While every civil servant could expect a pay raise, a flat pay raise across the board did not cause excitement, Lyonchhen said, clarifying his stand on the ‘wow factor’.

Lyonchhen said that some media outlets had stated that there was no flat pay raise and that revision would be based on performance.

“Either I failed to convey the message or either the media got it wrong,” he said.

He clarified that there would be a raise for everyone and additional incentives for those working extra hours or with unique skills and expertise.

“This is the wow factor,” he said.

In an interview with Kuensel, Lyonchhen said salary revision was to cover for the inflation. This is one of the aspects the pay commission would be looking into.

He said that pay revision was happening and everybody would get raise, but not an equal raise. For instance, All P1 level civil servants would get a Nu 500 raise. But depending on the performance and nature of job, some would get Nu 750, while others might get Nu 1,000 raise.

“I want a wow factor by giving more to performers,” he said.

Lyonchhen cited an example of doctors. He said some doctors come at 7am and others at 10am. “Person who consistently comes at 7am and leaves hospital at 7pm should be paid more,” he said, adding that today grade 1 doctors were paid 20 percent higher. “If this is covered well, everybody will be excited.”

“I want to give enough room after giving a flat raise to all,” he said, and added that salary revision was not just throwing money but pumping money into the economy. “Through salary revision, we want civil servants to perform better.”

However, he said that the pay commission would advise the government on whether a pay revision was needed in first place.

Kuensel had earlier quoted Lyonchhen saying that a revision based on flat percentage is not in keeping with the government’s slogan of narrowing the gap.

“A five percent revision on Nu 5,000 and five percent revision on Nu 50,000 is not fair,” he had said.

Even in the same position classification, for instance, he said, a Nu 15,000 revision to all P1 level employees is not fair because the responsibilities and input differed among sectors and professions.

Pay and allowances form 35 percent of current expenditure and by Constitution, current expenditure must be met from domestic revenue.

Tshering Dorji