Yangchen C Rinzin

The government has no authority to fix salary revision and entitlement for companies under Druk Holding Investment (DHI), according to Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering.

He said only board members of the companies have the authority.

He explained this while responding to Panbang’s Member of Parliament (MP) Dorji Wangdi’s query on how there was a disparity in salary structure amongst senior and junior employees in DHI and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Dorji Wangdi also claimed that although the government has revised higher percentage for lower rank employees, it was not followed in DHI companies and SOEs, which led to errors in salary structures. “Lower rank employee’s salary became lesser.”

Prime Minister, however, assured that there was no error in pay fixation. “Confusion was probably created because of people’s interpretation.”

He explained that the government followed up with DHI on how there was a salary difference between employees who joined on the same date and in same grade but DHI reasoned that it depended on an individual’s performance. “Whoever performed well was given a salary raise.”

Lyonchhen said that a team has reviewed the pay revision and fixation thoroughly and there was no error. “However, even if there was an error, the government do not have the authority to correct or intervene, as the Royal Charter issued in 2007 clearly states DHI board would be responsible to decide on the entitlement or pay fixation.”

On the query of when the government would amend the Civil Service Act 2010 as the law review task force recommended, Prime Minister said the taskforce did not recommend amending the entire Act but a section. “Government is already looking into how contract employees could be regularised. But we don’t know when we can do it.”

Meanwhile, Lhamoizingkha-Tashiding MP, Hemant Gurung, asked the Prime Minister if there was a possibility to construct 10kms highway from Lhamoizingkha to Dalbari and a motorable bridge over Sunkosh river to connect Sarpang and Lhamoizingkha via Nichula, as these developmental activities have been on hold.

MP said that delay in Sunkosh hydropower project affected the developmental activities.

Lyonchhen said that there would be adverse effect if these activities were carried out before the hydropower construction begins. “Sunkosh project would depend on government of India. We have already had three rounds of meetings and deliberated on it. The fourth meeting would take place soon but we are not sure if the project would start during our tenure.”

He said that the government would carry out developmental activities in Lhamoizingkha if there is no indication of the project commencement in the next meeting.