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The National Council (NC) decided to revisit the report submitted by the government on the local government members’ leave entitlement.

NC chairperson, Tashi Dorji, said the deputy chairperson, Jigme Wangchuk and other members who deliberated on the response should work together and revisit the LG entitlement rules and regulations 2017.

The deputy chairperson, while submitting the government’s response, said NC found that there have been no clear directives from the Department of Local Governance and the home ministry on the leave encashment of LG members.

He said the third pay commission did not make any clear directives for the entitlement although section 15 of the LG Members’ Entitlement Act 2015 mandates it.

“The home minister then said the ministry was drafting the rules and regulations and the leave encashment issue would be resolved once the Cabinet endorses it,” he said.

Jigme Wangchuk told the house that the government responded that the rules and regulations were endorsed with effect from December 26 last year, the entitlement was being implemented in line with it and the pay revision of the members of LG Act 2017 passed by the ninth session of the second Parliament. 

Bumthang NC member Nima was the first member to voice his dissatisfaction. 

He claimed he was the one who raised the issue during the last session and the issue was more on how the laws enacted by the Parliament was not implemented. 

“While the report here claims the rules and regulations were implemented, it was not implemented,” Nima said. “It’s not clear whether the members could encash their leave.”

Zhemgang NC member Pema Dakpa said he did not find the rules and regulations online.

He, in fact, asked the deputy speaker to clarify if he saw the rules and regulations. 

Jigme Wangchuk said his role was to report the response. 

Thimphu NC member, Tshewang Rinzin, who last served as a dzongdag, said that while the report claims the rules and regulations were endorsed since December 26 last year, the issue is not yet clear in the dzongkhags even today. 

Tashi Dema

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