The term of the incumbent gaydrungs or gewog clerks ends in March 2019.

Home minister Dawa Gyaltshen informed the dzongdags on the first day of the 23rd annual dzongdag conference in Thimphu yesterday. He said the government has decided to extend their terms by two more years until 2019. He said that their terms ended in 2016.

“But the government extended their terms by another two years considering their contributions to the gewog administrations,” lyonpo said.

The status of gaydrungs’ post came up for discussion yesterday after Samdrupjongkhar dzongdag Tharchin Lhendup asked the ministry if it was necessary for gaydrungs to sign contracts.

The issue on gaydrungs arose after the Royal Civil Service Commission’s OD exercise pointed out that their posts were not required. No rules or laws cover the gaydrungs and even if they serve their entire life, their remuneration would not increase beyond Nu 13,000 excluding allowances.

Department of Local Government (DLG) director general Lungten Dorji said that henceforth, all gaydrungs have to sign a contract agreement with the dzongkhag administration when they are recruited. They can upgrade their qualification and apply for other posts in the gewog administrations, he said. The gedrungs were urged to participate in other vacant posts in the local government.

“There is no way we can keep them permanently,” Lungten Dorji said. The extension in their term has no financial implications, as their remunerations do not change.

The new batch of gaydrungs would have to have passed at least class XII and be trained in computer operations for three months. They would be recruited as administrative assistant on a two-year contract.

“If they don’t perform or if there is no need for a gaydrung, then we don’t have to recruit,” the minister said.

The minister urged dzongdags to inform the gaydrungs and act accordingly. “If you fail in terminating their service and pay their salary, there would be audit problems,” the minister said.

Gaydrungs started serving in gewogs since 1960s. They were exempted from customary labour contributions and were compensated in various ways. Their main duties then were to collect taxes and draft correspondences for gups.  That changed over time, along with their benefits and salaries. According to the DLG, there are 20 graduates working as gaydrungs.

The DLG presented an update on the resolutions of the 22nd conference last year. Of the 86, 17 issues could not be resolved because they involved numerous ministries and agencies.

Tshering Palden