalisation, while the CSC unit will ensure it does not compromise the initial CCs’ objective to provide dedicated community services to the public through G2C.

“The third unit will focus on the day to day public service through integrated packaging service meaning other financial institutions or agencies can avail their service in rural through them,” Lyonpo said. “However, they will have to pay a minimum fee.”

Lyonpo said that it was decided to institute under the CSI bank, as the bank’s core mandate is to provide service in rural and the operators located in the gewogs can easily help access bank’s services.

“The operators could also help in physical verifications for those availing the bank services. In the process of regularisation, the current operators would be incorporated with the bank’s organisational structure and be entitled to all the allowances.”

The operators would be provided training at Financial Institutions Training Institutes Limited from June with the support from RMA and financial institutions.

The CSI bank is also expected to come up with strategies for revenue generation for sustainability in the long run.