The organization is seeking to clear misconceptions of its roles and responsibilities by holding awareness programmes for local leaders

Meeting: A local leader in Wangdue questioned the Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) chairperson on why DHI employees are receiving much higher salaries compared to that of many others.

The question was raised during a half-day awareness programme on corporate governance organised by DHI for dzongkhag tshogdue and sector heads in Wangdue yesterday. The same programme was also held in Punakha during the first half of the day.

Responding to the Rubesa gup Gyeltshen, the DHI chairperson, Dasho Sangay Khandu said employees of DHI companies are paid 15 percent higher than civil servants. However the additional 15 percent is a performance based variable pay.

He said those serving on a contract system were paid a negotiated rate based on market conditions, and usually had to be paid higher as they shouldered higher responsibilities and more risk in terms of job security. Contracts are normally for three years. Therefore the difference in salary is justifiable.

Dasho Sangay Khandu said the difference in salary also comes following an increase in competitiveness in the market. As an example he pointed out that Drukair lost some of its pilots to Tashi Air subsidiary Bhutan Airlines when it started its venture.

When Bhutan Airlines started to pay Nu 400,000 a month for a pilot, Drukair had to increase its salary for pilots, he said. Drukair had no choice but to pay around Nu 370,000 per pilot a month depending on seniority. The same thing happened with Bhutan Telecom, he said.

He added that while government servants were entitled to more leave and other added benefits, DHI employees get less leave and not many benefits other than the salary.

Meanwhile, on the roles of DHI, director Passang Dorji said the awareness programme has become important as there are of lots of misconceptions about the organization. Although DHI was created in 2007 its responsibilities were still unclear to the general public, particularly at the local government, he said.

He added that as the dzongkhag tshogdu members and dzongkhag administration staff play a critical role in decision making at the local government level, it is important for them to understand DHI’s mandates and its role in the economic development of the nation.

The officials explained the roles of DHI and its companies.

Some of the completed projects include the 126MW Dagachhu hydropower project, Dungsam cement plant in Nganglam, Dungsam polymers, Bhutan hydropower services in Sarpang, Thimphu Tech Park and Koufuko International private limited in Trashigang.

He said that the total assets of DHI subsidiaries had grown from Nu 51,092M in 2008 to Nu 145,659M in 2014, registering a compound annual growth rate of 16.1 percent. The net worth of DHI subsidiaries grew from Nu 22,254M in 2008 to Nu 67,879M in 2014 registering a compound annual growth rate of 17.3 percent.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue