The home ministry on April 29 officially issued an order stating the gaydrung’s (gewog clerk) tenure is extended until April 2, 2022. The extension came into effect on April 2 this year.

The office order comes after the Cabinet on April 2 decided to extend the gaydrung’s tenure by another three years in accordance with the resolution of first National Assembly session.

In January this year, the National Assembly decided to retain the post of gaydrung and to regularise their service as civil servants if circumstances were favourable. In May, the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) did not renew the contract of 74 gaydrungs it had recruited but a circular from the home ministry had instructed them to stay until June.

The recent office order is for all gaydrungs including the 74 that were relieved and later retained. The order also states that wherever vacant, the dzongkhags could recruit gaydrungs, however, the term would be until April 2022.

Today, there are 198 gaydrungs, of which, 129 are the old ‘drungye’ now serving as gaydrungs. Gaydrungs started serving in gewogs since the 1960s.

A home ministry official said dzongkhag administrations could propose the salaries of gaydrungs in the next financial year.

The responsibilities of gaydrung as per the Local Government Rules and Regulations 2012 are collecting tax and insurance premium, processing land transactions, filing and maintaining records of official documents, and performing other official functions as directed by the gup, mangmi, and gewog administrative officer (GAO).

The gaydrung should possess a minimum of class XII pass certificate.

Gups Kuensel talked to said, that gaydrungs also help draft letters, attend to people when the gup, mangmi and GAO are out of the station, help fill applications, forms and also draft agreements.

Gaydrung’s post, they say, is important in the local government.

“Since gaydrungs have been helping people in drafting letters and other issues, they find it easier to approach the gaydrung directly with problems,” a gup said. “Gaydrungs also know every villager from every household personally, which helps the gup and GAOs to reach out.”

The Cabinet had earlier also instructed the home ministry to look into the requirement of  GAO and gaydrung in the gewog administration. It asked the ministry to review and look into the possibility of retaining either the post of gaydrung or GAO based on the convenience and need.

RCSC’s recent annual report states that although the commission has assessed the gaydrung’s post as unnecessary, the RCSC has not been successful in getting the government’s support.

Meanwhile, the fourth pay commission report recommends the pay scale of gaydrung to be revised by 18 percent from Nu 13,000 to Nu 15,340.

Yangchen C Rinzin